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The Swedish label Compunctio first release in four years is connected to the season of Lent, a limited-edition, hand-made EP of tenor sax player Andreas W Andersson playing short sacred compositions of Swedish Lutheran music composer Sven-Erik Bäck (1919–1994).

Bäck belonged to the the free, or pietist, churches – congregational denominations outside the Swedish State Church. He is known due to his large and varied oeuvre of sacred works: hymns, passions, motets, cantatas, and settings of the Mass. Andersson plays with the free-improv trio Plunge, collaborated with prominent Scandinavian musicians such as pianists Bobo Stenson and Sten Sandell, percussionist Marilyn Mazur and reeds player Fredrik Ljungkvist, and has written music for big bands, theatre and documentary movies.

«Bäck» was recorded on February 2015 at the Scargill House Chapel in the Yorkshire Dales, England and features Andersson solo sax interpretations of lenten and paschal hymns by Bäck. The spacious hall, Andersson contemplative, warm tone and his sparse and reserved delivery stress Bäck focus on reflection. Andersson added three miniatures where he improvises on melodic motifs from Bäck’s compositions.

Only 14 minutes, but all radiate rare, austere beauty.

Eyal Hareuveni

Andreas W Andersson (ts)

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