As we pass the winter solstice and begin the end of the year holidays, the sounds of the season take on a celebratory and spiritual air. In the far northern country of Norway, it's always a white Christmas, and the music strikes a balance between the somber isolation of the long Arctic nights, and the cheerful lights and rituals of the holiday season.
Northern European folk and classical music covers a wide range of emotion. In Norway, it's often plaintive and austere, yet full of intense feeling; a fusion of darkness and light — from joyful hymns and lovely wedding marches, to melancholy songs and solitary prayers. The resonant bite of the Hardanger fiddle, the rich cushion of the organ, the soft tones of the harp, and the extraordinary vocals — create a musical experience that's been refined and deepened for hundreds of years.
On this transmission of Hearts of Space, a Nordic holiday journey from our longtime guest producer ELLEN HOLMES of ADAGIO RECORDINGS, on a program called STARLIGHT NORTH.
Music is by an all-star group of great Norwegian musicians, including fiddlers SUSANNE LUNDENG and ANNBJORG LIEN, IVER KLEIVE, the choir SKRUK and others, and singers ANNE-LISE BERNTSEN, VIDIA WESENLUND and SOLVEIG SLETTAHJELL.