Fifteen years after Officium, one of the best-loved recordings of modern times, the Norwegian saxophonist and English choir reunite for another unique experience: songs by Part, Perotin and many pieces by Armerian mystic Komitas Vardapet. Garbarek's saxophones weave spontaneous filigrees around the four voices, resulting in music that manages to be both lush and austere. Timeless, unearthly beauty.
Jan Garbarek (soprano & tenor saxophones)
The Hilliard Ensemble (David James, countertenor; Rogers Covey-Crump, tenor; Steven Harrold, tenor; Gordon Jones, baritone)
“On Officium Novum, these ageless musicians look to the Orthodox music of Armenia, Russia and Byzantium, although there’s more besides, including Nativitas, by the 12th-century Gallic composer Pérotin, and Arvo Pärt’s touching prayer Most Holy Mother of God. Immensely moving.” Sunday Times, 19th September 2010
• Ov zarmanali (Hymn of the Baptism of Christ - Komitas)
• Svjete tihij (Byzantine chant)
• Allting finns (Jan Garbarek)
• Litany, a) Litany (Nikolai N. Kedrov), b) Otche nash (from the Lipovan Old Believers tradition), c) Dostoino est (Anonymous)
• Surb, Surb (Komitas)
• Most Holy Mother of God (Arvo Pärt)
• Tres morillas m'enamoran (Spanish anonymous, 16th century)
• Sirt im sasani (Hymn for Maundy Thursday - Komitas)
• Hays hark nviranats ukhti (Komitas)
• Alleluia. Nativitas (Pérotin, 12th century)
• We are the stars (Jan Garbarek)
• Nur ein Weniges noch (poem by Giorgos Sefiris, read by Bruno Ganz)
Listening to this, to me, unusual album brings much solace to my soul. What a unique idea (so very typical of the ECM label) Never, in my wildest dreams did I perceive enjoying , as I do, a recording of early Liturgical music (in this case Armenian) combined with a saxophone as a fifth voice playing, to me, "obbligato" to a wonderful early music four-voiced ensemble--The Hilliard Ensemble. After reading herein many great reviews to this album called "Officium Novum, I purchased this recording that features the superb artistry of The Hilliard Ensemble and Jan Garbarek on saxophone and I enjoy it. What a unique mellow sound that is on this disc; it has brought to me hours of solace in my solitude.
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