Gro Marie Svidal meets us with excellent, sparkling Hardanger fiddling in her 2009 debut album. This is a production that provides more than folk music documentation and fact. We are exposed to convincing fiddling skills and sure
stylistic expression combined with a wealth of detail and relaxed playfulness. Gro Marie has a solid base in traditional performance but allows herself the luxury of looking upward and outward in today’s musical landscape. This is clearly demonstrated in her personal interpretations of Hardanger fiddle tunes. Gro Marie plays repertoire, both common and less known, from the Western Norwegian fjord provinces of Sogn og Fjordane and Hordaland, especially the regions of Jølster and Sunnfjord. The tunes are presented in a tasteful sequence on the CD, providing the listener with variation and contrast that reinforces an experience of the Hardanger fiddle’s warm sound. In summary, this is a brilliant album that will continue to shine for many years to come, within the flora of good Norwegian folk music albums. The artist’s own words: .The old Hardanger fiddle tunes on this CD are ones I have learned from transcriptions and recordings, and directly from other fiddlers. My interpretations are firmly grounded in tradition but are also influenced by the times in which I live and people I have met. Most of the tunes are from Sunnfjord and Jølster in western Norway, where I grew up. It has been natural for me to include also some tunes from other areas. Some may be familiar; others are presented in a new way. I hope you will enjoy the music, and the little story each tune has to tell.