Anja Lechner / Francois Couturier 'Lontano' LP
After their highly acclaimed 2014 debut album as a duo, Moderato cantabile, Anja Lechner and Francois Couturier widen the scope of music even further. Since the start of their duo collaboration in the early 2000's as members of the Tarkovsky Quartet, the duo have been inventing a music that is genuinely impossible to pin down. The duo sings in a voice of its own, be it with original compositions, free improvisations, drawing upon a Bach cantata or an Argentine folk lament or subtle inclusion of works by Henri Dutilleux, Giya Kancheli or Anouar Brahem. "There is no old or new music. It's there in the air, everywhere, all the time," insists Anja Lechner, echoing Ukrainian composer Valentin Silvestrov, with whom she has worked closely for many years. Having internalised influences and repertoire the German cellist and the French pianist not only locate atmospheric and expressive connections among far-flung sources, but also create new music that reflects and refracts its inspirations. On this new recording, the chance shape of a phrase suddenly brings Debussy, Paul Bley or Ligeti to the pianist's fingers, while in the deep lyricism of the cello's song there is a borrowed Schubertian inflection, a memory of a Bartok quartet or sonorities that evoke Jordi Savall's viola da gamba. The result is a beautifully crafted meeting of musical minds with a tangible thread of shared performance skills. The music is relaxing, challenging and opens up your mind (and ears!) to a new concept in performance.
Catalogue number: 0746062