There is an organic quality to the music, honest, rustic, yet sophisticated in execution.
R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews
12 January 2021
This is my first encounter with the Hannibal/Petri family’s music and I have to say I am more than pleasantly surprised and delighted. Lars Hannibal and Michala Petri are a well-known duo with a lot of albums and collaborations. On this particular work Lars Hannibal plays guitar, Michala Petri plays recorder, Agnete Hannibal Petri plays cello and Amalie Hannibal Petri does vocals. The musical equilibrium that takes place is wonderful. The eighteen tracks on their album Blue, are Baroque influenced tunes with a mixture of Old world and New World charm. There is an organic quality to the music, honest, rustic, yet sophisticated in execution. The performances take on different forms. Sometimes it is an individual, sometimes a duo, trio, or a quartet.
The first cut is called Twilight on a Ground. Ground doesn’t have the standard English meaning we are generally familiar with. It is sort of the anchoring or base. In this case bass. Lars admits to using a simple bass line as the inspiration for the song. With a lustrous classically influenced guitar theme, it starts with some bright harmonics, a little repetition of the notes, and the recorder becomes a welcomed companion to this gentle air.
The title tune, Blue - On a Ground with guitar and recorder, uses the same concepts. This one is a bit jazzier and complex, but uses a minimalist perception of two instruments that dance around each other and never touch. The proximity is obvious as is the emotion, but the distance is noticeable as well. More about this track later.
Springtime Sun has the quartet singing and playing in the bright light of day. It is a folksy, popular tune in which Amalie voices the theme in a sweet refrain as in a spring ritual. They all celebrate the return of warmth and the greening of the earth. You can smell the flowers and the new warm breezes of the day.
Out on the Lille Vildmose in Himmerland are the Moors. These boggy hills and fens are the gathering for heaths and fairies. The Moor is a solo recorder tune that is lonely and soft. This Nordic tune has the mist of the moors, the wet grass under your feet, and the enchantment of the recorder that weaves a story of the unseen. There is a tiny hint of humming, almost subconsciously in the end that closes the tune. Careful, there be magic here.
Sunset Dance is not so much as a good bye to the day as it is a hello to the night. This twilight celebration has Michala on recorder and Lars on guitar. There are many time changes and many facets of this vignette. The sun goes down in a golden fire of color, the stars wink on, and darkness finally arrives. Let us join the dance and make merry.
The Magic of Thoughts has a melancholy refrain, but the song is anything but sad. Perhaps it is the notion of being away from the ones you love that influences the mood. Amalie’s poignant vocal is light and Agnete’s cello is barely above a whisper. The song suggests that love in your heart and thoughts in your mind will sustain you. But that only works for a while, doesn’t it?
The last eight tunes on Blue are Danish-inspired folk tunes. One of my favorites is Spurven sidder stum bag kvist (Sparrows hushed behind the bough). It features Machala’s crisp recorder notes and Lars’ unpretentious guitar accompaniment. As in the other ethnic tunes, it sounded like a church hymn with a warm melody that is comforting and evocative. I truly liked the other Danish traditional tunes as well. Although most of the songs on Blue maintain a deliciously Baroque style, there are other influences afoot. American Folk and early rock make an appearance, but all blends together well. Okay, Lars might have literally put blues in the title tune Blue. Once again, all the themes mix and combine into an album, more than an hour long, of tunes that gratify the listener on many levels. To me, Nordic-tinged music has always been cool as in temperature, but not cold at all. Just sublime to the Western ear. This is an instance where four talents create eighteen tracks that are quite pleasing and make for a satisfying listening experience. Highly recommended
R J Lannan, Artisan Music Reviews

BLUE impresses as a joy from start to finish.
03 January 2021
Having spent a half-century on stage, Danish classical guitarist Lars Hannibal has amassed a formidable list of credits. He expanded on the guitar technique he honed in ensembles during the ‘60s and ‘70s by studying lute with Toyohiko Satoh in the late ‘70s, playing jazz with trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg and bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, and forming Duo Concertante with violinist Kim Sjøgren in 1980. Not only did the latter outfit perform more than a thousand concerts, the musical partners recorded ten albums under the Duo Concertante name. Such a diverse background naturally lends itself to an equally broad approach to the music Hannibal performs, with the Danish artist drawn as much to classical and folk as popular song and modal jazz.
While his latest album does cast a wide stylistic net, it's an intimate recording that sees the guitarist joined on many of the eighteen tracks by his long-time musical companion and former wife, recorder virtuoso Michala Petri. Making BLUE even more of a family affair, three songs include their daughters, cellist Agnete and vocalist Amalie. The four's collective presence adds to the music's considerable charm, the result a recording to which one naturally warms. As appealing as the release is in total, the three songs on which all four appear (written by the guitarist in the late ‘80s) are especially endearing, in no small part due to Amalie's lovely vocal delivery.
BLUE is fundamentally a two-part presentation, with the first ten settings originals by Hannibal and the other eight from the Danish social song tradition. The title was chosen to accentuate the music's overall melancholy, its calm, free-floating quality, and introspective character. Hannibal strives for simplicity and clarity in his material, with the opening “Twilight on a Ground” serving as an excellent illustration. In using a modicum of elements—a small number of notes repeating throughout and unadorned recorder melodies—the piece distills his compositional approach into a single three-minute presentation. Even more affecting is “Evening in the Garden,” whose lilting, Spanish-tinged flow provides an elegant base for the guitarist's sensitive expressions and Michala's heartfelt voicings. In contrast to its Nordic folk tone, “BLUE on a Ground” exudes a pronounced twelve-bar blues feel, even if the recorder imbues the material with a medieval quality. In the other settings, Hannibal's uncluttered arrangements serve the material well, with the impact of a delicate piece such as “Dreams” all the stronger for the directness of its presentation.
In terms of the three quartet performances, “Autumn Rain” takes flight when Amalie's pretty, youthful voice gently glides over Hannibal's guitar arpeggios and Michala's recorder patterns. If there's a single on BLUE, it would have to be “Springtime Sun,” a samba-tinged reverie buoyed by radiant melodies and Amalie's lovely vocal. The prettiest of the three, however, is “The Magic of Thoughts,” whose lilting melodies are nothing less than swoon-inducing. The beauty of the quartet pieces suggests Hannibal might be wise to consider creating an entire album of such material.
As mentioned, the recording's second part features recorder-and-guitar arrangements of Danish songs written by famous poets and accompanied by music from leading composers of their time. Yet while Hannibal didn't write the material, the pieces complement his originals when the instrumentation is common to both. The predominating style in the second part is classical-folk balladry, with settings by Thorvald Aagaard, Thomas Laub, Carl Nielsen, Franz Gebauer, Oluf Ring, and C.E.F. Weyse featured. Like the songs in the opening section, the pieces are endearing, none more so than Nielsen's lullaby-like “Underlige Aftenlufte” (Wond'rous air of evening) and Thomas Laub's alluring “Stille, Hjerte, sol går ned” (Still, my heart, now sets the sun). Whether the pieces are vocal-enhanced or instrumental, the album's seventy-four minutes present a most flattering portrait of Hannibal as composer, arranger, and guitarist. However much its title emphasizes melancholy, BLUE impresses as a joy from start to finish.

Det er ganske enkelt et forunderligt familieforetagende! 5 Stars
Hans Christian Davidsen, Flensborg Avis
08 December 2020
Forunderligt familiefortagende
Lars Hannibal og Michala Petri har udsendt et smukt album med deres to døtre
5 Stars
København. Den klassiske guitarist Lars Hannibal har i eget navn udsendt et næsten meditativt album med egne kompositioner og arrangementer af stykker af bla. Carl Nielsen, Thomas Laub, Oluf Ring og C.E.F.Weyse.
Hele tre kvarter med feel good-music, som hans tidligere hustru Michala Petri bidrager til på sin fløjte. Med i flere af stykkerne er også parret døtre, der begge er midt i 20erne. Her er kommet det ypperste ud af kombinationen af arv og miljø med Agnete Hannibal Petri, cello og Amalie Hannibal Petri, der har en smuk og ren vokal. Hun brillierer på kvartetten ”Autumn Rain”.
Lys grundtone
Lars Hannibal voksede op i Århus, og som mange andre teenagere i 60erne begyndte han at spille guitar inspireret af Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Kings og Rolling Stones. I slutningen af 60erne hørte han en indspilning med André Segovia, som spillede Bach´s Gavotte. Denne oplevelse blev et vendepunkt for Lars Hannibal, og han begyndte at spille klassisk guitar. Udgangspunktet er den klassiske musik, og med sangene og arrangementerne af stykker som ”Det er hvidt herude” (Laub), ”Jeg ved en lærkerede” (Carl Nielsen), og ”Sig nærmer tiden” (Ring får den en mere bred og folkelig appel. Første halvdel er forbeholdt Hannibals kompositioner, anden del indeholder arrangementer af de gamle danske sange.
Albummet har en vidunderlig lys, men også melankolsk grundtone – stille på en nordisk måde. Deraf titlen ”Blue”. Der er ingen overflødig fedt her. Hver tone og hver akkord taler sit minimalistiske sprog, og Hannibal fortæller tilbagevendende i bookletten, hvordan helt specifikke lokaliteter i den danske natur har inspireret ham til værkerne.
Albummet er mættet med harmoniske kvaliteter. Selv med simple baslinier får Lars Hannibal frembragt musik med dybde.
Hans egne kompositioner er dig også komplekse og måske ikke så let tilgængelige som de sange, vi kender, og som han og Michala Petri fortolker med den suverænitet, vi kender dem begge for.
Det er ganske enkelt et forunderligt familieforetagende. Hans Christian Davidsen, december 2020
Google translation.
Flensburg Avis
Marvelously family-business
Lars Hannibal and Michala Petri have released a beautiful album with their two daughters
5 Stars Copenhagen.
 The classical guitarist Lars Hannibal has in his own name released an almost meditative album with his own compositions and arrangements of pieces by amongst others Carl Nielsen, Thomas Laub, Oluf Ring and C.E.F.Weyse. A whole five quarters of an hour with feel good music, which his former wife Michala Petri contributes to on her flute. Included in several of the pieces are also the couple's daughters, who are both in their mid - 20s. Here the best has come out of the combination of inheritance and environment with Agnete Hannibal Petri, cello and Amalie Hannibal Petri, who has a beautiful and pure vocal. She is brilliant on the quartet "Autumn Rain".
Light basic tone
Lars Hannibal grew up in Aarhus, and like many other teenagers in the 60s, he started playing guitar inspired by Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Kings and  Rolling Stones. In the late 60s, he heard a recording with André Segovia, who played Bach´s Gavotte. This experience became a turning point for Lars Hannibal, and he started playing classical guitar. The starting point is the classical music, and with the songs and arrangements of pieces such as "It is white out here" (Laub), "I know a lark´s nest" (Carl Nielsen), and "The time gets near" (Ring) it gets a wider and more popular approach. The first half is reserved for Hannibal's compositions, the second part contains arrangements of the old Danish songs. The album has a wonderful light, but also melancholic basic tone - quiet in a Nordic way. Hence the title "Blue". There is no excess fat here. Every note and every chord speaks its minimalist language, and Hannibal recounts in the booklet how very specific localities in Danish nature have inspired him to the works.
The album is saturated with harmonious qualities. Even with simple bass lines, Lars Hannibal produces music with depth. His own compositions are also complex to you and perhaps not as readily available as the songs we know and which he and Michala Petri interpret with the sovereignty we know them both for. It is simply a marvelous family business. Hans Christian Davidsen, December 2020
Hans Christian Davidsen, Flensborg Avis

Some contemporary music has a timeless feel to it. That's certainly true of composer-guitarist Lars Hannibal's [Blue],
Grego Applegate Edwards,
17 November 2020
Some contemporary music has a timeless feel to it. That's certainly true of composer-guitarist Lars Hannibal's [Blue], Compositions and Arrangements by Lars Hannibal (OUR Recordings 8.226914). The program contains ten short compositions by Lars and then 8 Danish songs arranged for recorder and guitar, two by Carl Nielsen plus others by lesser-known composers.
Four musical voices variously give us this music, principally Lars on classical guitar and Michala Petri on recorder, but then also three songs for guitar and recorder plus the lovely voice of Amalie Hannibal Petri and the cello of Agnete Hannibal Petri. Those songs are quite feelingful, with a sweetness that is in many ways a product of Amalie's almost Astrud Gilberto-like tenderness, and then just as much the idiomatically felicitous, the quite natural charm of the songs themselves.
The instrumental compositions and song arrangements have tonal resonance and guitar-recorder historicity that touch on almost Dowlandesque-through-to-classical-and-beyond guitar underpinnings without directly referencing so much as atmospherically paralleling such things.
The basic recorder-guitar format that occupies most of the album time excels thanks to the vibrancy of the compositions and the fine shadings of the two instrumentalists. That is true of the Hannibal pieces and then in slightly different ways of the rearranged Danish songs--by Thorvald Aagaard, Thomas Laub, Carl Nielsen, Franz Gebauer, Oluf Ring, and C.E.F. Weyse. The music covers tonal territory that gives Lars and Michala new expressive possibilities and fleshes out the program further in happy ways.
There is a real place for this CD in your listening cycle I suspect. If you want a jolt of songful tonal fare that enhances your mood with subtlety and always with high musicality, well then here we go. I could easily scarf up an entire album of the songs with Amalie P. and quartet but the three here acts as signpost showing the way through the substantial songful landscapes while they punctuate the rest of the program which is very nice indeed. Recommended. 
Grego Applegate Edwards,

Exploring Danish folk through the prism of classical music
James Roriston, Songlines
16 November 2020
Exploring Danish folk through the prism of classical music
On your first listen to this album you´ll be immediately struck by it´s “crossover” nature – the fusion of baroque music and Danish folk tunes. It will be no surprise then to learn that both Michala Petri (recorder) and Lars Hannibal (guitar) are prominent Danish classical musicians in their own right. The album is on overtly gentle affair. Soft guitar sounds, a gentle “fuzziness” in the recorder featuring occasional additions of the voice of Amelie Hannibal and cello playing Agnete Hannibal Petri. The playing and singing is sublime throughout, paticulary on the track “Waves on a Ground”, lars producing a wide variety of texture on his guitar alongside some impeccably deployed harmonics, Michala´s recorder both subtle and assured. The booklet is a worthwhile read with individual notes on each track. The initial tracks of original compositions are perhaps a little cautious musically, though there´s much to enjoy later with new arrangements of old folk classics. You might be familiar with one or two of Carl Nielsen´s tunes that have been thrown into the mix. For those yearning for boundary pushing Nordic folk with “edge” though, you are perhaps best trying your luck elsewhere.
James Roriston, Songlines

This musically delightful recording is an experience well beyond just what the ear gathers.
Zana Turner MusicWeb-International (UK)
11 November 2020
Whether listening to the music or reading the comprehensive, personal and introspective liner notes by Lars Hannibal, one instinctively concludes that this is a special recording. There is much more to music than just what the ear detects, and many of these unheard virtues are pursued in this recording.

Blue is a musical project which embraces the family of composer/guitarist Lars Hannibal: his ex-wife, the famed recorder player, Michala Petri and his daughters Agnete and Amalie. The title Blue was chosen because, for Hannibal, it reflects a specific state of mind: ‘the feeling where things flow freely and calmly in a light where both performers and listeners are equally open to let their thoughts and minds wander safely’. This same theme is re-enforced through the CD cover and liner note graphics. It even extends to the choice of instrumentation wherein only the lower-register members of the recorder family are employed. Although a classically trained musician, Lars Hannibal has a broad-based experience across several genres. During the 60s and 70s, while studying classical guitar and lute, he was very preoccupied with rock, jazz and Latin music, and wrote music for the bands in which he performed.

Hannibal has long been engaged in arranging music for the guitar, and expresses admiration for the great Catalan guitarist Miguel Llobet who made splendid arrangements of his native folk songs and piano music of his fellow countrymen. The pen of Hannibal is to be found in all of the music presented, either by way of composition or arrangement. Of the eighteen programme items the majority are for recorder and guitar; three are for quartet comprising cello, voice, guitar and recorder and the remainder are for guitar solo.
Hannibal notes: ‘my music is my personal voice, and in my music I am using my experience with different genres throughout my fifty years as a servant of music’. He also quotes the Greenlander, Orpingalik from the Netsilik people: ‘songs are thoughts that are sung-out with the breath when people are moved by great virtue, and regular speech no longer suffices’. In addition to the original three songs by Hannibal, he includes arrangements of eight folk songs highly favoured in Denmark.
The three original songs composed by Hannibal are arranged for quartet with the mellifluous voice of Amalie soaring above the instrumental accompaniment. The words of the songs are supplied in the liner notes and provide broader insight into just how deeply and emotionally Hannibal has sought to express himself, not just in music but also words. They are sung in English without trace of Danish accent, an admirable effort per se.

A good deal of technical information about the recording is supplied, also the instrumentation used. Michala Petri plays the following instruments on this recording:
Sub- Bass and Bass: Mollenhauer
Tenor: Moeck Ehlert, Mollenhauer Dream Tenor
Altos: Moeck Ehlert, Mollenhauer Modern.

One may assume that the guitar, from the hands of Kenneth Brøgger (1997), is a rather special instrument because it appears to have supplanted the beautiful guitar by Ignacio Fleta played on previous recordings by Hannibal. Kenneth Brøgger is a fellow countryman, and the leading Danish classical guitar maker of his generation. His creations are influenced by several great luthiers from the past, including Fleta.

This musically delightful recording is an experience well beyond just what the ear gathers. It is an insight into a very special musician, his feelings, perceptions and ambition to overarch all this with the participation of the most important people in his life: his family.

Zana Turner MusicWeb-International (UK)

Five stars: A lovely release in every respect
Robert Schulslaper
30 October 2020
      In American music, people don’t usually sing the blues when happy, and in the culture at large, to be “blue” is to be sad, depressed, despondent. But while guitarist/composer/arranger Lars Hannibal writes about “the expression of Blue as a mood or state of mind,” to him it’s “The feeling where things flow calmly and freely in a light where both performers and listeners are equally open to let their thoughts and minds wander safely.” As a musician, one way to facilitate this feeling is to write singable tunes supported by simple, direct harmonies. He’s followed that course throughout, and additionally, in the 8 Danish Song arranged for recorder and guitar, he’s chosen “to use only the lower instruments of the recorder family in order to keep this introvert and unflashy ‘blue mood.’” Elsewhere, smaller recorders are used as necessary to reach the higher notes, in the process adding a pleasing liveliness and timbral variety to the virtuosic embellishments.
            Stylistically, Hannibal’s compositions are an attractive amalgam of personal melodic style with influences from Baroque, Renaissance, and even Medieval models: passages recalling the great lutenists of old; grounds and descending bass lines of the sort made famous by Pachelbel’s Canon—“one of the most calm and soothing phrases that I know of in music”—and that underpin Chaconnes and Passacaglias; patterns very close to those used by J.S. Bach in several of his preludes; and occasional drones, common to both medieval music and its folksong descendants. Despite Hannibal’s professed emphasis on calm, simplicity, and clarity, the mood is not uniformly laidback: ample scope is given to movement, ornament, and virtuosity, not only in the recorder part but also evident in Hannibal’s skillful accompaniments, cleverly conceived counterpoints, and unobtrusive melodic doublings. As might be expected, he and his longtime duo partner and former wife, Michala Petri on recorder, are always in synch, and their daughters, cellist Agnete and vocalist Amalie are a credit to their musical parents. A singer/songwriter who has recorded with various bands, Amelie’s light, gracefully modulated soprano is a perfect vehicle for the two flowing, nature-inspired songs, Autumn Rain and Springtime Sun, as well as the poignant Magical Thoughts. She’s briefly overdubbed in Springtime Sun, metamorphosing from one singer into three, while for Autumn Rain, Hannibal has added a “subtle far away sound of sampled guitar…in the intro and the deep bass drum in the verse,” the latter symbolizing the earth. In The Moor, a moody recorder solo with something of the character of a lament, Michala Petri, too, “sings,” vocalizing while playing à la Roland Kirk or Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson. One more word about the instrumental-only 8 Danish Songs: while they cohere well, the varied tunes, settings, and affects highlight each song’s individuality. Hannibal has arranged two for solo guitar, including C.E.F. Weyse’s Quiet is the night, which, in homage to Spanish guitarist/composer Francisco Tárrega, is the only piece featuring tremolo effects: listen to Tárrega’s Recuerdos de la Alhambra to truly appreciate Hannibal’s tribute. Addressing folk music’s emotional impetus, Hannibal caps his booklet snapshot of the history and tradition of Danish song with a quote from “The ancient Greenlander Orpingalik from the Netsilil people: ‘Songs are thoughts that are sung out with the breath when people are moved by great virtue and regular speech no longer suffices.”
            It’s tempting to end my review there, but I wouldn’t wish to overlook the  recording’s fine acoustical qualities, its clear and accurate attention to instrumental and vocal timbres, the warm, subtly resonant ambience, and the carefully nuanced balances. The descriptive booklet sports an evocative cover, an atmospheric landscape captured during the fabled “blue hour” beloved of photographers everywhere, that visually suggests the synergy between music and the Natural World so beautifully rendered by Lars Hannibal in this lovely release.
Robert Schulslaper

Five stars: This is beautiful, often haunting music, fabulously recorded, and fully worthy of investigation
Colin Clarke, Fanfare US
26 October 2020
Five stars: This is beautiful, often haunting music, fabulously recorded, and fully worthy of investigation
In 2017, Fanfare reviewed a disc called Garden Party that celebrated 25 years of the musical partnership of Michala Petri and Lars Hannibal as a recorder and guitar duo. Reviewed in 41:2, that disc included some compositions by Hannibal: here is a complete disc of his works and folksong arrangements. The two are linked in Hannibal’s output, though, in that he has always sought to invite dialogue between the two. To make this a family affair, the two other musicians also happen to be Petri and Hannibal’s daughters (Agnete was born in 1994, Amalia in 1996).
It would be impossible in imagine finer performances than these. Listening carefully to the simplicity of expression of the music itself reveals the art behind it. The title of the disc, [BLUE}, refers to the mood of melancholy, and indeed the gentle melancholy of Autumn Rain is a case in point as regards that concealed art. There is also a kid of concealed virtuosity in Sunset Dance, in that one only notices it retrospectively.
How beautiful, too, the vocal items Amalie Hannibal Petri’s beautiful voice perfect (the absence of vibrato enables us to experience that beauty full force). The homeliness of The Magic of Thoughts, too, with its easy flow and its invocation of an idealized world, acts as a perfect close to the first part of the disc. In contrast, the one piece for solo recorder, The Moor, (inspired by Danish Himmerland) offers a lonely call; this piece also requires the player to sing to create “interference tones” that add a curiously wistful aspect. The technical challenge here cannot be easy, but again it is delivered with consummate mastery. In Hannibal’s music, simplicity of utterance meets modal inflections meets grounds. Further exposure to this music would doubtless yield many further rewards.
The disc also offers a sequence of some eight Danish songs arranged for recorder and guitar by Hannibal; it seemed the logical way to present the fruits of both his output and the partnership of Hannibal and Petri. The music here was an integral part of Hannibal’s youth.  Lovely to have a guitar solo to balance out the recorder earlier (a very nuanced Nielsen’s I know a lark’s nest); but it is perhaps the other Nielsen song, Wond’rous air of evening) that offers the greatest sense of intimacy, a piece that happens to exude inspiration at the same time. There are some gems in here: Franz Gebauer’s Just where the way beats a bay is utterly charming.
The recording is impeccable, as is the documentation. This is beautiful, often haunting music, fully worthy of investigation.
Colin Clarke, Fanfare US