℗ © 2010 ECM Records GmbH under exclusive license to Universal Music Classics, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc.
Jan Garbarek, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
David James, Countertenor
Rogers Covey-Crump, Tenor
Steven Harrold, Tenor
Gordon Jones, Baritone
Bruno Ganz, Speaker
The inspired bringing together of Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble has resulted in consistently inventive music making since 1993. The unprecedented “Officium” album, with Garbarek’s saxophone as a free-ranging ‘fifth voice’ with the Ensemble, gave the first indications of the musical scope and emotional power of this combination. “Mnemosyne” (1998) took the story further, expanding the repertoire beyond ‘early music’ to embrace works both ancient and modern.
Now, after another decade of shared experiences, comes “Officium Novum”, the third album from Garbarek/Hilliard, recorded, like its distinguished predecessors, in the St Gerold monastery. A central focus this time is music of Armenia based on the adaptations of Komitas Vardapet, pieces which draw upon both medieval sacred music and the bardic tradition of the Caucasus. The Hilliards have studied these pieces in the course of their visits to Armenia, and the modes of the music encourage some of Garbarek’s most impassioned playing.