On five previous discs the astonishing tuba player Øystein Baadsvik has demonstrated his incredible versatility as a musician, while at the same time establishing that ‘anything a violin can do, a tuba can do too’, to quote a review in the Daily Telegraph of his first disc on BIS, Tuba Carnival. As Baadsvik writes in his own liner notes to the present disc: ‘Every tuba player soon learns to live with people’s “oompah-oompah” prejudices, but rarely have these been challenged more boldly than here. Never before has there been a Christmas record with symphony orchestra, women’s choir and tuba!’ The programme consists of lavish arrangements of Baadsvik’s own international and Nordic Christmas favourites. As befits the season, the offering contains a few surprises as well – such as Eatnemen Vuelie, inspired by joik, the traditional singing of the Sami people, and a snowy version of Baadsvik’s own piece Fnugg (‘flakes’), with elements of beat-boxing as well as the sound of the Australian didgeridoo. With the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra lending the music all the variety and uplift that only a large orchestra can provide, and the glittering voices of the Cantus choir adding a festive glow, Baadsvik’s tuba carries the day – atmospheric and joyous, tuneful and meditative by turns.
Øystein Baadsvik tuba
Cantus Tove Ramlo-Ystad chorus-master [all tracks except 1, 11, 13 & 14]
Trondheim Symphony Orchestra conducted by Torodd Wigum [all tracks except 5 & 10]
Baadsvik plays the amorous troubadour amid Jack Frost delicacy and inglenook warmth.
Baadsvik sounds like Nina Simone, just two octaves deeper. One of the most unpredictable and stimulating Christmas CDs I’ve heard in years.
It is a true joy to hear the interaction between the orchestra, the choir and the soloist. They are creating highlight after highlight with wonderful music.