Annbjørg Lien

Waltz with Me

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It's been quite a while since the world at large heard anything from Norwegian fiddler Annbjørg Lien. This international lineup documents the work she wrote for the Telemark Festival, a series of pieces, both instrumentals and songs. Lien herself sticks to the hardanger fiddle, and the music has a curious mix of her native country with American old-time, where the accents are provided by Bruce Molsky. His playing is wonderful, although his singing doesn't compare with guest Kirsten Bråten Berg. There are wonderful interactions between the instruments, and a lot of the music takes unusual turns, as on "Masques" and "The Old Car," but never more so than on "Dancing the Years All Away," with its slightly lurching rhythm where the melody and the vocal lines almost pull away from each other in a mesmerizing fashion. It's not as obviously forward-looking as some of Lien's other work, and here she becomes part of the ensemble, not the star, but in its own quieter way, it's just as adventurous and satisfying.

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