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Album Review

Esbjörn Svensson: HOME.S.


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Esbjörn Svensson: HOME.S.
Akin to when people first sat in elegant staterooms listening to Chopin, Mendelssohn, Mahler, or Erik Satie seek the muse, HOME.S stands as the first solo performance by the late Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson and will quite possibly be considered the grandest moment of any other forthcoming posthumous releases.

Recorded mere weeks before the scuba diving accident that took him from his wife, two sons, and us in June of 2008, HOME.S creates that rare air of intimacy and recall that immediately draws you away from your daily antics and bequeaths you the grace to breathe. To listen in as one man changed the air, and therefore the world around him.

First discovered by the pianist's wife Eva and a decade in hiding until she could bring herself emotionally to listen to the music on her husband's hard drive, the nine intensely personal affirmations found on HOME.S ring like clear hymns. Laced with melancholy, optimism, and clarity, "Alpha," "Beta," "Gamma," "Delta," "Epsilon," "Zeta," "Eta" "Theta" and "Iota" (each track is titled to reflect Svensson's love of both astronomy and the Greek alphabet) are far more than sketches, improvised gatherings or reflective noodling.

Many Svensson fans can (and many undoubtedly will) speculate whether the music heard here was meant as a pure solo statement or as the beginning of future imaginings with the Esbjörn Svensson Trio's formidable rhythm section of double bassist Dan Berglund and drummer Magnus Öström. But it should not be an outsized concern. It makes no difference. As creatives, surely the music would have, at some point had the trio continued as an evolutionary force, been textured and twisted and brought to potentially grander stages by their collective desire to be one, but this speculation only serves as a distraction now as HOME.S reveals its many gifts: the studied amusement of "Eta," the inevitable Keith Jarrett-ness of "Gamma," the expansive reverence of "Alpha," the classical animation of "Delta." In some cases words can add, in many they detract.

Keeping to article word limits does get tricky sometimes. Especially when very few words can describe what is in the player, or on the playlist, or in the library, or whatever listening manner is de rigueur at this moment where we find ourselves with the singularly pleasing honor of witnessing the sublimely picturesque and peaceful HOME.S.

Track Listing

Alpha; Beta; Gamma; Delta; Epsilon; Zeta; Eta; Theta; Iota.


Esbjorn Svensson: piano.

Album information

Title: HOME.S. | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: ACT Music

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