Christmas Dreams On 13 Strings

Album cover art for upc 7318599920269
Label: BIS
Catalog: SACD2026
Format: SACD / CD Hybrid

Anders Miolin, 13-string guitar

Stille Nacht (Fr. X. Gruber); Good King Wenceslas (trad.); Lulajze, Jezuniu (trad.); Noël nouvelet (trad.) / Un flambeau, Jeannette, Isabelle (trad.); V lesu rodilas elochka (L. K. Beckmann) / Nu tändas tusen juleljus (E. Köhler); Es wird schon gleich dunkel (trad.) / Adeste fideles (J. Fr. Wade); Convidando está la noche (J. García de Zéspedes); Les Anges dans nos campagnes (trad.); Maria durch ein Dornwald ging (trad.) / Canzone d'l zampognari (trad.); It came upon the midnight clear (Arthur Sullivan); In dulci jubilo (trad.) / I Saw Three Ships (trad.); Baloo Lammy (trad.) / Balulalow (Peter Warlock); Azure Christmas (Anders Miolin); Stellæ nocte hibernali somniantes (Anders Miolin)

Of all the world's religious festivals, Christmas is probably the most universal and all-inclusive. When the angels appeared to the shepherds outside of Bethlehem, they announced peace on earth and good will toward all mankind - and according to the legend they did so with music. The songs of Christmas have thus become a truly international common heritage, as demonstrated by the famous Christmas Truce in 1914 when soldiers on both sides of the battlefield near Ypres in Belgium spontaneously laid down their weapons and joined in the singing of Silent Night, in three languages. When making his selection of songs and creating his fantasies on them, Anders Miolin's aim has been to convey this universality. Not only has he included songs from Russia and Poland, as well as Scotland, Mexico and his native Sweden, in his adaptations of them he also employs a wide variety of styles. His own two compositions also reflect this aspect: Azure Christmas is a memory of a Christmas he celebrated on Martinique, with singing and drumming in the rain forest at a temperature of 35°C, while Stellæ nocte hibernali somniantes ('Winter Night Dreaming Stars') catches the experience of 'standing in the snow looking up at the clear winter sky, with all its twinkling stars dreaming on our behalf'. On a number of acclaimed discs, Anders Miolin has recorded his own arrangements of music by composers such as Ravel, Debussy and Granados, performing them on 10-string guitar. Together with the Swiss luthier Ermanno Chiavi he has now developed an instrument with 13 strings. The fantasias included on 'Christmas Dreams' have all been composed with the possibilities of this instrument in mind: a range of five full octaves, and a more powerful sound and wider dynamic spectrum than a traditional guitar.

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