On October 17th 2014, Grappa released Sigmund Groven Collection vol. 1: Harmonica Hits, the first of three compilation albums. This 25-track CD includes Sigmund Groven’s most beloved recordings of popular / light music, from composers such as Erik Bye, Bob Telson, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Henning Sommerro, Lennon / McCartney, Ketil Bjørnstad, and of course several of Sigmund’s own composition.
The CD also includes a previously unreleased recording of Blow, silver wind where Sigmund Groven performs with harmonica legend Tommy Reilly. For the Sesquicentennial celebrations of Norwegian emigration to America in 1975, Erik Bye wrote a poem about the first Norwegians who set sail towards a better future. Groven composed the music for the poem, and the song was premiered by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra in Salt Lake City. On this CD, this previously unreleased instrumental version for two harmonicas and orchestra was recorded by Tommy Reilly and Groven in Munich in 1979.
Sigmund Groven has always surrounded himself with some of Norway’s finest musicians. On the new compilation, musical contributions can be heard from Arve Tellefsen, Helge Iberg, Ole Edvard Antonsen, Ivar Anton Waagaard, Steinar Larsen, Steinar Ofsdal, Iver Kleive, Frode Alnæs, Ketil Bjørnstad, Anne Vada, Philip A.Kruse, Helge Lindeman, Svein Christiansen, Bjørn Kjellemyr, Pål Thowsen, Bjørn Ole Rasch, Nils Petter Nyrén and others. You’ll also hear the lush sounds of the Rainbow Filmharmonic Orchestra, Munich Studio Strings and the Norwegian Radio Orchestra.
Sigmund Groven Collection vol. 1: Harmonica Hits is not just another “best of” compilation. The tracks have been carefully selected to form a unity; for almost as long as he has travelled and communicated his music, Sigmund Groven has also composed music that evokes feelings of the Norwegian seasons. Every month of the calendar finds its corresponding emotion perfectly in one or more songs by the composer-performer. Other songs bubble of a more urban riff, for example, when the harmonica presents slides of a July afternoon in the big city. From a table in an appealing bistro, via a fresh and fiery carnival, to the cool Norwegian mountains – Groven’s harmonica gives tone to so many places. Norway’s King of Harmonica has his feet on the ground and his heart in art – as both new and old listeners will experience in this collection.
The CD also includes, for the first time in Sigmund Groven’s discography, a bonus DVD with music videos. There is also an extensive 28-page booklet with detailed liner notes (in English and Norwegian) written by Sigmund, among others.
Vårsøg / Breath Of Spring
Reodors Ballade / Reodor’s Ballad
Ut På Tur / Out And About
Svalbard Tema / Svalbard Theme
Så Spiller Vi Harmonica / Song Of The Harmonica
Balladen Om En Drøm / Ballad Of A Dream
Venner / Friends
Over The Rainbow
Vegen Til Lyset / Heading For The Light
Motlys / Against The Light
Vintermorgon / Winter Morning
It Ain’t Necessarily So
Begin The Beguine
Blow, Silver Wind
Heimover / Homeward Bound
Karneval igjen / Carnival Again
Glad Og Fri / Happy Times
Veien Videre / The Path Forward
Det Var Ein Gong / Once Upon A Time
Under Stjerner / Under The Stars
Evig Song / A Song Forever
Review in Swiss Harpers News no. 1 / 2015:
Sigmund Groven never tried to impress with cheap effects […] It is a CD recommended for all harmonica and music lovers with ears for beautiful melodies and sounds […] Timeless melodies, balm for the heart and mind […] It is a superb album. (Read full review here.)
Review in Harmonika International 1/2015
No doubt one of the most prominent harmonica players in the world. (Read full review here.)
Review by David E. Kettlewell / mastersofharmonica.com
Groven, a student of Tommy Reilly’s, who played with him often, here delivers an album which will fully satisfy the most discerning of Chromatic Harmonica aficionados. His control of the instrument is simply at another and higher level on the world stage […] The beautiful lyrical lines are so compelling, so pure, so captivating that you will listen to each track again and again, savoring the flavors like a 20 year Tawny Porto wine. […] This is a must-buy CD set for the discerning Chromatic Harmonica aficionado and a worthy addition to that elite group of the finest recordings which exist today on Chromatic Harmonica. Bravo Sigmund! (Read full review here.)
Review by Helge Ottesen / Varden
Put on Sigmund Groven’s new CD compilation and you’ll be astonished how much harmonica music you have heard in your life […] Sigmund Groven is a virtuoso and knows which buttons to press […] Fantastic! Rated 6 of 6. (Read full review here.)
Review by Anne Ekornholmen / Hamar Arbeiderblad
The variety Groven puts on display makes this compilation so much more interesting […] A record to get deep into. Rated 5 of 6. (Read full review here.)
Sigmund Groven Collection vol. 1: Harmonica Hits is not available on iTunes or Spotify but worldwide delivery is available from grappa.no (CD) and klicktrack.com (download). Also available from CDon Norway, CDon Sweden, CDon Denmark, CDon Finland, Platekompaniet (Norway). Internationally you can buy the album from Amazon UK and Amazon.com.