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Chants, Hymns and Dances
     

Chants, Hymns and Dances

by Anja Lechner, Vassilis Tsabropoulos
 
Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff is better known as the leader of an esoteric spiritual movement than as a composer, but lately this has begun to change. Gurdjieff's musical work began as accompaniment for the consciousness-raising exercises of his disciples in the 1920s. Sharing the simplicity of Satie's early piano works and the transcendent aim of composers like

Overview

Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff is better known as the leader of an esoteric spiritual movement than as a composer, but lately this has begun to change. Gurdjieff's musical work began as accompaniment for the consciousness-raising exercises of his disciples in the 1920s. Sharing the simplicity of Satie's early piano works and the transcendent aim of composers like Scriabin, his music has a uniquely authentic basis in age-old folk and religious music that Gurdjieff absorbed during his early years in Turkey and Armenia and his later travels throughout the Middle East. As the guru had no formal musical background, his conservatory-trained disciple Thomas de Hartmann translated Gurdjieff's sung melodies into notation. Gurdjieff's spiritual practice still has its adherents today, but thanks to several recordings (beginning with Keith Jarrett's), the otherworldy beauty of his music has reached a wider audience. On this disc, the keyboard originals are arranged for cello and piano, and Anja Lechner's cello sings, chants, and prays with a soulful conviction that suits the music perfectly. Her pianist, Vassilis Tsabropoulos, is also a composer, and a set of his works is heard at the center of the program. His music drinks from the same wells of inspiration as Gurdjieff's -- including Greek Orthodox hymns -- while sounding just a bit more contemporary, and his relatively lively "Dance" contrasts nicely with the meditative tone of the rest. Overall, however, Lechner and Tsabropoulos's recital creates a state of reflective calm, and Gurdjieff's works display a rare spiritual depth that should transcend his own particular religious philosophy for today's listeners.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/28/2004
Label:
Ecm Records
UPC:
0602498196137
catalogNumber:
000303602
Rank:
41199

Tracks

  1. Chant from a Holy Book (Hymns, Prayers & Rituals, 3rd Series, No. 47)
  2. Bayaty
  3. Prayer
  4. Les Doudoukis, for piano (from Asian Songs and Rhythms, Vol. 1)
  5. Interlude 1
  6. Morceaux (3) après des hymnes byzantins, for cello & piano
  7. Dance for cello & piano
  8. Chant for cello & piano
  9. Interlude 2
  10. Pleureuses assyriennes, for piano (from Asian Songs and Rhythms, Vol. 1)
  11. Chant arménian (Armenian sound), for piano
  12. No. 11
  13. Woman's prayer (Prayer in Six)
  14. Chant from a Holy Book (Hymns, Prayers & Rituals, 3rd Series, No. 47)

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