Musical midwinter. Review of “Vinterbilder” in Ringsaker Church, Dec.22nd 2011

Though each of them has their own role,  they are together in the sing-along, with a sympathetic audience. Anna Vada, Dennis Storhøi and Alexander Rybak.

Article published on , 22.12.2011

Text and photos by Paula Bjertnes

Link to original article ( with video ):

Found by Vigdis Nor. Translation Vigdis Nor.


Musical midwinter

Just before Christmas a lot of people managed to get into the right mood, thanks to the concert, “Winter Pictures”.


There is no shortage of concerts with commercial operators in the district. Yesterday’s concert could have fitted into the picture here. But fortunately it had the mark of originality and spontaneity, which made it well worth the visit.
Alexander Rybak stood for the spontaneity. He shifts constantly between being a funny kindergarten- uncle and a serious fiddler. All the time he communicated with his audience, well aware that everyone should catch everything, and everyone should feel seen. It’s a great quality that many experienced artists are missing. Hopefully,  Rybak will never let go of his playfulness.

Originality was first and foremost in the arrangements. It was generally known and beloved Christmas songs that passed the show, and they were dressed in new “clothes” (arrangements) , thanks to musical director Øystein Lund Olafsen. Rybak improvised freely on “The Christmas Song”. Guitarist Kjell Harald Litangen came with a tough solo in “Himmel i min favn” (Heaven in my arms) and the pianist himself,  did the work of the organ in a very free version of “Deilig er jorden” (Lovely is the earth). Here he whizzed through many keys, and was inspired by the moment. It was a real highlight, which told much about this man’s musicality.

Winter mood

Anne Vada appeared in everything as a solid singer, who does not miss a single key. Her expression is clear and very clean, and makes you lower the shoulders of many notches.
Actor Dennis Storhøi read texts and thus put an atmospheric setting for the Christmas celebration. The transitions of the songs were gradual, again thanks to the keyboard man.
The three main artists gave each their atmospheric picture of winter and Christmas. Anna Vada and Dennis Storhøi were here strong in words, and although Rybak could not live up to it, his image was not less evident because of that. Choosing a sing-along version of “Julekveldsvisa” (Christmas Eve song) was a genius move, in which he got the men in the audience to sing an octave higher than usual, and the ladies to sing at their lowest. To pinch the nose to mimic Prøysen’s voice,  only Rybak can get away with.
It was this sense of humor combined with deeper lyrics, clear vocals and elegant music that made the concert a great experience. All this in a very beautiful color- set church-room, which was almost full.

Video from the article, by Paula Bjertnes.

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