Lars Danielsson: Libera Me

Lars Danielsson image 0
Mizuho Yabe

Lars Danielsson

There are many industry pessimists who doubt that SACD will survive as a format. Libera Me is one more reason to hope they are wrong. The impact of Lars Danielsson’s seductive, emotionally authentic music is inseparable from its rendering in the enveloping sound of multichannel SACD.

Like other bassists in a distinguished lineage of Scandinavians (the late Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Palle Danielsson, Anders Jormin, et al), Danielsson is a soloist capable of making his instrument as articulate and expressive as any horn-but darker and more evocative. On Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now,” in a duet with drummer Jon Christensen, he gives this much-covered song one of its freest and most affecting interpretations. But Libera Me is much more about Danielsson’s compositions, fully revealed by a large ensemble including the Danish Radio Concert Orchestra.

The wide, deep sonic field made possible by 5.1-channel SACD is like an irresistible embrace by clouds of sound. That embrace unifies Danielsson’s rich, varied compositions into a single journey of discovery. Through all those yearning violins, several strong instrumental voices find their way into the story, including Nils Petter Molvaer’s poignant trumpet and David Liebman’s heraldic soprano saxophone.