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Benedicte Maurseth//




Knut Hamre, Hardanger fiddle

Benedicte Maurseth, Hardanger fiddle

Sigbjørn Apeland, organ

Nils Økland, viola d'amore

Håkon Mørch Stene, percussion




Pioneer Work in Norwegian Folk Music.
Old instruments and traditional music are more than curiosities in the museum! Rosa i botnen is a pioneer work that employs both old music traditions as well as instrumental traditions. Knut Hamre and Benedicte Maurseth are behind this first recording ever to use the oldest preserved Hardanger fiddles in Norway, created by the fiddle makers Ole Jonsen Jaastad, Isak and Trond Botnen in Hardanger in the years 1651–1751.


During the work with Rosa i botnen there has been a goal to recreate the original sound of fiddles to the greatest extent possible. But with old instruments, this is not problem-free. The technical challenges, however, has only inspired musicians to "relearn" and to try approaching the old fiddle tunes from Hardanger with their own experiences, thoughts and feelings.

The result is a unique setting for the traditional music from Hardanger, performed both solo and in ensemble.

"He who empties the bowl will see the rose at the bottom."                                                                              Olav H. Hauge.

Traditional Instruments
It has been the aim on Rosa i botnen to recreate as near as possible the original sound of the fiddles. Working with these old instruments, however, is not entirely without its problems. But the technical challenges have only served to inspire the musicians to “think afresh” and approach the old instrumental folk music of Hardanger applying their experience, thoughts and feelings. This CD/DVD recording shows that the old instruments and traditional music are much more than museum curiosa. The instrumental music from Hardanger is performed both by soloists and ensemble. Performers: Knut Hamre and Benedicte Maurseth (Hardanger fiddle), Nils Økland (viola d’amore), Håkon Mørch Stene (percussion), and Sigbjørn Apeland (organ).


The Fiddles
The oldest fiddle known to exist in Norway is Jaastad-fela (the Jaastad fiddle), and it is generally agreed that this is an early variant of the Hardingfele (Hardanger fiddle), Norway’s national instrument. Even as early as the 1700s Hardanger’s violin makers were renowned for their instruments of high quality. There has been some uncertainty about the date of the Jaastad fiddle, although recent research indicates that there is little cause to doubt its age. The Hardanger fiddles on this recording were made between 1651 and 1751 by violin makers Ole Jonsen Jaastad of Ullensvang, as well as father and son Isak Botnen and Trond Flatebø from Kvam.


The Organ
The organ on this recording, one of the oldest in Norway in working condition, was built by Jonas Rosendal during the first half of the 18th centrury. It was situated in Hof church in Østre Toten from 1723 to 1870; it was subsequently acquired by the Norwegian Folk Museum and restored by the Danish organ builder Mads Kjersgaard in 1979. Since the organ has 8 stops and quite a powerful sound, only the softest stops were suitable for accompanying the instruments on this recording.
                                    Knut Hamre and Benedicte Maurseth

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