Kvarplekar, by Roland Keijser and Anders Rosén
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Roland Keijser and Anders Rosén
Kvarplekar (Hurv Musik, Sweden)
$17.99

Swedish duo (two clarinets) strikes a blow for musical freedom and ingenuity. 'New' folk tunes composed by the musicans, 31 of them, all on two clarinets.

The artists' say: "Kvarpa" is an old Swedish music-slang word for clarinet. In English it should maybe be a 'quarp,' whatever you make out of that word. Anyway we feel we are closer to playing the quarps than the clarinets.

You might also want to check out Ulf Störling & Roland Keijser's Kringliga Lĺtar, duets for fiddle and clarinet.

The record label tells their story:
Roland Keijser and Anders Rosén were heard together for the first time in 1975 on one of the most well-known folk-music recordings of the progressive music movement, Forsens lĺt, which we may translate as 'The Song of the Rapids'.

Since then they have played together from time to time to give fresh new ideas an airing, ideas which have often enough created a new style - we could just mention that the soprano sax would hardly have had its position in Swedish folk music without Roland's contribution, nor the Swedish violins and violas with sympathetic strings, those sisters of the Hardanger fiddle, without that of Anders.

So this new record too promises to create a new style of leading rank, by striking a blow for the clarinet in Swedish folk music - an instrument which nowadays, surprisingly enough considering its history, has almost been a little looked-down upon. So there is enjoyment for the listener on many sides: Roland's and Anders' fans can at last hear them together again, and that in a highly unexpected way; clarinet-lovers have a real 'goodie' to look forward to; and those who thought that Swedish folk music could only be played on violins and keyed-fiddles - well, today, perhaps also on soprano saxes and mandolas - can discover a whole new world of sound.

"Swedish"? - perhaps that doesn't quite cover it, for the tunes, composed by the two musicians, sound almost as if they have come from an imaginary land somewhere between north and east, and from a time which is hard to determine. It almost sounds as if the Vikings' old settlement of Gĺrdarike far away on the banks of the Volga had survived in some little corner without anyone knowing about it, and that in the ale-houses - or the tea-rooms - there had been a jam-session, with far-roaming fiddlers from the Swedish valleys in the north and camel drivers from the east.

The booklet is only in Swedish.

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