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Mnemosyne

Jan Garbarek , Hilliard Ensemble Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 30.11 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details


Disc: 1
1. Quechuna Song - Anonymus
2. O Lord In Thee Is All My Trust
3. Estonian Lullaby
4. Remember Me My Dear - Anonymus
5. Gloria
6. Fayrfax Africanus
7. Agnus Dei
8. Novus novus - Anonymus
9. Se je fayz dueil
10. O ignis spiritus
Disc: 2
1. Alleluia nativitatis - Anonymus
2. Delphic Paean
3. Strophe and Counter-Strophe
4. Mascarades - Anonymus
5. Loiterando
6. Estonian Lullaby
7. Russian Psalm - Anonymus
8. Eagle Dance
9. When Jesus Wept
10. Hymn To The Sun

Product Description

Amazon.ca

It's been six years since these same performers got together to create one of the decade's more unusual experiments in musical alchemy. Beginning with the raw materials of early music and modern jazz, the four male voices of the Hilliard Ensemble joined with jazz saxophonist Jan Garbarek to see what would happen when the proper measure of old music and new style were combined, shaped by the performers' considerable experience and collective aesthetic vision. The success of that recording, titled Officium, together with subsequent concert performances, paved the way for this second effort, continuing the performers' search for artistically meaningful, musically satisfying combinations of written music and improvisatory elements. The odd title of the new recording comes from a mystical poem by Friedrich Hölderlin, quoted in the liner notes and accompanied by pictures from Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Officium aficionados will notice that Mnemosyne is even more adventurous in its explorations, which range farther and farther from the printed page. Musical fragments and a general outline are the starting points for several pieces. Improvisation is more frequently and freely employed, but always adheres to an agreed stylistic framework. Alongside a Tallis hymn or a chant by Hildegard, we hear Iroquois and Peruvian song fragments, an ancient Greek tune, and a beautiful lullaby by Veljo Tormis. Garbarek's tasteful improvisations are appropriate additions and inspired commentaries. The Hilliards are even better than on Officium; their awareness and sensitivity brings everything together into a truly unified expression that shows the timelessness of music and reminds us that where rhythm, melody, and musical imagination join, different styles, centuries and genres are not necessarily obstacles to compatibility. --David Vernier

Product Description


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely indeed Feb. 25 2002
Format:Audio CD
I was fortunate enough to see Garbarek and the Hillard Ensemble perform pieces from this disc in Tokyo; one of the true surprises and delights of the evening (which I haven't found on the CD yet) was Garbarek's decision to quote from Albert Ayler's "Ghosts" on one piece. You might wonder with a classical vocal group who focus on early music and modern avant-garde choral composition have to do with Albert Ayler -- it seems a difficult gap to bridge. Hearing this two disc set will do much to make it clear. There is something genuinely spiritually uplifting in this music; it never approaches the New Agey wallpaper of Garbarek's weakest disc, VISIBLE WORLD, however -- it's not a tritened, mass-consumable spirituality at work here. There is grief, suffering, sorrow, pain, and fear acknowledged and embraced in this music; and yet it is still life affirming and inspiring (and beautiful to dream to). The spiritual aspect of Ayler's music, of free jazz itself, deserved the acknowledgement; Ayler was one of the most spiritually uplifting jazzmen of the movement, which often spoke in the idiom of the spiritual -- it would have been just as well (though far less moving, somehow, and far less musically appropriate) to quote "A Love Supreme"). Don't be worried by the unusual combination of jazz and classical elements; as another reviewer notes, Garbarek's voice blends in perfectly with the rest of the group, sounds a part of the whole. You'll forget that choral music usually doesn't include a soprano sax in a surprisingly short time. (Note - Garbarek brought a tenor to do the Ayler bit; I really don't know if it's on these discs, as I haven't listened to them in completion yet, but he does play tenor sax on them, so we can hope). Highly recommended stuff. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting Feb. 21 2000
Format:Audio CD
A fantastic journey through time and space, ranging from ancient Greece to present-day compositions by Garbarek. No less spirited than Officium, but much more varied. Whereas Officium was very much the Hilliards with Garbarek adding (at times rather exhibitionist) comments, here they play together almost as a band - and what a band! With beautiful packaging and stunning production, this is immensely enjoyable and uplifting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uplifting Feb. 21 2000
By Ole Skipper - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
A fantastic journey through time and space, ranging from ancient Greece to present-day compositions by Garbarek. No less spirited than Officium, but much more varied. Whereas Officium was very much the Hilliards with Garbarek adding (at times rather exhibitionist) comments, here they play together almost as a band - and what a band! With beautiful packaging and stunning production, this is immensely enjoyable and uplifting.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely indeed Feb. 24 2002
By Allan MacInnis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I was fortunate enough to see Garbarek and the Hillard Ensemble perform pieces from this disc in Tokyo; one of the true surprises and delights of the evening (which I haven't found on the CD yet) was Garbarek's decision to quote from Albert Ayler's "Ghosts" on one piece. You might wonder with a classical vocal group who focus on early music and modern avant-garde choral composition have to do with Albert Ayler -- it seems a difficult gap to bridge. Hearing this two disc set will do much to make it clear. There is something genuinely spiritually uplifting in this music; it never approaches the New Agey wallpaper of Garbarek's weakest disc, VISIBLE WORLD, however -- it's not a tritened, mass-consumable spirituality at work here. There is grief, suffering, sorrow, pain, and fear acknowledged and embraced in this music; and yet it is still life affirming and inspiring (and beautiful to dream to). The spiritual aspect of Ayler's music, of free jazz itself, deserved the acknowledgement; Ayler was one of the most spiritually uplifting jazzmen of the movement, which often spoke in the idiom of the spiritual -- it would have been just as well (though far less moving, somehow, and far less musically appropriate) to quote "A Love Supreme"). Don't be worried by the unusual combination of jazz and classical elements; as another reviewer notes, Garbarek's voice blends in perfectly with the rest of the group, sounds a part of the whole. You'll forget that choral music usually doesn't include a soprano sax in a surprisingly short time. (Note - Garbarek brought a tenor to do the Ayler bit; I really don't know if it's on these discs, as I haven't listened to them in completion yet, but he does play tenor sax on them, so we can hope). Highly recommended stuff. The art for the booklet, by the way, is taken from Ingmar Bergman's SEVENTH SEAL, which is very, very appropriate. People who like and admire Meredith Monk's music (particularly BOOK OF DAYS, her finest work, by me) will appreciate this greatly, too. And vice-versa.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Extraordinary Venture July 11 2009
By Karl W. Nehring - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Officium proved to be a surprisingly popular collection that got lots of air play and plenty of word of mouth publicity. To their credit, neither the record company nor the artists rushed to record a follow-up in an attempt to cash in commercially on Officium's popularity. Instead, Garbarek and The Hilliard Ensemble continued to work together from time to time, slowly adding to their familiarity with each other and jointly discovering new music to add to their repertoire. Finally, several years later, ECM released a new two-CD set featuring this uniquely talented ensemble.

This time around, the music is more varied, with compositions ranging from old to new, from strictly composed to mostly improvisational. Officium maintained a fairly consistent musical mood throughout, while Mnemosyne is more varied in its musical and emotional content. Some will find the new recording refreshingly eclectic, while others may miss the focused vision of the earlier release.

Both recordings were made in the same venue, a monastery, and the sound quality of the new release is exemplary. Mnemosyne is an extraordinary venture that showcases the talents of these extraordinary musicians as they venture into new and sometimes uncharted musical territory.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonorous beauty July 27 2002
By Chris P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This album is pure bliss. Garbarek's soaring saxaphone playing accents and brings passion to the already rich and wonderful midieval choral pieces. Although the sax's melody lines are similar from certain tracks to certain tracks, I couldn't get tired of listening to this CD.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A winter"s night July 22 2005
By Arturo Tomas Linn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Though I am not much of an expert in music as to write a good review, I have enjoyed Jan Garbarek's saxo for many years now, and most recently his previous work with the Hilliard Ensemble, "Officium".

What else can I say?

Just imagine a cold winter's night (and nights are cold these day in the Southern Hemisphere), cudled inside your home, by the fireplace, with the company of a good book, smoking your pipe, sipping some good french brandy and listening this marvelous music.

What else can compare to such an experience?

Tomás Linn
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