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Leksand Spelmanslag 50 Years
Three of the most famous fiddlers' groups in Sweden celebrated their 50th anniversaries in 1998 - Leksand, Malung and Orsa Spelmanslag. To celebrate the anniversaries each fiddlers' recorded their own CD on the Giga label. The Leksand Spelmanslag's record offers many pearls from the repertoire, including several splendid marching-tunes. Tunes performed by the whole group are interspersed on this CD with performances by smaller groups and solos from Sofia Sandén, vocal, Pelle Lindström, mouth organ, Pär Pettersson, horn, Pellas Mats Andersson and Lars Jobs, willow pipe and Kungs Levi Nilsson, Hans Fältgård and Lars Björk, fiddle.

Malung Spelmanslag 50 Years
The Malung Spelmanslag's jubilee record is devoted entirely to dance rhythms, and the quick springlek tunes have pride of place. The fiddlers' group boasts several composers and eleven of the thirty-three tracks are new tunes in traditional style, including the group's signature tune, Selim Bengtlars' waltz In the Mountain Pastures. Hars Åke Hermansson sings a couple of songs and solos are played by Juha Höglund, bagpipes, and Kalle Almlöf, Joel Hermansson and Anders Almlöf, fiddle.

Orsa Spelmanslag 50 Years
The Orsa Spelmanslag's jubilee record provides a comprehensive picture of the rich musical traditions of the region with the emphasis on the exciting Orsa polska with its distinctive rhythms. But old time dances of more modern type are also lovingly presented. The music that has become widely known through the members that form the Orsa Spelmän is also presented here. Solos are played by Pelle Jakobsson, willow pipe and horn, Jonny Soling, horn and Björn Ståbi, Nicke Göthe, Hans Björkman, Kalle Liljeberg and Olle Moraeus, fiddle.

Marie Stensby and Verf Lena Egardt (fiddles)
Bohusbeddar and Övdalslieker (Tunes from Bohuslän and Älvdalen)
Two strikingly distinctive fiddlers and friends meet to play duets and solos. Marie Stensby's swinging triplet polskas from Bohuslän and Verf Lena Egardt's wild Älvdalen tunes are full of energy and nerve. Marie and Lena have had the privilege of learning their tunes from fiddlers who were born around the turn of the century. They got to meet the old fiddlers and hear their stories and play with them. In this way they themselves have become part of a tradition which stretches back hundreds of years. And now, with their special brand of vigorous playing combined with an irrepressible joy in making music, they are taking these tunes into the 21st century.

Ole Hjorth and Sven Ahlbäck

In a way this is a perfectly straight forward album of tunes by Ole Hjorth and Sven Ahlbäck. They treat us to a whole string of gems from their repertoire, one playing melody and the other harmony. But the sound isn´t quite what we are used to when we listen to two (Swedish) fiddles. Ole and Sven feel it is important that the harmony leaves as much freedom as possible for playing the melody, especially when it comes to the tonality of older folk music. The album is devoted to the music of four fiddlers who have meant a great deal to Ole and Sven: Hjort Anders from Bingsjö in Dalarna, Anton Jernberg of Gästrikland, Uppland-born Viksta-Lasse, and Olle Falk from Jämtland.

Simon Simonsson
Livets låt

GCD 45
Simon Simonsson is an important link with the older generation of Swedish folk musicians. Simon (born 1945) has met and played with many legendary old fiddle players, especially in the provinces of Jämtland, Dalarna and Uppland. Simon has formed his personal old- fashioned style of play and like many of his predecessors is a witty storyteller, in both words and music. A glance at the list of tunes on this solo CD and Simon's own comments is bound to arouse curiosity - how about Love-making Polska, The Ice Hockey Tackle, or Telephone Kiosk Polska, for example?

Kalle Almlöf and Anders Almlöf

In the summer of 1999 at Arvika, Anders Almlöf was made Riksspelman, a title reserved for the best folk musicians in Sweden. He was the first person for many years to accomplish this on his first attempt. Twenty seven years earlier, Kalle Amlöf had achieved the same thing at Gävle in 1972. Kalle and his nephew Anders became Riksspelmän at the same age. Despite the family connection, the two fiddlers have only just started playing together. Now Kalle and Anders Almlöf meet on this, their first joint album. Most of the tunes are from Western Dalarna but there are also trips to Särna and Norway. Anders and Kalle divide the melody and harmonies in a brotherly way. Both play fiddles made by Kalle.

Per Gudmundson & Björn Ståbi
An unusually competent young fiddler with an extensive repertoire of Rättvik tunes under his belt met an Orsa fiddler who was already an icon. The youth was from Falun. Thirty years later these meetings and playing together have matured into an album of two fiddlers who are very different, and perhaps for that very reason are so good together. Per Gudmundson and Björn Ståbi. Today they are both icons. Trend-setters, performers and extraordinarily skilled spelmän who present strong Dalarna tunes from Orsa and Rättvik combined with exciting music from Hälsingland.

Svärdsjö spelmanslag
Danslåtar efter Hedlund

GCD 48
Vilhelm Hedlund (1868-1946) lived all his life in Enviken, a remote settlement in eastern Dalarna. A shoe-maker by trade, Hedlund was also the foremost fiddle-player in the district. His enormous stock of tunes, many of them learned from family members and dating back to the 18th century, is still a goldmine for present-day folk-musicians. He had many really old polska tunes - and no one had so many out of the ordinary waltzes as Hedlund. Svärdsjö Spelmanslag (the Fiddle-players of Svärdsjö) have picked out and polished 28 of Hedlund's nuggets for their latest CD of dance tunes.

Björnlert, Löfberg, Pekkari

A delightful disc - rhythmic, danceable and playful - with tunes from Östergötland, Småland, Öland and Gotland. The recordings show the result of many years of obstinate struggle to find the optimal concord between dance and music. Bengt Löfberg (fiddle), Pelle Björnlert (fiddle) and Erik Pekkari (zither, two-row accordion, fiddle) have recaptured a tradition by travelling two roads at once. One leading back to the music of forgotten, yet intriguing, spelmän. The other road pointing forward. Bengt, Pelle and Erik foster and develop the tradition working with great< respect for the values they have uncovered during their search backward in time.

Pers Hans Olsson with Leif Göras, Stig Ivars and Per Gudmundson

On this, his fourth album with Giga, we meet Pers Hans Olsson playing together with three other spelmän from Rättvik. Here are top-class duets, where Hans plays the melody in all but two of the tracks, and some solos played in the mighty style of Pers Hans. Traditional Rättvik melodies mingle with a number of new compositions. Leif Göras, a friend of Hans's since childhood, now lives in Orsa and is a member of the group Orsa Spelmän. It is Stig Ivars, a former pupil, with whom Hans has played together most in recent years. Per Gudmundson has worked together with Hans from time to time for many years, but is usually heard playing in the folk music trio Frifot.

Olle Moraeus and Nicke Göthe

Olle Moraeus and Nicke Göthe, two members of the group Orsa Spelmän, present many of the finest Orsa melodies on their first CD as a duo. Many of the polskas, gånglåtar, and waltzes have been passed on by the master of the Orsa style, Gössa Anders Andersson (1873-1963). However, it is his daughter, Gössa Anna (1906-1999) who is most prominant on "Orsa-ljodr". By patiently listening to tapes, Nicke Göthe has brought Gössa Anna's second fiddle playing back to life. He plays Anna's second parts while Olle Moraeus plays melody on several of the tracks in this album. We also get to hear Nicke and Olle play solo, including some of their own compositions.

Hjärp Erik, Accordion
Långt jässbôd (The Long Feast)
Rättvik man Hjärp Erik was drawn to the accordion when Jularbo fever was rampant in Sweden. But he wasn't interested in Calle Jularbo's music. Erik's favourite music was to be found among the fiddlers in his home village of Blecket, and especially at the home of his neighbour Blank Kalle. Hjärp Erik has developed his own technique for adapting the fiddle tune ornaments, quarter notes and bowing strokes to his own instrument. Other accordionists, stunned, wonder how he can play like he does. Erik, born in 1928, has played the accordion for more than 60 years. Today he is more active than ever and has become an important role model for many accordionists and fiddlers.

Sophia Eriksson, Anders Nygårds, David Tallroth
Klacklek provide energetic, playful and danceable folk music. Sophia (fiddle), Anders (fiddle) and David (mandola) met on a folk music course at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Sophia and Anders were brought up as spelmän in their hometowns of Hagfors and Rättvik. Stockholmer David has a jazz background but changed tracks when he fell for Swedish folk music. Bearing in mind Sophia's and Anders' origins it is not surprising that the repertoire is dominated by tunes from Värmland and Dalarna. This summer Klacklek are providing the music for Västanå Theatrical Company in their production at Berättarladan, Rottneros.

Mattias Helje with Anders Almlöf, Zara Helje and Perjos Lars Halvarsson
Smedjelåtar (Smithy tunes)
Three smiths and a smiths wife recorded at the old smithy, Kättingsmedjan at the Furudal Works. Mattias Helje plays ten tunes solo and the other 18 as duets with his wife Zara or with colleagues Anders Almlöf and Perjos Lars Halvarsson. The finely crafted tunes come from north Västerdalarna and the adjoining Østerdalen in Norway.

Ole Hjort & Jonny Soling
At last Ole Hjorth and Jonny Soling have recorded an album together! But it took 30 years of mutual music making. Now you can enjoy the tunes Ole & Jonny most like to play. Perhaps "slägdangan" Marcuspolska or tunes after Hjort Anders and Olle Falk, melodies bearing the mark of Påhl Olle and Nils Agenmark or beautiful Orsa polskas.

Bengt Löfberg
Bengt Löfberg is the fiddler who breathed fresh life into the folk music of Småland during the 70s. He rediscovered long-forgotten tunes, suggestive longdances and polskas. He was a pioneer and became a role model for many young musicians. Yet Bengt Löfberg has continued his search and moved on from the "old-style" monotony of the 70s to more variation, a form of improvisation within a given framework. Most important of all is that the music is good for dancing. In this field Bengt, together with long-standing musical companions Pelle Björnlert and Erik Pekkari, has honed an airy rhythmic way of playing which pleases them and which has found favour with many dancers. Bengt's first solo album is almost entirely about dance music - mostly polskas, a couple of longdances and the occasional schottis or waltz.

Pelle Björnlert
Bob Dylan, Pelle Fors and Bengt Löfberg are three musicians who have meant a lot to Östergötland fiddler Pelle Björnlert. Dylan aroused interest in the young Björnlert for making his own music. The 60s folk song craze paved the way for the folk music wave of the 70s: fiddles replaced guitars. Pelle Fors (1815-1908) was a legendary fiddler in Östergötland. The Hellström brothers at Vikbolandet played his tunes so Pelle Björnlert could at least achieve some kind of direct contact. Smålander Bengt Löfberg had already begun to root around in his local musical treasures before Pelle Björnlert. In Bengt, Pelle found both a teacher and a musical companion. Three role models, but Pelle soon made his own name on the basis of his personal way of playing with a catchy dance rhythm. Here he makes a musical round up, while, at the same time, he sees this as a starting point, with new discoveries to be made in the world of fiddles and polskas.

Päkkos Gustaf med Jonas Holmén och Ola Bäckström
Päkkoslåtar (Päkkos Tunes)
Päkkos Gustaf with Jonas Holmén and Ola Bäckström One of the great exponents of fiddle music in the late 20th century was Päkkos Gustaf, from Bingsjö, Dalarna. With his intensive playing and strong personality he became a source of energy for the whole movement. Gustaf never sought praise, but deservedly ended up in the limelight during the last few years of his life. "Gustaf was a musician constantly on the move. He was never finished working with the tunes, they were forever being changed" says Jonas Holmén, who, together with Ola Bäckström, accompanies Gustaf on this new Giga record.

Mats Berglund, Leo Svensson, Andreas Ralsgård
Mats Berglund trio

This is border musician Mats Berglund's third CD with Giga. Here he and his two fellow musicians, Leo Svensson and Andreas Ralsgård, bring a new sound to the Värmland tradition. Fiddle, diatonic accordion, härjedalspipa, cello, soprano sax and flute are the ingredients. The result is wonderful, swinging music that is both danceable and heartfelt.

Kjell-Erik Eriksson
The music of Offerdal, and especially that of Falks brothers Olle and Ante is at the heart of this album, featuring Jämtlander Kjell-Erik Eriksson. Normally, he plays in the groups Hoven Droven and Triakel, but now, when he is given full freedom on his first solo record, he chooses the tunes of the old fiddlers from Offerdal. With a confident style he treats us to some light and airy fiddle playing.

Göran Premberg
Orustlåtar (Tunes from Orust)
The island of Orust in Bohuslän has a rich tradition of fiddlers and many associations with the British Isles. Göran Premberg has taken this as his starting point on his first solo album, which is entirely devoted to tunes from Orust. The CD is dedicated to David Andersson (1904-1994) with whom Göran managed to spend a few musical summers.

Svärdsjö spelmanslag
50 år
What could be more appropriate than an anniversary album of Svärdsjö Spelmanslag, when the club now celebrates its 50th birthday? Here you will find tunes from all parts of the old Svärdsjö parish in Dalarna. Most tracks are played by the whole team, but there are also some played solo, on two fiddles and with small groups of fiddlers. All stirringly performed and with a good swing. What else would you expect from a spelmanslag renowned for good dance music?

Ellika Frisell
- I like the talking in music and the music in talking says Ellika Frisell, who has named her new album precisely that: Prat Talking. Here she shares her own musical language, formed in Stockholm where she was born, in Delsbo where she was a village fiddler, under the wing of Päkkos Gustaf in Bingsjö, or by the violinist Shivakumar in India. On this album she stops in Bingsjö, treats us to talkative orsapolskas, makes a trip to Norway, and plays many of her own tunes.

Per-Olof Moll and Per Hardestam
Jaggu lekar (Devilish Games)
The expression "jaggu" occurs in Särna, Idre and the Norwegian district of Engerdal. Roughly translated, it means "the devil in me!" There is certainly something in this less well-known music that comes from that region. Per-Olof Moll, with his roots in Särna, has single-mindedly sought out tradition bearers, searched for tunes and shared these with his colleague Per Hardestam. Now it is your turn to discover the fun and games, which are "jaggu" good!

Anders Norudde with Leo Svensson and Göran "Freddy" Fredriksson
Med hull och hår (Hook line and sinker)
There is no standard term to describe the headstrong musician Anders Norudde. Here, together with cellist Leo Svensson and guitarist and bouzouki player Göran "Freddy" Fredriksson, he really gets to blossom out in tunes springing from the tradition. Anders himself plays the fiddle, bagpipe and moraharpa on this album, which he calls a partial closing of the books. You can count on swing here!

Jonas Brandin, Erik Berg & Hadrian Prett
Here you have three of the new generation of fiddlers with selected morsels from Röjås Erik, Laggar Anders and many other predecessors from Boda. You have the polska with its well known lift on the second beat. You have tight duos and trios alternating with sensitive solos. There is Klabblåten, and there is the Paradise Polska. Theres room for both the familiar and the new when fiddlers Jonas, Erik and Hady treat you to tunes from Boda.

Erik Pekkari med Pelle Björnlert,
Bengt Löfberg & Anders Löfberg
Erik Pekkari has taken an unusual path through free reed instruments. From the most sophisticated melodic bass accordeon to the simplest form, the single row melodeon. This seemingly back-to-front path of development is a result of Eriks craze for old-time dance music, and his endeavours for personal expression and for the best possible rhythmic playing for dancing. Eriks passion is shared by his co-musicians on the album, Pelle Björnlert, Bengt Löfberg and Anders Löfberg. Time for an old-time dance revival, bringing the polka, schottis and waltz back onto the dance floor!

Ola Bäckström
At last we get to hear Ola Bäckströms entirely natural solo playing of tunes from his home territory Ore and from Bingsjö. Some of the melodious Ore music he plays has not previously been heard on record. These are tunes that Ola Bäckström has found in old transcriptions and which he wants to make available for a wider audience. There are also tunes that other great fiddlers have interpreted before. One of them is Sammeles Anna's bridal polska. A long awaited album!

Boda Spelmanslag 50th Anniversary
There's no sign that Boda Spelmanslag is getting on a bit and now celebrates its 50th anniversary. No, there's no danger of old age here! On the contrary: supple danceable Bodapolskas, the spelmanslaget's speciality, are performed with dash and verve. On this album they play a selection of their favourites. Warning: legs may start to twitch!

Bosse Larsson & Ole Hjorth
Förr så har jag dansat
At last the two musical personalities, relatives and Upplanders, Bosse Larsson and Ole Hjorth have joined forces to make a recording. They are the trustees of two of the strongest Swedish fiddle traditions, succeeding their masters Viksta Lasse Larsson and Hjort Anders Olsson respectively. Two traditions that are in turn woven into each other. Bosse and Ole have been playing together for over 30 years and now, for the first time, they can be heard on CD. The emphasis is on tunes from the repertoire of Viksta Lasse.

Lennart Gybrant and Anders Norudde
Böndernas underverk (Farmers' Miracle)
Lennart Gybrant, passer on of tradition, and his well-known musical companion Anders Norudde present music from Visnum in the borderlands between Värmland and Västergötland. These are tunes that were fashionable up until the beginning of the 20th century, music with a special air to it and a feeling which from time to time approaches blues. There's no limit to the different combinations of instruments these two spelmän use. The foundation is two fiddles, but how about slide guitar and Moraharpa, or mouthorgan and fiddle? All performed with tongue in cheek!

Anders Svensson
Bara för ros skull (Just for fun)
In "Just for fun" Giga presents a traditional spelman album. However, it is full of lovely surprises. Here Småland fiddler Anders Svensson has full freedom to expand. He is given scope to twist and turn tunes and explore every nook in every quaver. When Anders plays he puts playfulness and variation first and lets the tunes flow freely. He is a musician whose music is characterised by flow and space. He doesn't always need to paint with a broad brush.

Kalle Almlöf and Jonny Soling
Öst och väst (East and West)
Two giants of folk music come together again on record after 16 years. Kalle Almlöf from West Dalarna and Jonny Soling from East Dalarna play music from the two river valleys. Among other things you can enjoy several of Mockfjärd fiddler Anders Frisell's relatively unknown polskas alongside tunes from Malung, Lima, Orsa and Rättvik. All presented with vigour, finesse, a tremendous joy of playing and with a unique tone shared by the two masters.

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