38 €

Dviguba LP
LP dydis: 12"
Svoris: 2 x 180g
Greitis: 33⅓
Katalogo numeris: ECM 1525
Metai: 1994

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Already upon its release it was obvious that with Officium, Jan Garbarek, The Hilliard Ensemble and Manfred Eicher had stumbled upon something very unique – a suspicion that was confirmed by The Los Angeles Times who called the album“an extraordinary hybrid of jazz improvisation and early a cappella music”, while the English Grammophone lauded the collaboration for its “spiritual time warp, where past and present happily co-exist on the basis of shared musical goals”, concluding: “Officium successfully transcends any limitations imposed by time and style. […] Recordings, documentation and presentation are exemplary”.

Although Officium draws upon compositions from the 13th to 16th centuries, it resists definition as an Early Music album. "What is this music?", Hilliard Ensemble tenor John Potter asked. "We don't have a name for it: it is simply what happened when a saxophonist, a vocal quartet and a record producer met to make music together." The recording session, held in the monastery of St Gerold, was distinguished by its spontaneity: "with Perotin and his successors looking over our shoulders we wanted to make sure that, as far as possible, every take was printable". However, the idea of combining voices and saxophones – a combination unprecedented in the literature of Western music – had been in Manfred Eicher's mind for some years. While at work on his film Holozän (with Heinz Bütler) in Iceland in 1991, he had listened frequently to the Officium defunctorum of Morales and to Jan Garbarek's saxophone improvisations. Both expressions seemed well-keyed to the desolate lava fields of the Icelandic landscape (and, too, to the sense of personal apocalypse explored in the Max Frisch novella, man In The Holocence, which inspired the film). The producer began to perceive how the two musics might be creatively interwoven.


The notion is provocative only until one hears the results. The rightness, the naturalness of the pairing emphasizes one of the tenets of the New Series, the idea that there is a kind of "expressive truth" that informs and unites the strongest music of the ages. Just as Officium sidesteps definition-by-genre so it seems to step out of time's currents. Neither wholly composed nor completely improvised, neither ancient nor modern, it shapes its own still space beyond history.