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Ladies Only Café Strings
Recorded at Örebro Konserthus 11-13 June 2001

NAXOS 8.557177 [50.31]



Crotchet Budget price

Noveltyflickan [1.56]
Misty [5.07]
Filosofisk Dixieland [2.30]
All of me [2.34]
Stardust [4.46]
Splanky [2.39]
Iím in the mood for love [2.46]
Rattjakt for tva [3.20]
Angel Eyes [3.06]
"Geasapegen" [2.22]
Hello Dolly [1.37]
Con amore [3.25]
Novelty Accordeon [2.00]
Zigenarens serenad [4.08]
How high the Moon/Ornithology [1.57]
Revydags [1.54]
Botvid/Lite grand fran ovan [1.40]
Copacabana [1.33]


Ladies Only Café Strings is a seven-piece ensemble consisting of three violins, two violas, cello and double bass, all the players coming from the ranks of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, and with a regular spots on Scandinavian TV for their music of a lighter vein, called Caféprograms and Melodifestivalen. In a variety of styles ranging from Jules Caty to Barry Manilow, Errol Garner to Hoagy Carmichael, and with classical textures super-imposed on Tin Pan Alley, Jazz and Bop, this is a programme of skilfully arranged music to sit back and enjoy. One gets the impression of players released from the environs of salon music in the Palm Court Hotel, and letting their hair down in finger-clicking numbers, before returning to the suavely sophisticated sounds of ĎIím in the mood for loveí or the pseudo-Edwardian waltz Con amore (this is lovingly played and by far the best track). Occasional forays into the less usual treatment of the instruments (such as pizzicato, col legno, harmonics) would vary the sound more, but the quicker numbers are sure-fire winners such as Novelty Accordeon, and some sparse orchestration of just top and bottom (violin and bass) instruments effective; itís good to hear a viola in both uncharacteristic surroundings and uninhibited mood, while this talented ensembleís leader makes the most of her Gypsy Serenade by giving her playing lashings of Scandinavian goulash. It takes fifteen tracks before the bass player gets her solo spot in How high the Moon, but the cellist fares better here and elsewhere. Itís only the last track Copacabana where the group venture beyond the string-only sound, the disc could have done with more of this in the hunt for more variety.

A translation of the seven Swedish titles among the eighteen tracks would have been helpful, but as a friend kindly helped me out, I am happy to pass them on as follows

Noveltyflickan The novelty girl
Filosofisk Dixieland Philosophic Dixieland
Råttjakt för två Rat chase for two
ĎGeåsapeågení Goose-boy
Zigenarens serenad Gypsy serenade
Revydags Cabaret time
Botvid/Lite grand från ovan Botvid (a name)/A little bit from above

Christopher Fifield

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