Secret Garden is beyond question one of Norwegian music’s greatest commercial successes. We endeavour to claim the success for Norway even if only one half of the internationally beloved duo is Norwegian, for it is composer Rolf Løvland who has penned the songs, so many of which have become huge international hits in their multitude different recordings.
The other half of Secret Garden is Irish fiddler Fionnuala Sherry, and it is exactly the Irish air and the dreamlike spirit, articulated by Sherry’s enchanting playing, that have made Løvland’s compositions so remarkably successful.
The measures of Løvland’s success as a composer are many: More than three million copies sold of Secret Garden’s albums is in itself quite extraordinary, but the fate of his songs goes beyond this, as artists, among them the many a vocal superstar, have embraced his tunes, put lyrics to them and recorded them to fantastic commercial success. You raise me up has been recorded more than 500 times (since 2001) and has aired on American radio more than a million times. Josh Groban took the song to number one on the billboard list, and Westlife’s version of it became the group’s biggest hit ever. Another example is Barbara Streisand who sang an adapted version of Heartstrings in her own wedding. She is one of the stellar names featuring on the new album Inside I’m singing, which is a special record presenting a carefully chosen selection of the duo’s finest musical moments performed by their favourite singers and most important collaborators over the years. Secret Garden’s website explains the circumstances of the album, which came out in Norway on November 26th and will see international release sometime early next year:
Inside I’m singing is a project that started off as an idea for a 10th Anniversary celebration of the duo's inception. Many artists have recorded Secret Garden's music and even turned their instrumental melodies into vocal songs. "We wanted to reverse the process – take some of our own favourite melodies – have lyrics written to them - arrange them in our own style – and invite some of the greatest singers to give their voice and performance to our music."
In fact Secret garden’s breakthrough came already in 1995 with the duo winning the Eurovision Song Contest with the tune Nocturne. This spearheaded the huge success of their debut album, Songs from a Secret Garden, which sold more than a million copies worldwide. Five albums have followed, each with tunes that have reached far and wide and that have reached an existence of their own, beyond the original album recordings. And it is exactly this marvellous appeal, to great singers, producers and listeners alike, that is now being made a special point of with the album Inside I’m singing.
The artists performing the songs of Secret Garden on this edition are - Barbra Streisand, Elaine Paige, Brian Kennedy, Niamh Kavanagh, Peter Corry Tracey Campbell, Tommy Körberg, Peter Jöback, Anne Takle, Espen Grjotheim and Steinar Albrigtsen.
The duo relates that "We are very proud to present an amazing circle of artists who have all given our music their voice and heart – who most generously have shared their utmost performance and signed our music with their name".
Inside I’m Singing reached number one and sold to platinum within the first week of its Norwegian release.
Secret Garden (Performing Bodies\Bands (rock/pop/jazz etc.))
Universal Music Norway (Record Companies)
Rolf Løvland, Artist