With the third release in Svenskt visarkiv’s Sångarporträtt (Singer’s Portrait) series, it is now folk singer, Thyra Karlsson’s turn. Märta Ramsten, who made most of the circa three hundred recordings of Thyra, describes the process of creating this compilation: “Painting a singer’s portrait of Thyra Karlsson is not hard with the help of her songs – except for the fact, that it is always difficult to have to select a only few. The mix of songs, which the listener meets here, hopefully reveals her joy of singing. Her beloved zither is heard on the recordings, often as a very discrete accompaniment.”
Thyra Karlsson was born in 1912 and grew up in Alanäs, in the region of northeastern Jämtland. At home, she came into contact with music at an early age, singing together with her sisters for celebrations at the end of the year school and various other events. Over the years, she learned hundreds of songs and her broad repertoire can be seen as fairly typical of the popular songs sung In Swedish homes during the first decades of the twentieth century. It includes children’s songs, rhymes, school songs, and songs from chap books, as well as love songs and songs from the religious revival – but also popular schlager, hit songs that she heard on the radio and gramophone.
Musicologist, and previous director of Svenskt visarkiv (Centre for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research), Märta Ramsten, who, together with Ville Roempke, made recordings of Thyra, has written insightful liner notes about the recordings and the songs which were eventually chosen for inclusion on this CD from the Caprice label. It was one of Thyra’s dreams to make a record, which unfortunately was not fulfilled until after her death in 2001. But this year, Thyra becomes properly acknowledged with the CD release by folk music trio, Triakel, which includes a part of Thyra’s repertoire. A taste of Triakel’s very fine interpretation of two of Thyra’s songs can be heard on the last two tracks of this Caprice CD: “Gubben och Gummen”, and “Om Jag En Gång en Man Ska Ha”. Both of these can also be heard on the CD with Thyra’s versions.
Other Singer’s Portraits on CD from Svenskt visarkiv include Martin Martinson from Orust, and Dansar Edvard Jonsson from Malung.