The Moon Stays Bright
2021 / Heart To Heart Records
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Moon Stays Bright is the seventh album from Danish harpist and composer Trine Opsahl. Three of those albums are cello and harp duets with her daughter, Josephine Opsahl, who is featured on three tracks on this album as well. I know it's kind of a cliché to equate harp music with heavenly angels, but The Moon Stays Bright is pure listening bliss. Nine harp solos and three duets for harp and cello create a warm, comforting place to just breathe and let everything else go. Ahhhhhhhhh......
Quoting Trine Opsahl: "The Moon Stays Bright was composed as a contribution to love; to life and to ease the burden that we all carry. A hymn to life as we walk through landscapes of love, happiness, grief and sorrow. A path we all are on together. It is my hope that this collection of 'songs' can open up a window to the kindness of love and life that exists in every moment. A kindness that we are hardly aware of in our everyday life."
Also a harp therapist at two hospice facilities in Denmark, Trine plays for the terminally ill and their relatives. She is a Certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioner (CTHP) from the International Harp Therapy Programme. Her music has received silver Global Music Awards for her last three albums, a Roundglass Music Award For A Better World in 2018, and has been nominated for a number of Zone Music Reporter awards. I would expect the same or more for this album!
The Moon Stays Bright begins with the title track, a beautifully soothing Celtic harp solo that sets the quiet tone of the album. At just under nine minutes, this piece has plenty of time to work its magic as it eases away the cares and stresses of the day. It appears later on the album as a somewhat shorter harp and cello duet. Three of the pieces on the album are improvisations: "Moonscapes" I, II, and III. Gently hypnotic and full of grace, all three are the perfect soundtracks for a dreamy journey to anywhere you want to go in your own mind. My favorite of the three is "Moonscapes III" with its hint of mystery. "Rose of the Eternal Spring" is the first of the harp and cello duets. The contrasting textures of the plucked strings and the bowed ones only add to the beauty of the music itself. "Return of the Light" is a favorite with its buoyant spirit and graceful melody. "Do not simply pass by like a Dream" appears twice on the album: as a solo and as a duet. Both versions are exquisite as the gentle warmth of the melody washes over you. The duet of the title track is somewhat shorter than the solo version, but the sparkling harp and velvety cello evoke images of peace and tranquility. The album closes with "Vigga's Song," a sweetly poignant harp solo that overflows with tenderness and gratitude.
If you are looking for some healing music to get blissfully lost in or simply 73 minutes of beautiful music, The Moon Stays Bright is a great choice! It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes, and streaming sites such as Spotify. Physical CDs are available from Trine's website.
December 29, 2021
with Josefine Opsahl