Whilst looking for something on YouTube recently I came across a version of Wild Horses by Keith Richard and an assortment of musical friends at a concert they did a few years ago. There was also a link to a version by someone called Solveig Slettahjell, not an easy name to get your tongue around and a name I had never encountered before.
A little research on YouTube threw up several performances by this singer and further research revealed that Solveig Slettahjell (pronounced: Sul-vay Shlet-I-Yell) was born in Bærum near Oslo in 1971 and grew up in the small town of Orkanger near Trondheim. As her father was a pastor, she grew up in church. She sang in choirs from the age of 7 and began accompanying various youth and gospel choirs on the piano from the age of 13. She also sang and played her own versions of hymns, negro spirituals, Norwegian religious folksongs, as well as her own compositions.
I saw one of the performances on YouTube was a version of Abbas “The winner takes it all” so I investigated. I have to say that I am of the view that no one should sing Abba songs except the group themselves so was a little dubious about this other version.
Well, I have to say it is a long time that I have been stunned by a vocal performance but this version by Solveig Slettahjell is jaw-droppingly magnificent. As is the superb piano accompaniment.
The question I have is “why is a woman of such talent not better known on the international stage?” Perhaps Norway prefers to keep its talent “in house” but if that is the case they are denying us the rest of us access to a magnificent talent.
Listen to the video below and marvel………………..