Sigmund Groven’s 75th birthday is celebrated with the release of the album In Concert! This is Sigmund’s first live album, an album that also contains several studio recordings that have not been released digitally before.
The Norwegian Master of Harmonica, Sigmund Groven (born March 16, 1946) is releasing a collection of recordings that either have never been made available in digital formats until now, or they are previously unreleased live recordings. The album In Concert offers 26 tracks of which many were specially composed for the harmonica by legends such as Tommy Reilly, James Moody and Gordon Jacob, as well as Sigmund himself. The music included was composed both for the harmonica as a solo instrument, and for the harmonica in tandem with piano or orchestra. We’ll get to hear a wide range of genres spanning from folk music to original compositions, from Bach, Scarlatti and Händel to Beethoven and Grieg.
– I have had the pleasure of working with fantastic musicians through all these years. This album holds many live recordings from concerts both in Norway and from Sweden and Hungary, in addition to studio recordings that remained unreleased. I hope many will enjoy this collection, the 75 years young Sigmund says.
Through his prolific career as a musician and composer, Groven has collaborated with the finest musicians. From Sigmund and Iver Kleive (organ and keyboards) we’ll hear vintage recordings as far back as the 1980s, when Iver explored the possibilities of the synthesizer. Ivar Anton Waagaard (piano) has been Groven’s close partner in studios and on concert stages around the world for more than 30 years, resulting on this album in recordings from 1990 where we also meet Kjetil Bjerkestrand (synthesizer). We’ll also get to listen to Greig recordings from 2007 from the hands of the renowned sound enginer Jan Erik Kongshaug at Rainbow Studio. From Hungary in 2005, excerpts from a memorable festival concert in Budapest where Sigmund had been invited by Szabolcs Szamosi. The concert was described as a highlight in the festival’s 25 year long history.
In the fall of 2013 Sigmund Groven toured Hungary with the Budapest Chamber Orchestra, but he also recorded and performed with several other major orchestras, such as the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces and the The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, which are represented on In Concert.
– In the right hands the lowly mouth-organ can be an instrument of great beauty and sophistication. Sigmund Groven, like Tommy Reilly and Larry Adler before him, makes full use of the wide range and tonal expressions that the harmonica is capable of. His musicianship is superb, and he now unquestionably reigns supreme as one of the finest exponents of the harmonica in the world – sir George Martin, producer of The Beatles.
The music on Sigmund Groven in Concert:
01. Aria (3:31)
02. Bulgarian wedding dance (2:10)
03. Det syng / Singing, from Haugtussa (2:20)
04. I hjemmet / In my native land, op.43, no.3 (2:18)
05. Bondens sang / Peasant’s song, op.65, no.2 (1:41)
06. Motlys / Against the light (3:24)
07. Sonate, g-minor, l.338 (2:55)
08. Serenade (2:27)
09. Om kvelden / In the evening (3:08)
10. Gammal fäbodspsalm från Dalarna / Old mountain hymn from Dalarna (4:00)
11. Norsk dans nr.2 / Norwegian dance no.2 (2:27)
12. Munnspillfantasi over en gammel stevtone / Fantasia for mouth-organ on an old Norwegian folk-song, op.52 (6:16)
13. Impromptu (5:14)
14. Siesta (4:07)
15. Undervegs/going places (3:12)
16. Nordisk natt / Nordic night (4:56)
17. Gavotte en rondeau, from partita no.2, bwv 1006 (3:34)
18. Siciliana, from sonata in f major, hwv 369 (1:36)
19. Serenade, from trio in d, op.8, no.1: adagio (4:07)
20. Takk / Gratitude, op.62, no.2 (1:31)
21. Five pieces 1: Caprice (1:41)
22. Five pieces 2: Cradle song (2:47)
23. Five pieces 3: Country dance (1:43)
24. Five pieces 4: Threnody (3:13)
25. Five pieces 5: Russian dance (3:55)
26. Killingdans / Kid’s dance, from Haugtussa / The troll maiden, op.67 (1:06)