Anja Lechner & Francois Courturier: Moderato Cantabile

Byzantine and Middle Eastern moods are conjured up here on an intriguing series of duets between violoncellist Anja Lechner and pianist Francois Courturier. Brooding and Orthodox mysticism is reflected in the fact that hymns from the Armenian monk Komitas are explored with a wondrous sense of spirituality and reflection. The mix of the bowed strings as they mourn along with the ruminating ivories as on “Sayid Chant…” is akin to seeing lights gently penetrate a stained glass window. Likewise, on “Hymn #8/Night Procession” you can feel as if you’re entering a midnight Liturgy with softly burning candles. Things get a little feisty on the percussive “Soleil Rouge” but for the most part you have prayerful groaning lifted to heaven on this penetrating and eternally focused release.

ECM Records

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