The latest Opus3 SACD is ‘Across the Bridge of Hope’, featuring the Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble. It’s the company’s thirteenth hybrid disc and their eighth multi-channel 2/2.0 title.
The Erik Westberg Vocal Ensemble was founded in 1993 and consists of sixteen singers, all of whom are active as soloists, church musicians or music teachers in the north of Sweden. In 1996 the choir participated in the Symposium of Nordic Church Musicians in Gothenburg with Eric Ericson as guest conductor and in the same year released their first CD ‘Musica Sacra’, which is now also available as an SACD from Opus3. The ensemble has embarked on fifteen tours of Europe, Asia and South America and at the international choir competitions of 1996, held in Takarazuka, Japan, won the first prizes for best mixed choir and best choir.
Choir members include sopranos Anna-Karin Цquist, Christina Fridolfsson, Annette Tholйn and Eva Plumppu, altos Kerstin Eriksson, Christina Lindberg, Ewa Grahn-Rosell and Pia Olofsson, tenors Bert-Ola Jonsson, Anders Eriksson, Цrjan Larsson and Urban Tholйn, basses Ewerth Richardsson, Per Brдnnstrцm, Anders Pettersson and Kjell Sцderberg.
The new disc (cat no. CD 22012) also features conductor Erik Westberg, boy treble Alexander Linott, a former chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, key-fiddle player Torbjцrn Nдsbom and Anders Еstrand, one of Sweden’s most outstanding percussionists whose group, the Global Percussion Network has also released SACD titles on the Opus3 label.
The traditional Swedish key-fiddle (the Nyckel harpa) plays a large part in the recording, but the selection is diverse, from Oskar Lindberg’s ‘Pingst’, the hymns of Otto Olsson and Thomas Jennefelt’s rhythmic ‘Claviante Brilioso’ to the unique music of Lapland, ‘Biegga Luohte’, complete with the sounds of barking dogs, animal calls and birdsong.
The September 2001 recording was supported by the Lдngeman Entrepreneural Foundation, Piteе Municipality, the Swedish National Council for Cultural Affairs, the Foundation Culture of the Future, the Luleд University of Technology, School of Music in Piteе and the Barents International Centre for Choral Music.