Magazine article Gramophone

'The Alehouse Sessions': Traditional Tunes and Arrangements

Magazine article Gramophone

'The Alehouse Sessions': Traditional Tunes and Arrangements

Article excerpt

'The Alehouse Sessions'

Traditional Tunes and Arrangements

The Alehouse Boys / Bjarte Eike vn

Rubicon (F) RCD1017 (51' * DDD)

There are some things you just can't fake. The chemistry of a group is one of those--the sparks of musical energy that fly when certain artists collide. Bjarte Eike's Barokksolistene is an alchemical miracle of an ensemble, a collective of virtuosos whose instinctive, playful communication and delight in one another's skill amplifies their individual performances, transforming them into pure musical gold.

In addition to their formal concerts of Baroque repertoire, Eike and his colleagues have, since 2007, developed another strand of performances. Inspired by the music-making of Commonwealth England, when theatres were closed and music forced underground into taverns, brothels and alehouses, their Alehouse Sessions create their own mongrel genre, combining 17th-century classical music with dances, sea shanties and folk songs from around the world. The players all sing, dance, tell stories and jokes, and the result are performances that have an anarchic, organic spirit all their own.

Until now Eike has kept the Alehouse Sessions strictly as live events but the project's 10th anniversary has finally generated a studio recording. …

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