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by Hrayr Attarian
On Moderato Cantabile cellist Anja Lechner and pianist Francois Couturier interpret music that is simultaneously spiritual and folklore-ish with supple eloquence and sophisticated vibrancy. Intermixed with works from Greco-Russian guru George Gurdjieff, Armenian musicologist Komitas and Spanish composer Federico Mompou are Couturier's own jazz inflected pieces that maintain the overall mystical theme of the release. Gurdjieff was not a formerly trained musician. Most of his oeuvre, therefore, consists of central Asian folk melodies infused with his own ethereal ...read more
by John Kelman
ECM Records has long divided its discography in two: the regular series, representing music of a more improvisational bent; and its New Series, featuring largely classical music ranging from the contemporary to the archaic, but more truly defined in its through-composed nature. Still, the line between the two has, however, often been a porous one, where artists perhaps most associated with one side of the fence are able to make the occasional excursion to the other side. Perhaps the artist ...read more
by John Kelman
While it is a lesser-known fact that many great classical compositions stemmed from improvisation, performance of most classical work is much more literal, with interpretation being relegated to more subtle inflection, nuance and manner of phrasing. Rarely does such work not only expect a more active degree of improvisation from the performer, but actually demand it. Such is the case with the work of Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, who created musical exercises spontaneously for students of his Institute ...read more