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Slidel- Classical Reviews (UK)

July 17, 2021

Martin Slidel

New from OUR Recordings is ‘Ta’ Mig Med (Take Me Along)’ – a collection of ‘classical’ arrangements of songs by the late Danish musician Kim Larsen which translate very well. As the supremely gifted guitarist Jesper Sivebæk explains, “The arrangements… are a tribute to Kim Larsen’s melodies, but also to my instrument – the classical/Spanish guitar.”

Its opening track (using English titles for this review) ‘Lady Oh Lady’ sets the tone: faintly contemporary and faintly lyrical, and resting upon the pillow of tradition. ‘If Your Dad Says OK’ has a Bluesier edge yet in transcription could pass for a European folk song. ‘Lots of Success’ has the slower-paced melancholic air of an Italian film score, gradually building to (granted, Spanish) Albéniz-style riffs. ‘The Narrow Road’ proffers a chant-like journey, its melodic line blending into the accompaniment seamlessly.

‘Heaven’ offers an increase of rhythm, motion, and tempo not expected from its title. ‘Come Again’ is also simple and graceful. It is a tune so seemingly recognisable that it could be compared to some late Baroque minuet – if I only could put the name to it. To end, ‘Like a Touch of a Raindrop’ is accorded a different timbre, effecting the tone of rain, by allowing the note to resonate from a lighter touch. As lithely startling as its wonderful non-ending.

These are intricate yet vibrant arrangements, skilfully and delicately performed with elegant sparks of contrast. If not familiar with the composer’s work, there is an easy familiarity to the pieces which likely had no small part in their initial success. Jesper Sivebæk’s deceptively fluid style of performance is ultimately uplifting.– Martin Slidel