The Image Of Melancholy / Bjarte Eike, Barokksolistene

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This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.

Conceived by the baroque violinist Bjarte Eike for his period band Barokksolistene, this programme is his very personal ‘image of melancholy’. As he writes in his liner notes, ‘for me, melancholy is not only synonymous with sadness and despair, it is a state also harbouring reflection, meditation and relief.’ The connection between music and melancholy is far from new – at least since the time of the ancient Greeks, and probably long before them, there has been a belief that music has the power to influence our mood, to alleviate sadness or melancholy – or to induce it. Melancholy has at various times been the height of fashion – think of John Dowland, whose motto was: ‘Semper Dowland, semper dolens’ (‘always Dowland, always mourning’). Dowland is of course included here, as is his near-contemporary Anthony Holborne – but there are also a number of later pieces, as well as folk music from Eike’s native Norway and elsewhere. This music, writes Eike, ‘does not belong to any particular style, nationality or period in time; it’s rather a string of tunes that have all had a personal significance to me, and that together form a musical matrimony between a Nordic melancholy, the rich sounds of the Elizabethan consort and a modern approach to music-making.’ Joined by the soprano Berit Norbakken Solset and by the jazz pianist Jon Balke, Eike and his ensemble have created an intensely atmospheric and highly suggestive disc, which richly lives up to its motto – a quote by Victor Hugo: ‘Melancholy is the pleasure of being sad.’


Product Description:


  • Catalog Number: BIS-2057


  • UPC: 7318599920573


  • Label: BIS


  • Composer: ["Anthony Holborne, Bjarte Eike, Dietrich Buxtehude, Heinrich Ignaz Biber, Johann Sommer, Jon Balke, Niel Gow, Ruairi "Dall" O Cathain, Traditional, William Byrd"]


  • Conductor: Bjarte Eike


  • Orchestra/Ensemble: Barokksolistene


  • Performer: Berit Norbakken Solset, Bjarte Eike, Jon Balke, Milos Valent