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Anja Lechner & François Couturier 'Moderato Cantabile'

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ANJA LECHNER/violoncello

FRANÇOIS COUTURIER/piano


The musical affinity between Anja Lechner and Francois Couturier has been evident in their concerts and recordings with the Tarkovsky Quartet. In this new duo, the German cellist and the French pianist traverse a still-wider musical arc, playing pieces by G.I. Gurdjieff, Federico Mompou and Anouar Brahem, as well as Couturier’s own compositions. New arrangements, free interpretation, and improvisation are all part of the work in their exploration of repertoire situated, metaphorically or musico-historically, at the crossroads of East and West. The Catalan Mompou’s music drew influence, at different times, from French impressionism, from sounds of nature and from the mystical poetry of St John of the Cross. The Greek-Armenian philosopher and spiritual teacher Gurdjieff composed music influenced by his travels through the Caucasus and Asia Minor, channelling ancient knowledge in his adaptations from secular music and sacred dances. Anouar Brahem, a master of Tunisian oud tradition, writes music influenced by both oriental and occidental sources. Franc?ois Couturier played with Brahem extensively, along the way learning much about Eastern melody and Arabic rhythmic cycles. Anja Lechner, meanwhile, has delved ever deeper into Gurdjieff’s sound-world. More than a critical and popular success, her album “Chants, Hymns and Dances” (with Vasillis Tsabropoulos) influenced studies of Gurdjieff’s compositions inside his Armenian homeland.

 

'MODERATO CANTABILE' is AVAILABLE ON DEMAND ALL OVER THE YEAR

 

 After a decade of shared work in the Tarkovsky Quartet and an ongoing alliance in the Pergolesi Project (with singer Maria Pia De Vito), German cellist Anja Lechner and French pianist Fran?ois Couturier unveil their new duo. The players approach the music from different vantage points: Lechner is a classical soloist with an uncommon interest in improvisation, Couturier a jazz musician travelling ever further from jazz. On Moderato cantabile they present their own arrangements of works by three fascinating outsiders from the margins of music history – G.I. Gurdjieff, Komitas, and Federico Mompou. To differing degree their music reveals influences from the east, both in terms of relationship to folk traditions and religious music, and philosophically. A contemplative air pervades the session. The programme has connections to Anja Lechner’s acclaimed account of Gurdjieff’s music on the earlier Chants, Hymns and Dances (with Vassilis Tsabropoulos), ...

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