Lennart Gybrant
& Anders Norudde,
Bondernas Underverk
(GIGA Folkmusik, 2005)

Anders Svensson,
Bara for Ros Skull
(GIGA Folkmusik, 2005)

Bara for Ros Skull (Just For Fun) is a CD of 25 solo fiddle tunes of Swedish folk music. Anders Svensson comes from a family of fiddlers, and has been playing since age 6. There are a number of polskas and waltzes (the polska is a dance that is not related to polka).

Although many of the songs are for dancing, they are a bit more introspective and less lively than their American folk counterparts. The accompanying booklet, both in Swedish and English, gives the story behind each song.

Svensson is an expert violinist. However, since he is the only musician, the tracks tend to sound alike after a point. Despite the excellent presentation, this CD may only appeal to listeners who have a special interest in fiddle playing or in this genre of music.

Bondernas Underverk (Farmer's Miracle) has 26 folk songs from the Visnum area of Sweden. They are mostly fiddle duets. There is at least one violin on all but one of the tunes (the other has only mouth organ). On many of them, one fiddle is low tuned.

There are 10 tracks where Anders Norudde uses a moraharpa. This is a Swedish keyed fiddle, where the keys are used for fretting. Norudde is perhaps the best-known performer on this instrument. Lennart Gybrant plays slide guitar and mouth organ on some tracks, and Norudde plays harjedalspipa (a type of flute) on one.

The CD booklet is also in Swedish and English, and gives the origin of each song.

Two players and varied instruments give this CD more variety, but the songs are similar due to the style of playing, with one player generally complementing the melody of the other. It may only appeal to those who have a particular interest in Scandinavian folk music.

by Dave Howell
25 November 2006