An exceptional live recording, “Concert In Athens”, the tenth ECM release by Greek composer Eleni Karaindrou, incorporates moving performances by guests Kim Kashkashian and Jan Garbarek. The US violist and the Norwegian saxophonist have each made important contributions to Karaindrou’s music in the past, Garbarek with his playing on the film-score for The Beekeeper (see “Music for Films”) and Kashkashian as the key musical protagonist of “Ulysses’ Gaze”. Themes of both those films are revisited here, amongst much that is new.
A primary emphasis is music written for theatre: the wide-reaching emotional scope of pieces for plays by Arthur Miller, Tennesee Williams and Edward Albee provides a wonderful context for bringing the guest musicians into contact with Eleni’s soloists, above all the brilliant oboist Vangelis Christopoulos. Recorded November 2010, with Manfred Eicher as producer, “Concert in Athens” gives us perhaps the fullest picture of Eleni Karaindrou’s compositional creativity to date.