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Danish String Quartet

Keel Road

ECM
Release Date: August 30, 2024

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1 Mabel Kelly  
2 Pericondine - Fair Isle Jig  
3 Stormpolskan  
4 En Skomager Har Jeg Vaeret  
5 Once a Shoemaker.  
6 Lovely Joan  
7 Carrolans Quarrel with the Landlady  
8 Regin Smidur  
9 Captain O'Kane  
10 Kjolhalling  
11 Planxty Kelly  
12 As I walked out  
13 Marie Louise - The Chat - Gale  
14 Nar Mitt Oye  
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Keel Road is the latest chapter in the Danish String Quartet’s reckoning with music from – or inspired by – northern folk and traditional sources, rounding off a decade of sustained engagement with the genre. Wood Works, issued in 2014 on the Danish Dacapo label gave notice of the extent of the DSQ’s commitment to folk, explored in parallel with their classical activities, and Last Leaf, released in 2017 on ECM New Series took the story further. A resounding success with press and public, Last Leaf ranked high amongst albums of the year at NPR, The New York Times and Gramophone, the latter magazine suggesting this might be “the best album of folk ditties from a string quartet you’ll ever hear”, an assertion now challenged by Keel Road. 

Once again, the group casts its associative net wide: “We set out on a musical journey that traverses the North Sea. For centuries, the main communication channel of Northern Europe, the highway and the internet of bygone eras. And even though known for its swift upsurges and strong gales, brave sailors would again and again travel the keel road, enabling a continuous exchange of goods, culture and music. The musical keel road of this album will take us from Denmark and Norway to shores far away: to the Faroe Islands, to Ireland and England.” The journey illuminates musical affinities as well as distinctions. “While folk music represents local traditions and local stories, it is also the music of everywhere and everyone. At the end of the day, our stories and our music remain closely connected. “

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