fri 20/10/2017

Nordic music

Kuusisto, Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review - Icelanders fare better than Sibelius

London orchestras do communicate with each other, sometimes at least, when it comes to programming. It can’t have been a coincidence that on Wednesday we had one Finnish chief conductor, Sakari Oramo launching his BBC Symphony Orchestra Sibelius...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Ólafur Arnalds

We’ve been here before. Not to exactly the same territory, but to a neighbouring space in the same time frame. Last year, theartsdesk looked at a reissue of 2007’s Room to Expand, the first widely available album by the minimalist pianist Hauschka....

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Susanne Sundfør

Nine hours after meeting up in a Shoreditch courtyard to discuss her new album Music for People in Trouble, Norway’s Susanne Sundfør is on stage elsewhere in the district at a theatre called The Courtyard. It’s a sell-out and the room she’s playing...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Wigwam

Over 1972 to 1975, Finland staged a small-scale invasion of Britain. A friendly one, it was confined to music. First, the progressive rock band Tasavallan Presidentti came to London in May 1972 and played Ronnie Scott’s. The Sunday Times’ Derek...

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Albums of the Year: Mikko Joensuu - Amen 1

Five new albums released over the year have dominated 2016: Marissa Nadler’s Strangers (May), Mikko Joensuu’s Amen 1 (June), Jessica Sligter’s A Sense of Growth (July), Arc Iris’s Moon Saloon (August) and Wolf People’s Ruins (November). Next year,...

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theartsdesk in Reykjavík: Iceland Airwaves 2016

On the final night of Iceland Airwaves 2016, Polly Jean Harvey and her band are ranged in a line just inside the edge of the stage constructed inside Valshöllin, a sports hall south of Reykjavík’s city centre. The festival’s five days have climaxed...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Musician Agnes Obel

Agnes Obel’s new album Citizen of Glass is released next week. Conceptually underpinned by a fascination with the German idea of the gläserner menschen or gläserner bürger – the glass citizen – its ten compositions examine privacy, the nature of...

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CD: The Amazing - Ambulance

A Venn diagram connecting the diffuse, distanced and drifting, The Amazing's Ambulance is hard to latch onto. Its first five tracks are etiolated cousins of the  Midlake of Antiphon, while also calling to mind Sydney dream-popsters The Church...

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theartsdesk in the Faroe Islands: G! Festival 2016

Familiar words pepper the lead item on the 9am radio news: "Brexit", "Theresa May", "Boris Johnson". Yet the bulletin is delivered in the first language of the 49,000-population Faroe Islands. The self-governing region of Denmark may be a remote...

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CD: Hedvig Mollestad Trio - Black Stabat Mater

Thirty-three minutes is not long for an album. What actually counts is not length but what is said and its impact. Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad Trio know what they are doing and over Black Stabat Mater’s 33 minutes they do it with such clarity, force...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Folque, Undertakers Circus

The names may be unfamiliar, but Folque and Undertakers Circus are as good as better-known bands. Despite being musical bedfellows neither Norwegian band is as esteemed as, say, Trader Horne and Trees or Colloseum and Lighthouse. Folque issued their...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: Death and Vanilla

Last May, Malmö trio Death and Vanilla issued the To Where the Wild Things are album and it seemed they had arrived as a fully formed post-Broadcast proposition, harmoniously fusing vintage influences like the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Italian...

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