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03.05.2009 Kościół pw.Św.Katarzyny Aleksandryjskiej, Kraków
05.05.2009 Bazylika O.O.Dominkanów, Lublin
06.05.2009 Archikatedra pw. Św. Jana Chrzciciela, Warszawa
07.05.2009 Katedra Św.Marii Magdaleny, Wrocław


The successful cooperation between Jan Garbarek and Hilliard Ensemble has been bringing great fruits in form of innovative music since 1993. Unprecedented Album "Officium", with Garbarek's saxophone as the free "fifth voice" as the Ensemble presented a great range of music and emotions locked in this unique combination. Album "Mnemosyne" (1998) was another step in the development of his repertoire and expanded beyond the "early music", covering both historical pieces and modern ones.

Today, after another ten years of common experience, comes out the "Officium Novum" - the third album project from Garbarek / Hilliard, whose production was done by Manfred Eicher, and recorded, like his illustrious predecessors in the Austrian monastery of St.. Gerold. This album, with an adequate title, is a continuation of the musical “Officium Novum”, as well as expanding into new musical areas. Referring with it’s climate to the culture of the West / Orient, turns to the East, and because of the composition and adaptation of Komitas, its focal point is the music of Armenia.


During his visits to Armenia, the Hilliard Ensamble have analyzed the Komitas songs that are based on medieval music, both sacred and on bardic tradition of the Caucasus.

Wide trigger modal scales trigger real passion in  Garbarek’s way of playing. Thanks, to the trip the musicians travel through time and space, works derived from many sources approach and join each other. Trips completed in the "Officium Novum" from Yerevan to Byzantium, Russia, France and Spain are in their final text, musical arrangements of American Indians: all travel in the dramatic thread across the album, appearing as individual songs, become included in a broader compositon frame.

"Hays hark nviranats ukhti" and "Surba, SuRB" are part of the Divine Liturgy of the Holly Mass, which Vardapet Komitas (1869-1935) arranged for another occasion and for other tracks. The roots go back to these versions of songs that scored male voices in Constantinople in 1914/1915, the "Hays hark nviranats ukhti" is a hymn traditionally sung anthem the start the Mass, when the priest performs the incense. "Surb, Surb" (Holy, holy) refers to the "Sanctus" Mass in Latin.

"Ov zarmanali" is the anthem of the Baptism of Christ (Sunday after Epiphany), sung at the dedication ceremony of water, and the "Sirte sasani them" - the anthem "Votnlva" (foot washing ceremony celebrated on Holy Thursday). These Komitas songs come from the period between 1910 - 1915, but their roots go back to Antique. Being not only ethnomusicology, but also a progressive composer and philosopher, Komitas was released not only the way in which the Armenian sacred music evolved from folk music, but clearly used the styles of folk music to create the spirit of his time.

Other songs in the "Officium Novum” form a bridge between eras, combining medieval music with contemporary in Garbarek / Hilliard’s concept, known today as a special group sound. Jan Garbarek uses two poems: in "Allting Finns' sax player selects" Den Dode "(" Dead ") - A pair Swede poem Lagerkvist (1891-1974). Meanwhile, "We are the stars", last heard saxophonist on the album titled "Rites", is based on a poem by American Indians - a  tribe Pasamaquoddy.

The longest track of the album is a 13 minute "Litany", which combines imaginative works related spiritually and musically: "Otche Nash" the tradition of the Old Brewery Lipovan is preceded by a fragment of "Litany" by Nicholas N. Kedrow. Kedrow (1871-1940) was a student of Rimsky-Korsakov, the founder of the Quartet Kedrowa, a vocal group, who performed under the direction of Diaghilev, and the author of many compositions and arrangements of songs that found their way into the repertoire of choirs Orthodox.

Song Arvo Pärt "Most Holy Mother of God," written for the Hilliard Ensemble in 2003, heard in the former a capella performance. If the Hilliard convincingly proclaim faith through music, Pärt, then surely they also felt the need for simplicity in their work.

Composed in the thirteenth century Byzantine song "Sveta tihij" (Joyful Light) is one of the oldest Christian hymns, which formerly accompanied the entrance to the church clergy, and the lamp lighting the evening after sunset. Spanish "Tres Morillas' from the sixteenth century" Cancionero de Palacio "radiates light of another kind, because its dance rhythm is the basis for tales of lost love.

"Alleluia. Nativitas "Perotina is a restatement of the song you previously recorded musicians on the album," Mnemosyne ": freedom of interpretation testifies to the manner in which the project has developed comprehensively since its presentation in the project ECM New Series with a huge commitment Hilliard Ensemble in the process of improvisation and the implications music.

Speaking of saxophone from the improvisation perspective, it remains exceptionally clear in context from which you can experience the work of Jan Garbarek. Garbarek continues to treat music freely, improvising with the soloists, creating counterpoints, intertwining network of vocal textures and helping to shape what the English Evening Standard called "one of the finest acoustic music ever created."

But this is not the end of the new discoveries. At a  time when relationships are often fleeting musical or discussion, ECM has a particular pleasure to present "Officium Novum" is also a document about the "working team", who after 17 years of creative collaboration continues to grow.