Reproduced by 2L with kind permission from:

Sturla Eide Sundli, fiddle, Hardanger fiddle; Andreas Aase, guitar, bouzouki.
(2L, 2L17;

While so many "world music" releases fuse hyphenated ethnic forms with groovy multicultural percussion, this disc offers pure, unadulterated Norwegian fiddling and delightfully unfussy guitar and bouzouki playing. Recorded in the Sofienberg church in Oslo, it's a joyous sonic experience. Sturla Eide Sundli, 28, began fiddling at age seven, learning most of his music by ear. He plays these tunes beautifully, some on standard fiddle and others on Norwegian Hardanger, while Andreas Aase injects perfect accompaniment. The result is 11 tracks that run the gamut from delicate storpolsdansen to stately nuptial marches to sprightly springleik tunes, some written down in the 1850s and two composed recently by the fiddler himself. With a nod to multiculturalism, Sundli's own Celtic-flavored tune "Brittania" is reminiscent of Irish-American fiddler Liz Carroll's originals. Another medley simply entitled "Ril" sandwiches the ubiquitous "St. Anne's Reel"—an Irish tune played first as a single reel, then as a Norwegian reinlender—between two traditional Norwegian numbers. Sundli says a childhood teacher taught "St. Anne's" to him as a reinlender: "Often when I start digging into traditional music and think I have just discovered something really genuine", says Sundli, "I later see huge links to other countries and cultures and music styles. It's a small world!" And a wonderful recording.

—Elisa M. Welch          January04