Album: Nils Okland, Sigbjorn Apeland, Hommage a Ole Bull (ECM)

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The Independent Culture

With Norway on one's mind, the austere yet deeply soulful and melancholy music here can sound almost distressingly apt. Ole Bull was a 19th-century violinist who was heavily influenced by his native folk music. Recorded at Bull's summer island home, the repertoire comprises versions of his themes, traditional folk-songs, and originals by Okland on violin and Hardanger fiddle, and Apeland playing his restored piano and harmonium. It's beautiful, sepulchral stuff.