Saturday, April 21, 2012

Chants, Hymns and Dances - Review

Anja Lechner & Vassilis Tsabropoulos - Chants, Hymns and Dances yes thats the album that has me captivated this weekend.
There is another album as well but i will come to that laterz.
Anja Lechner, cellist from Germany is a master of her art and so is the amazing Greek pianist (many say the greatest ever) Vassilis Tsabropoulos a master of classical music as well as a master interpretor of 19th and 20th century music.
This album is a unique coming together of these amazing musicians to bring to life chants , hymns and dances.
The pieces are boundary crossing experiments and has wonderful fusion of the contemporary simplistic approach as well as the classicism that we have come to expcet from both these masters.
Most of the album us based on melodies by Gurdjieff. Some pieces are composed by Vassilis himself as well.
Now for the music.
Yes at the surface this looks like another world music album with a piano and violincello that is difficult to listen to in its entirety because of the monotonic nature that we have come to expect from most of what is going around.
But this album is curiously different.
Yes the album has calm and peace written all over it . But Vassilis and Lechner achieve two things that are hard to find nowadays.
First they play to the feel ie. there is never a moment in the album where you feel a ancient greek music segment hit you on the face or a bavarian piece shout at you.
The cultural inputs are there but are so subtely put in as though they came in naturally while playing.
The other thing that makes this album unique is the variety and improvisations thrown in.
There is never a moment is the album where you feel there is repetition and there is never a moment where you feel its not music !
Welcome to the world of modes and its master Vassilis who plays his fingers through modes and keeps the listener interested all through. Lechner on other hand complements the feel with the same variety in her violincello playing.
The tempo , the peace the mournful everything is so delicately played.
This is a disc that you must give a spin to.
Albums like these dont come every year.
And artistes like these need more patronage.

Its difficult to singlel out favourite tracks from this album. i wont do it this time because i treat this album as a single piece of masterful work.

Recco : If you like this album be sure to checkout Vassilis's two albums "Akroasis" and "Melos" . They are awesome as well.