Here is an album for the upcoming fall/winter season: the Lithuanian pianist Egidijus Buozis has recorded a beautiful, almost engrossed album of three Lithuanian folksongs, one Danish folksong, and originals by producers Caecilie Norby and Lars Danielsson.
“I Went Out on A Summer Day” starts off in a somber and melancholic mood as a piano solo (almost) – perfect for the now dwindling summer days and nights. Even the newly composed songs here sound somehow folkloric, like the Caecilie composition “Two Flowers” where Egidijus is joined by the peaceful cello playing of Vytautas Sondeckis to make this an almost chamber-like sound. The chant-like vocals only add to the mystic mood here; the melody being very simple, like in a children’s song.
Lars adds the gimbri, a three-stringed lute, to the prodeedings here on “Chrass” and the uncanny, almost hymn-like track veers into some dark wood. And it is somehow no wonder that the adequate song title for one of the tracks is actually “Hymn” with mostly cello and piano making this almost sound like a dream. Some of the compositions here might have come directly from a 70s European film noir where atmosphere is much more important than action.
There is even some Stravinsky-ism here as the composer used the folksong “Tu Mano Seserele” at the beginning of his “Le Sacre du Printemps”, according to the liner notes. It is another creepy song with more of those eerie vocals by Caecilie. But wait, there is an electric instrument on the seventh cut here: “Sutartine”, a polyphonic Lithuanian folksong that was registered by the UNESCO as cultural heritage, has some (light) electric bass playing by Lars, captivating vocals, and a heavenly trumpet by Arve Henriksen.
Most of the tracks here simply show the very lyrical playing of the leader (like in “Choral” and “Cello Theme (Prelude)” and “Lights”) with more of that wonderful cello, some whimsical interludes (“Flying”, “Reminiscence”), and the rich musical heritage of Lithuania with its unpretentious and beautiful plainness, except maybe for “Through The Grove”, which is arranged here with an almost rock-induced verve.
In total, I can’t imagine linstening to this during the fading summer weeks here in Berlin with its still warm temperatures, but the next winter is certainly on its way!