Ola Backstrom,
(GIGA Folkmusik, 2005)

Ola Backstrom is a fine violin player known for his work with Swap (featuring Karen Tweed), the Simon Simonsson Kvartet, Den Fule, Virvla and Traton. He'd been working as a violin teacher and freelance musician for years, when he released his first all solo project Boggdansen in 2005.

The album features some rare tunes that have never before been published. He found them in transcriptions from Karl Sporr; the polskas, marches, waltzes and the title tune "Boggdansen," a rhythmic dance, are wonderful samples of Swedish folk music. The title track is also my favourite tune; I love the slow but accented rhythm and the beautiful melody.

All in all you can find 23 original tunes learned from different famous Swedish fiddle players. The custom of naming a tune after the fiddler one has learnt it from comes from the 19th century; Backstrom uses this custom and thus refers to names like Berg Gustaf, Dahlberg, Dalfors and more.

Backstrom plays these tunes with much skill, and his work with the bow produces a wonderfully clear tone. Backstrom says, "It's a never-ending quest for the fiddle. Even if I find something really good, maybe I won't be satisfied. I'm looking for the ultimate and perhaps it doesn't exist." So you can hear his virtuoso playing all over the CD, another highlight being "Sammeles Annas Brudpolska," a wonderful polska by Dalfors composed for Sammeles Anna's wedding.

The album is a precious collection of original old tunes perfectly interpreted by a fiddler who really cares for his music and his instrument.

review by
Adolf Goriup

24 May 2008

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