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Francois Couturier / Tarkovsky Quartet: Nuit Blanche

Read "Nuit Blanche" reviewed by John Kelman

Following their sublime duo outing, Moderato Cantabile (ECM, 2014), cellist Anja Lechner and François Couturier reunite in the pianist's quartet responsible for two-thirds of a recorded trilogy for ECM Records, all devoted to Soviet filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, whose name would ultimately become synonymous with the group: Tarkovsky Quartet. Bookending Couturier's second album of the trilogy, 2010's solo piano session Un jour si blanc, 2006's Nostalghia--Songs for Tarkovsky and 2011's Tarkovsky Quartet established Couturier's quartet--also featuring soprano saxophonist Jean-Marc ...

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Francois Couturier: Tarkovsky Quartet

Read "Tarkovsky Quartet" reviewed by John Kelman

He may have passed away a quarter century ago, but the spirit of Russian film director Andrey Tarkovsky continues to loom large, and not just in the world of cinema. The connection between film and music has long been an intimate one, dating back to the early silent days, when pianists provided a live (and often improvised) soundtrack in theaters around the world. It's hard to imagine many films without the scores that not only add weight to the narrative, ...

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Francois Couturier: Tarkovsky Quartet

Read "Tarkovsky Quartet" reviewed by Nenad Georgievski

Rarely has any other person had such an immense influence on world culture as the late Russian film director Andrey Tarkovsky. His meditations on spirituality and the human soul have brought many a step closer in their journey towards the light. As any luminary whose work and thoughts have inspired countless others, Tarkovsky--besides being a composer for the eye--has also inspired music for the ear. Plenty of artists--including Jan Garbarek, Arvo Part, Jon Hassell, Luigi Nono and Toru Takemitsu--have found ...

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Francois Couturier: Un jour si blanc

Read "Un jour si blanc" reviewed by John Kelman

For forty years, ECM has created a fertile landscape for the solo piano recital. The list of illustrious pianists who have contributed to this pantheon is as stylistically broad as it is internationally inclusive. Paul Bley, Chick Corea, Keith Jarrett, Marilyn Crispell, Jon Balke, Misha Alperin, Vassilis Tsabropoulos--all these pianists have placed their individual stamps on a style of solo improvisation that, with Manfred Eicher's attention to transparency and clarity, have become touchstones to which other labels and artists aspire. ...

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Francois Couturier: Nostalghia - Song For Tarkovsky

Read "Nostalghia - Song For Tarkovsky" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Nostalghia is a breathtaking and beautiful record that elicited some of the deepest emotional responses I have ever had to music--any music. Standing on its own, this recording does not demand that one even know who Andrei Tarkovsky was; but finding this out only deepens the musical experience, signifying the success of this project. Pianist Francois Couturier has written music that is meant to evoke the emotions elicited by the films of his favorite director. A Russian ...

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Francois Couturier: Nostalghia - Song for Tarkovsky

Read "Nostalghia - Song for Tarkovsky" reviewed by Brad Glanden

Working in the former Soviet Union during the Cold War era, Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky encountered the repression typically endured by artists operating under the Kremlin's control. Unable to channel his frustrations into explicitly anti-authoritarian films, Tarkovsky instead concentrated on the equally savage conflicts of spirituality.

Though the authorities in Russia backed him financially, his films were rarely shown there, but were exported to the West to make it seem that Russia endorsed free expression. As a result he was ...

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Francois Couturier: Nostalghia - Song for Tarkovsky

Read "Nostalghia - Song for Tarkovsky" reviewed by John Kelman

Sight and sound are often inexorably linked. In the earliest days of silent film, musicians would provide live accompaniment to images on a screen. While scoring cinema has become an integral part of the visual narrative, music as homage to film is less common. Pianist François Couturier--familiar to ECM fans for his work with oudist Anouar Brahem and violinist Dominique Pifarély--has created a work here that, in its dramatic scope and unerring honesty, is an emotive rather than illustrative song ...


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