A Suite Of Poems (Lars Saabye Christensen) Ketil Bjørnstad

Cover A Suite Of Poems (Lars Saabye Christensen)

Album info



Label: ECM Records

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Vocal

Artist: Ketil Bjørnstad

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)

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  • 1Mayflower, New York03:26
  • 2Duxton, Melbourne05:11
  • 3Kempinski, Berlin04:56
  • 4L’Hotel, Paris03:48
  • 5Palace, Copenhagen05:09
  • 6Astor Crowne, New Orleans03:12
  • 7The Grand, Krakow03:49
  • 8Palazzo Londra, Venice03:58
  • 9Vier Jahreszeiten, Hamburg03:22
  • 10Savoy, Lisbon05:06
  • 11Mayday Inn, Hong Kong05:11
  • 12Lutetia, Paris04:09
  • 13Schloss Elmau03:26
  • Total Runtime54:43

Info for A Suite Of Poems (Lars Saabye Christensen)

Settings of poetry and other literary texts form a special category in the discography of Norwegian pianist-composer Ketil Bjørnstad's and A Suite of Poems, recorded at Oslo's Rainbow Studio in June 2016, is a song cycle to put alongside such projects as A Passion for John Donne, Sunrise, and The Light.

Norwegian-Danish author Lars Saabye Christensen is one of Scandinavia's most widely-praised contemporary writers. For many years now, in the course of his travels around the globe, Christensen has been sending "hotel poems" to Ketil Bjørnstad, a friend from their teenage years, inviting him to make music out of them. "I started writing music to his poems more than 20 years ago," says Ketil in his liner note for this album. "His ability to expose the inner conflicts we all bring with us in our suitcases is striking."

Christensen literary postcards explore a range of moods. Bjørnstad, who is also a writer himself, says: "I feel very connected to the lonely, existential perspective of these poems, made in different hotel rooms." For this recording, Ketil worked closely with singer and actress Anneli Drecker, former lead vocalist of pop group Bel Canto.

Ketil Bjornstad, piano
Anneli Drecker, vocals

Ketil Bjørnstad
described as “a cultural prodigy” by The Guardian’s John Fordham, started out as a classical pianist, making his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic, playing Bartók. Encounters with jazz of the late 1960s, especially Miles and Coltrane, changed his priorities and he was fascinated also by the new Norwegian improvising scene that ECM was documenting. Soon he switched streams and began playing with the jazz men. Simultaneously he has maintained a career as a respected writer with many books to his credit – novels, poems, essays and more.

Ketil Bjørnstad’s recent ECM releases have included “Life In Leipzig” with Terje Rypdal, the song cycle “The Light” with Randi Stene and Lars Anders Tomter, and “Remembrance” with Tore Brunborg and Jon Christensen.

Bjørnstad’s recordings have been incorporated in the soundtracks of numerous films, including several by Jean-Luc Godard: “Notre Musique”, “The Old Place”, “Histoire(s) du Cinéma”, “Forever Mozart” and “Eloge de L’amour”.

After playing double-bass with the Oslo Philharmonic Orcherstra and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, Svante Henryson (born in Stockholm in 1963) effected an about-turn in his career and joined Yngwie Malmsteen’s band as bass guitarist in 1989. This led to much session work and collaborations in the pop world, and Henryson has appeared on recordings of Stevie Wonder, Ryan Adams and Elvis Costello, amongst others.

Self-taught as cellist, he has collaborated with many jazz musicians including Jon Balke, Nils Petter Molvaer, Trygve Seim, Arve Henriksen, Marilyn Mazur and Arild Andersen. In classical contexts he often works with Anne Sofie von Otter and has directed her tours of North America, Europe and Asia. As a composer he has written music for ensembles of all sizes – from symphony orchestra to chamber groups.

Booklet for A Suite Of Poems (Lars Saabye Christensen)

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