The work of the English metaphysical poet John Donne has provided a rich source of inspiration for Ketil Bjørnstad. … With this new album he returns once more to the poet’s works, albeit in the more formal setting of a trio than a septet, setting a further 11 of Donne’s works to music that comprise the song cycle ‘The Light’. Conceived for the voice of Randi Stene … and Lars Anders Tomter’s viola, Bjørnstad creates an album of wonderfully understated passion. Donne’s poems are included in the liner notes, and given their depth and complexity, it is wholly absorbing the way Bjørnstad has gone about his task. … Once again his melodies allow the voice to invest each word with rich, personal meaning in an album that, like so much of Bjørnstad’s work, an not be easily set aside.
Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise
It’s not jazz, of course, but its rhythmic pulses derive more from Bjørnstad’s jazz background and piano than classical music. What results is gorgeous. Stene is wonderful in her handling of Bjørnstad’s own ‘Four Nordic Songs’ and his settings of John Donne’s wry, sage, complex, yet strikingly contemporary Jacobean Love poems, while Tomter provides the expressive instrumental equivalent of her glorious singing. It’s neither jazz nor undilutedly classical. Just good music.
Ray Comiskey, Irish Times
Bjørnstads Musik ist hier so schlicht wie klar, und in der Mezzosopranistin Randi Stene hat er eine Interpretin gefunden, die dieser getragenen, an nordischen Volksweisen und am deutschen Kunstlied orientierten Musik zu gelassener Fülle und innigem Glanz verhilft.
Manfred Papst, Neue Zürcher Zeitung am Sonntag