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Music Web International (UK)This musically delightful recording is an experience well beyond just what the ear gathers.

November 10, 2020

Zane Turner, Music Web International

Whether listening to the music or reading the comprehensive, personal and introspective liner notes by Lars Hannibal, one instinctively concludes that this is a special recording. There is much more to music than just what the ear detects, and many of these unheard virtues are pursued in this recording.

Blue is a musical project which embraces the family of composer/guitarist Lars Hannibal: his ex-wife, the famed recorder player, Michala Petri and his daughters Agnete and Amalie. The title Blue was chosen because, for Hannibal, it reflects a specific state of mind: ‘the feeling where things flow freely and calmly in a light where both performers and listeners are equally open to let their thoughts and minds wander safely’. This same theme is re-enforced through the CD cover and liner note graphics. It even extends to the choice of instrumentation wherein only the lower-register members of the recorder family are employed. Although a classically trained musician, Lars Hannibal has a broad-based experience across several genres. During the 60s and 70s, while studying classical guitar and lute, he was very preoccupied with rock, jazz and Latin music, and wrote music for the bands in which he performed.

Hannibal has long been engaged in arranging music for the guitar, and expresses admiration for the great Catalan guitarist Miguel Llobet who made splendid arrangements of his native folk songs and piano music of his fellow countrymen. The pen of Hannibal is to be found in all of the music presented, either by way of composition or arrangement. Of the eighteen programme items the majority are for recorder and guitar; three are for quartet comprising cello, voice, guitar and recorder and the remainder are for guitar solo.
Hannibal notes: ‘my music is my personal voice, and in my music I am using my experience with different genres throughout my fifty years as a servant of music’. He also quotes the Greenlander, Orpingalik from the Netsilik people: ‘songs are thoughts that are sung-out with the breath when people are moved by great virtue, and regular speech no longer suffices’. In addition to the original three songs by Hannibal, he includes arrangements of eight folk songs highly favoured in Denmark.
The three original songs composed by Hannibal are arranged for quartet with the mellifluous voice of Amalie soaring above the instrumental accompaniment. The words of the songs are supplied in the liner notes and provide broader insight into just how deeply and emotionally Hannibal has sought to express himself, not just in music but also words. They are sung in English without trace of Danish accent, an admirable effort per se.

A good deal of technical information about the recording is supplied, also the instrumentation used. Michala Petri plays the following instruments on this recording:
Sub- Bass and Bass: Mollenhauer
Tenor: Moeck Ehlert, Mollenhauer Dream Tenor
Altos: Moeck Ehlert, Mollenhauer Modern.

One may assume that the guitar, from the hands of Kenneth Brøgger (1997), is a rather special instrument because it appears to have supplanted the beautiful guitar by Ignacio Fleta played on previous recordings by Hannibal. Kenneth Brøgger is a fellow countryman, and the leading Danish classical guitar maker of his generation. His creations are influenced by several great luthiers from the past, including Fleta.

This musically delightful recording is an experience well beyond just what the ear gathers. It is an insight into a very special musician, his feelings, perceptions and ambition to overarch all this with the participation of the most important people in his life: his family.

Zane Turner

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