The Harding Quartet is a unique set of string instruments modelled after the Norwegian hardingfele, or Hardanger fiddle and is featured on the new CD "Harding Tones." Created by luthier Lynn Berg (shown above on far right), the quartet extends the hardingfele family by adding a viola and cello version of that traditional folk instrument. The only other known Hardanger quartet was made in the 1860s by Erik Johnsen Helland and is kept at the Ringve Museum in Trondheim, Norway. In Helland's quartet, the viola and cello were simply regular instruments with decorations to match the Harding fiddles. Berg's hardingviola and hardingcello, however, incorporate all of the features of a traditional hardingfele, including the sympathetic undestrings which contribute to their rich, resonant sound.
The world premiere of the Harding Quartet took place in Tacoma, WA in November 2002. The performers were (shown above from left-to-right): David Loberg Code - hardingviola, Tove Laila Hansen - hardingfele, Linda Caspersen-Andresen - hardingcello, and Karin Loberg Code - hardingfele. The music, specially written for the ensemble by David, consisted of arrangements of traditional fiddle tunes and original compositions in the style of Norwegian folk music. The quartet also performed at the Hardanger Fiddle Association of America's AmeriKappleik in Northfield, MN in July 2003. The quartet pieces included on the "Harding Tones" CD were recorded live at AmeriKappleik and can be purchased by contacting the email address below. The CD also includes solo music for hardingfele performed by Karin Loberg Code.
Excerpts of the Harding Quartet (mp3 format): Bruremarsj fra Vang - Springar etter Bendsen