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On Wings of Song


Bertil Bokstedt


Minnesbok, accompanist, Siaro, Jussi Bjorling


To have had the pleasure of being Jussi's regular accompanist over many years is what one can truly call a journey on wings of song. The first such occasion was at Grona Lund in summer 1951, a concert which was preceded by rehearsals on Siaro in a specially equipped studio which looks out on blue firths and an idyllic little fishing cottage. Notwithstanding all wonderful concerts at which I accompanied him, it was there in that studio that I experienced Jussi's most beautiful tones; there he was himself; there, even during the later years, he gave his high C free expression with an exhilaration and a joy which were absolutely incomparable. On Siaro we also rehearsed the opera roles which he would later record, and I learned much from his beautiful phrasing and his great musicality.

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