Like its more jazz-centric regular issues, ECM's New Series--which has focused almost exclusively on classical composition, with a strong predilection for contemporary writers like Arvo Pärt and Giya Kancheli--has provided safe haven for projects that blur the boundaries of strict definition. Cellist Anja Lechner and pianist Vassilis Tsaboropoulos' Chants, Hymns and Dances interpreted the music of G.I. Gurdjieff with a more openly improvisational aesthetic that, in its combination of reverence and irreverence, paid the best possible tribute to Gurdjieff's more free-spirited and unschooled manner. Likewise, Pärt's Alina, perhaps the best example of his reductionist tintinnabuli style, is an understated work ...read more
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