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På skive


«Unchangeable Seasons»

The second solo piano album of Andreas Ulvo, known from the Eple Trio and his continuous collaboration with sax player Karl Seglem, marks a new beginning in his rich career. It is the debut, limited-edition album  (100 vinyls plus a digital format) of his newly-founded label, SoundCanBeSeen. It is also the first album that feature him singing and the first one that offers his interpretations of music from the classical repertoire. But more than that, it marks Ulvo deeper realization about the roles of music, musician and listener: «the composer didn’t invent music; it was always there, as a potential sound. No one can copyright sound. Music is like improvising universe; it has neither beginning nor an end».

Ulvo writes that he was inspired by old recordings of the Romanian pianist Dinu Lipatti (1917-1950) who played classical music with a unique sense of awareness with a spontaneous quality, totally integrating himself with the music. That kind of approach appealed to Ulvo who never seeked a perfection in music, saying it is merely «an illusion of the mind».

Ulvo chose to interpret short compositions of Erik Satie,  George Frideric Händel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, fellow Norwegian composer Harald Sæverud and Federico Mompu and to abstract on another composition of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg. He adds brief improvisations, dozens of seconds each, between the classical compositions, as if extending its ideas a few second more, making them his own.

True to his approach, all the music, interpreted or freely improvised, reflect Ulvo qualities as a highly original musician. His unique sense of space and time, his sound that seeks to get deeper and deeper into the essence of any musical motive and his vision, as an artist who is a gifted storyteller and skilled photographer (he shot the cover photo). It is obvious when he plays Satie meditative «Gymnopédie no.1» and «Gnossienne no.4», but also in his reserved pathos when interpreting Händel «Siciliana from Concerto Grosso in C minor, Opus 6, no.8, HWV326», his playful, rhythmic abstraction of Mozart «Rondo alla turca, piano sonata no.11 in A major, K.331» or in the contemplative manner that builds the tension in the dramatic «Kjempevise-slåtten, op.22a, no.5» by Sæverud, adding in all his piece soft, wordless vocals..

The title piece, the only song, inspired by Grieg popular «Morning mood», originally written for Henrik Ibsen’s «Peer Gynt» play, solidifies the thematic cohesiveness of this most beautiful album. This moving song is linked to Sæverud composition, who also composed music to Ibsen’s «Peer Gynt». Ulvo fragile, unassuming vocals radiate a sense of sober melancholy, a deep understanding that if you strive for perfection in a relationship, you will end up feeling miserable. It is followed by Satie and Mompu «Musica callada, cuaderno 1, placide», all now sounding resonating previous motives and ideas.

Warmly recommended.

Eyal Hareuveni

Andreas Ulvo (p, v)

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