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Sofienberg Variations by Christian Wallumrod Ensemble

This Norwegian piano-violin-trumpet-drums quartet pursues crossover classical/jazz iterations, amid a chamber-like aura. Pianist Christian Wallumrod directs the band thru fifteen semi-austere tone poems via a sensitive touch. And while there may not be a hugely noticeable jazz element, the soloists do engage in softly executed improvisational forays. With this release, you’ll be treated to sanguine themes and counter-harmonies by the horns and strings witnessed on "Memor," for example. Saxophonist Trygve Seim joins the outfit on three pieces, whereas trumpeter Arve Henriksen - armed with a soft but pronounced tone - frequently partakes in counterpoint type movements with his band-mates. All told, this recording moves rather leisurely, but this element serves as the building block for a variety of emotively conveyed sentiments. Moreover, the entire production features haunting melodies, solemn musings, and a contemplative outlook. As if the musicians’ were yearning for hope. This classically oriented program contains a good deal of soul inspiring performances. Hence, a notion that often serves as the antithesis of the classical music genre, when viewed upon as an entity.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Christian Wallumrod Ensemble
  • CD Title: Sofienberg Variations
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: ECM Records
  • Tracks: Sofienberg Variations: fifteen pieces
  • Musicians: Christian Wallumrod (piano, harmonium), Nils Okland (violin, Hardanger fiddle) Arve Henriksen (trumpet), Per Oddvar Johansen (drums) Trygve Seim (tenor sax on selected tracks)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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