Those accustomed to Rypdal's jazz and jazz-rock albums may be startled when they discover his extensive work in orchestral composition, although in some ways Rypdal seems to take these pieces closest to heart. Begun in 1979, "Undisonus" (opus 23), a composition for violin and orchestra, slowly grew through additions and revisions over the course of a decade. The result here, recorded in London by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, is an amalgam of near-minimalist tonalities and bursts of lushly romantic violin solos. "Ineo" (opus 29) was originally penned by Rypdal for Danish radio with himself as the soloist on electric guitar; in this rendition it is a piece for choir and chamber orchestra. Rypdal lives in the Norway's Valley of Tresfjord, a favored natural haunt from his childhood. To describe "Ineo" in terms of the stark beauty of this mountainous terrain might seem facile -in fact, the author of the liner notes complains about this tendency among critics -- and yet as even Rypdal himself admits, it's almost impossible not to... especially since he chose a cover photo of snow-covered fjords.
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