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Polska in Uppland & Southern Sweden

Laurie Hart, Stefhan Ohlström, Andrew VanNorstrand

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Volume 2 of the Scandinavian Fiddle Tradition series:
27 polskas with Laurie Hart (fiddle, nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy), Stefhan Ohlström (fiddle, viola), Andrew VanNorstrand (guitar, bouzouki) and guest Harald Pettersson (hurdy-gurdy). All instrumental. 2011.

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Reviews

"The two CDs are like perfect gems, beautiful to listen to.  Of course now I want a hurdy-gurdy (just kidding)...it sounds terrific." -- Tia 

"Sexdrega is my absolute favorite track in the series to date.  When I first heard this album, I was playing it in the car.  I hit that track and just kept hitting "back" to play it over and over again, and came running into my friends' house saying, "Here, put this in your CD 
player RIGHT NOW!!!"" --Melissa

"I like it very much! I'll start out learning the cheerful tunes (like Polska efter Axel Axelsson) and as I listen more I'll be captivated by subtler stranger ones. The guitar harmony is very pretty." -- Catharine 

"The CD has grooves in it from overuse already!  It is beautiful, Laurie.  I love the addition of the hurdy-gurdy." -- Sandy, dance instructor 

"One of the Bondpolskas was particularly sweet, and there were a couple of slängpolskas that had compelling drive.  You could make a whole dance party out of this CD." -- Jim , dance instructor

"I also wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your set with Stefhan. The two of you weave notes together into a gorgeous tapestry, and are so in synch with your dynamics and phrasing it's as if one magical fiddler was playing. Beautiful." -- fiddler/teacher Hope Grietzer

Laurie's French hurdy gurdy (vevlira), with Andrew on guitar

Laurie's French hurdy gurdy (vevlira), with Andrew on guitar

guest Harald Pettersson and his hurdy gurdy

guest Harald Pettersson and his hurdy gurdy

Instructional version SFT vol 2

Laurie Hart, Stefhan Ohlström, Andrew VanNorstrand

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The same album but with foot-tapping so you can easily find the polska beat, with Stefhan announcing the titles in Swedish, and melody and harmony in separate channels for music-minus-one practice.

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Stefhan Ohlström, Laurie Hart, Andrew VanNorstrand

Stefhan Ohlström, Laurie Hart, Andrew VanNorstrand

About the album

The second of 5 albums in my Scandinavian series,  this album features polskas from the southern half of Sweden, as duets on various combinations of instruments.  The compelling rhythms within this region -- bondpolskas from Uppland, slängpolskas from the east and south, triplet polskas from the west -- all make irresistible dance music.

Laurie Hart, melody fiddle, nyckelharpa, hurdy-gurdy 
Stefhan Ohlström, harmony fiddle, viola 
Andrew VanNorstrand, guitar, bouzouki 

and special guest Harald Pettersson, solo hurdy-gurdy (vevlira) tracks 15 & 26.

New to our core group of SFT musicians is the gifted trad multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer Andrew VanNorstrand, who also plays on Volume 3.  I first met Andrew when he was a young teen, and I advised him, his mom Kim and brother Noah when they were recording their first Great Bear Trio contradance album.  Within a few years, Stefhan and I were playing for his wedding, and Andrew and I were co-teaching and performing Scandinavian music together at Ashokan Northern Week and beyond.  Andrew was the obvious choice when I decided to add guitar backup to my SFT recordings, being one of the few players this side of Sweden who could not only manage this quirky, varied repertoire, but make it shine.  He grew up nearby in Central New York, but has now moved to Vermont.

Credits

Produced by Laurie Hart 
Eklundapolska used by permission.  All other tunes public domain.
Recorded by Will Russell at Electric Wilburland Studio, Newfield NY 
Stefhan Ohlström, cover photograph 
Barbara Tefft, graphic design

Laurie & Stefhan

Laurie & Stefhan

Notes on the music 

Note on translations and the types of polskas: 
efter = after, in the style of 
från = from 
16-dels = 16th-note 
8-dels = 8th-note 
bondpolska = farmer’s polska (an 8th-note polska type) 
slängpolska = an even-beat 16th-note pan-Swedish couple dance from the 1700s & 1800s, formerly called polonäs = polonaise.  Many slängpolska tunes survived although the dance went extinct in most places and has been resurrected.  Older variants are danced on the spot (fläckpolska) rather than moving around the room. 

The polskas from Värmland, Dalsland and Bohuslän are not slängpolskas but rather triplet-type polskas (triolpolskor) and are used to accompany several distinct dances.  The kort-trea (short 3rd beat) polska is a particularly unusual rhythmic type from the Finnskog, the Swedish-Norwegian border area. 

Included below in bold are suggestions for which Swedish polska dances go with which tunes.  Let me know if you have other suggestions. 

Uppland 16th note polska: can be used to dance Bingsjöpolska 

1. Polska efter Jon Erik Schedin från Tärnsjö (1874 or 1876-1966) - nyckelharpa/guitar 

2. Eklundapolska nr 2, 16-dels polska by Viksta-Lasse (Leonard Larsson från Viksta, 1897-1983, used with permission) - fiddle/fiddle 

3. DeGeers 16-dels polska efter Ceylon Wallin (1922-1984), efter Gustaf Gustafsson från Knypplan - nyckelharpa/fiddle 

Uppland bondpolska: for Bondpolska från Viksta or Stigpolska från Uppland 

4. Tierpspolskan, bondpolska efter Johan Bohlin (1841-1916, father of August Bohlin) - nyckelharpa/viola 

5. Bondpolska efter Båtsman Däck (“Boatman” J. Däck), efter Ceylon Wallin - nyckelharpa/guitar 

6. Hej, Faderi Skubbergar’n, bondpolska från Tierp efter Eric Sahlström (1912-1986) and his brothers, who learned it from Sme-Jan, who had it from Skubbergar’n (Söderström från Skubberget) - nyckelharpa/fiddle 

Södermanland: for Slängpolska från Södermanland 

7. Slängpolska efter Ellika Frisell - nyckelharpa/guitar 

8. Slängpolska efter Axel Axelsson från Östtorp - fiddle/bouzouki 

Västmanland 

9. Flickan sade hon var mö (the girl said she was a virgin) efter Snickar-August, vispolska (song-polska, 8-dels) efter Anna-Lisa Norman från Ljusnarsberg (born 1816) - fiddle/viola, for dance Skuvpolska? 

10. Storpolska (great polska, 16-dels) efter Jan Erik Hammarberg från Hörken, Ljusnarsberg and his father J.E. Jansson - fiddle/fiddle 

Värmland 

11. Klarälvdalspolska efter Lejsme Per Larsson (1822-1907, from Malungs Finnmark but also lived in Eastern Värmland) (in ADAE tuning) - fiddle/guitar, for dances Bakmes & Slängpolska från Övre Klarälvsdalen (or Klarälvdalen) 

12. Svanskogspolska efter Per Falkenström, efter Artur Elfstedt - fiddle/fiddle for Slängpolska från Svanskog 

13. Kort-trea polska efter Jon Andersson (1846-1924) från Norra Finnskoga (in ADAE tuning), learned from Mats Berglund - fiddle (Laurie solo) for Finnskogspols (or Polsk från Finnskoga) 

14. Jössehäradspolska efter Lars Holmström från Arvika (in ADAE tuning) - fiddle/fiddle, for Jössehäradspolska

Dalsland  

15. Polska efter Zakarias Jansson från Dalskog - hurdy-gurdy (Harald) for Trinnpolska på fläck?

Bohuslän 

16. Polska efter Artur Lundberg från Hogdal (1901-1981) - fiddle/fiddle, for Polskdans or Springdans från Hogdal-Lommeland 

17. Bockeluras (goat horn) polska från Skaftö - fiddle/viola 

Västergötland: for slängpolska

18. Polonäs (polonaise) ur Sexdregasamlingen del 1 nr 154 (from the Sexdrega collection, part 1, a handwritten sheet music book from the 1700s) - nyckelharpa/guitar 

Östergötland: for slängpolska

19. Slängpolska efter Olof Styrlander från Häradshammar (1770-1849) - fiddle/fiddle 

20. Barockfavoriten (the baroque favorite), slängpolska efter Ludvig Olsson från Malexander/Enshult - nyckelharpa/viola 

Gotland: for slängpolska 

21. Vevlirepolska (hurdy gurdy polska) nr 1, slängpolska efter Grodd-Ole från Grodda/Fleringe - hurdy-gurdy (Laurie)/guitar 

Småland: for slängpolska

22. Slängpolska efter Torsten Lackström från Örtomta (1733-1785), ur Trästadssamlingen (from the Trästad collection, a handwritten sheet music book) från Blackstad - fiddle/fiddle 

23. Inte sörjer jag för mina barn är små (I’m not sad though my children are small), slängpolska (and song) efter Johan August Pettersson från Tolg - fiddle/guitar 

24. Slängpolska ur Petter Dufvas notbok (from Dufva’s handwritten sheet music book from 1807) från Verkelbäck - fiddle/guitar 

25. Brudpolska by Jonas Börjesson, a slängpolska which was, according to the original handwritten source, “composed by parliamentarian Jonas Börgesson of Kråketorp and played by him when the parish priest danced the first dance with his son's bride at their wedding in 1799 in the parish of Wirserum in the county of Calmare” - nyckelharpa/viola 

Blekinge: for slängpolska 

26. Slängpolska efter systrarna Forsströmson (the Forsströmson sisters) från Mörrum - hurdy-gurdy (Harald) 

Skåne: for slängpolska

27. Slängpolska efter Ola Nilsson Lans från Sjörup (1831-1898) - fiddle/guitar 

Total time: 63 minutes