Remember me, my dear

Jan Garbarek, The Hilliard Ensemble

EN / DE
25 years on from the release of Officium, the groundbreaking alliance of Jan Garbarek and The Hilliard Ensemble, comes Remember me, my dear, recorded during the final tour the group made in October 2014. The program is emblematic of the range of repertoire the Norwegian saxophonist and British vocal quartet explored together– from Pérotin, Hildegard von Bingen, Guillaume le Rouge, Antoine Brumel to Komitas , Arvo Pärt and more. It could be said that the Hilliard/Garbarek combination, in concert, transcended its source materials, with early music, contemporary composition and improvisation interfused in the responsive acoustics of sacred spaces. And this final album reminds us that the unique Garbarek/Hilliard combination, and its unprecedented exploration of sound, was consistently breathtaking.
25 Jahre nach der Veröffentlichung von Officium, der bahnbrechenden ersten Zusammenarbeit von Jan Garbarek und dem Hilliard Ensemble, erscheint nun das Livealbum Remember me, my dear, aufgenommen während der letzten Tournee der Gruppe im Oktober 2014. Das Programm macht die Bandbreite des Repertoires, das der norwegische Saxophonist und das britische Vokalquartett gemeinsam erforscht haben, deutlich  – von Pérotin, Hildegard von Bingen, Guillaume le Rouge, Antoine Brumel bis zu Komitas, Arvo Pärt und anderen. Man könnte sagen, dass die Kombination aus Garbarek und den Hilliards im Konzert ihre Ausgangsmaterialien transzendiert hat, mit Alter Musik, zeitgenössischer Komposition und Improvisation, die sich in die reaktionsfähige Akustik von sakralen Räumen mischten. Dieses letzte Album erinnert uns daran, dass die einzigartige Kombination aus Garbareks Saxophonspiel und dem Gesang des Hilliard Ensembles und ihre beispiellosen Klangexperimente stets atemberaubend waren.
Featured Artists Recorded

October 2014, Chiesa della Collegiata dei Santi Pietro e Stefano, Bellinzona

Original Release Date

18.10.2019

  • 1Ov zarmanali
    (David James, Gordon Jones, Jan Garbarek, Komitas Vardapet, Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold, Traditional)
    06:00
  • 2Procurans odium
    (Anonymous, David James, Gordon Jones, Jan Garbarek, Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold, Traditional)
    03:23
  • 3Allting finns
    (Jan Garbarek, Pär Lagerkvist, Traditional)
    04:00
  • 4Litany
    (David James, Gordon Jones, Jan Garbarek, Nikolai N. Kedrov, Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold, Traditional)
    09:00
  • 5Dostoino est
    (Anonymous, David James, Gordon Jones, Jan Garbarek, Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold, Traditional)
    03:16
  • 6Sanctus
    (Anonymous, Jan Garbarek, Traditional)
    07:50
  • 7Most Holy Mother of God
    (Arvo Pärt, Traditional)
    04:11
  • 8Procedentem sponsum
    (Anonymous, David James, Gordon Jones, Jan Garbarek, John Potter, Rogers Covey-Crump, Traditional)
    04:17
  • 9Se je fayz deuil
    (David James, Gordon Jones, Guillaume le Rouge, Jan Garbarek, John Potter, Rogers Covey-Crump, Traditional)
    06:17
  • 10Alleluia. Nativitas
    (David James, Gordon Jones, Jan Garbarek, Perotin, Rogers Covey-Crump, Steven Harrold, Traditional)
    05:09
  • 11O ignis spiritus
    (David James, Gordon Jones, Hildegard von Bingen, Jan Garbarek, John Potter, Rogers Covey-Crump, Traditional)
    07:29
  • 12We are the stars
    (Jan Garbarek)
    05:19
  • 13Agnus Dei
    (Antoine Brumel, David James, Gordon Jones, Jan Garbarek, John Potter, Rogers Covey-Crump, Traditional)
    06:10
  • 14Remember me, my dear
    (Anonymous, David James, Gordon Jones, Jan Garbarek, John Potter, Rogers Covey-Crump, Traditional)
    05:13
The wide-ranging programme follows their established recipe of early, contemporary and improvised music, recorded to achieve heightened resonance, embellished with Garbarek’s poetic soprano sax, at times jaunty, at others possessing the imperative cry of a shofar. The ebullient rhythms of Pérotin’s ‘Alleluia Nativitas’, and its segue into Hildegard of Bingen’s ‘O Ignis Spiritus’, then Garbarek’s ‘We Are The Stars makes a typically compelling sequence. The title song – anonymous Scottish 16th century – is a heartfelt finale. Not for purists, but offering its own singular and hard-won purity.
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer
 
Le panorama musical est riche en détonants attelages, mais celui-ci fait peut-être un peu plus frémir que tous les autres : Jan Garbarek et The Hilliard Ensemble, ou la réunion d’un saxophoniste et de quatre voix masculines (contre-ténor, deux ténors et un baryton). Ces cinq fréquences se mélangent pour de très longs voyages qui les conduisent de Hildegard von Bingen (XIe siècle) à Arvo Pärt (contemporain) en passant par Perotin (Ecole de Notre-Dame, XIIe siècle) ou des morceaux de Jan Garbarek lui-même. (..) Noël avant l’heure.
Guillaume Tion, Libération
 
Aufgenommen am Ende der gemeinsamen Schaffensphase 2014 in einer Kirche im schweizerischen Bellinzona reicht diesmal das Repertoire von Originals über Arvo Pärt bis zu Pérotin und Hildegard von Bingen, gestalterisch über zwei Jahrzehnte perfektioniert und  klanglich mit den Möglichkeiten der Weite und Präsenz spielend. Eine pointierte Conclusio als Ende der Album-Tetralogie.
Ralf Dombrowski, Stereoplay
 
Ein Abend, der einen atemlos zurücklässt. Mit geistlichen Gesängen von Komitas und Pérotin bis zu Nikolai Kedrov und Arvo Pärt geben sie einen stimmungsvollen Überblick über ihre mehr als 20 Jahre währende Kooperation. Der Sound ist einfach zauberhaft – ECM-Chef Manfred Eicher hat ein grandioses Gefühl für Hall und Raum. Und Garbareks Saxophon-Ton ist live noch schöner als auf den Studioalben.
Welf Grombacher, Freie Presse
 
So this is the ultimate record of their collaboration, a potentially final document of the union they achieved. At its best Garbarek’s saxophone became a fifth voice in the ensemble. It opens the concert with ‘Ov zarmanali,’ exploring the massive acoustic reverberation of the Swiss church which hosted the concerts before being joined by a gentle pillow of wordless vocals. […] ‘Allting finns’ is the first of two Garbarek compositions, along with ‘We Are The Stars,’ which Garbarek first recorded with a choir on his album ‘Rites’ (ECM, 1998). Both are a perfect stylistic fit with the more traditional music in the program. Garbarek’s compositional voice blends just as effortlessly as his instrumental one. Contemporary Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s ‘Most Holy Mother Of God’ is performed by the Hilliards alone. Garbarek sneaks in on the final chord, leading directly into the anonymous early music of ‘Procedentum sponsum.’ Other highlights include Pérotin’s ‘Alleluia nativitas,’ which features a very modern-sounding saxophone solo over a repeated vocal vamp, and Hildegard von Bingen’s ‘O ignis spiritus,’ which finds Garbarek weaving around the polyphony of the voices. No doubt fans of the previous collaborations will want this one, and it is also an excellent introduction.
Mark Sullivan, All About Jazz
 
Das Album ist ein tief bewegendes und überaus willkommenes Dokument der mehr als eintausend Konzerte, die diese Gruppe in zwanzig gemeinsamen Jahren in Kirchen, Klostern und ähnlichen Orten gab. Garbareks Einsätze hier sind zurückhaltender und von längeren Pausen gezeichnet als auf den anderen Alben des ‘Officium’-Zyklus, doch die Kraft und die emotionale Wirkung, die von seinem freien, von der nordischen Volksmusik geprägten Ton ausgeht, ist auch nach Jahrzehnten nach wie vor eine intensive Erfahrung.
Ingo J. Biermann, Nordische Musik
 
Garbarek has enjoyed immense success improvising alongside the British vocal quartet the Hilliard Ensemble. It’s striking how irreverent he can be. His soprano sax draws the blues out of the 12th-century organum ‘Alleluia Nativitas’, cuts a celtic caper to the Russian orthodox hymn ‘Dostoino est’ and puts a little ‘Careless Whipsper’ into ‘Agnus dei’. For all that, it’s a spellbinding blend.
Chris Pearson, The Times
 
Anyone who heard this combination live will regard this as a more than fitting memento of some special very concerts […] The album, just as the farewell performances themselves did, ends with the wistful emotional punch of the 16th century Scots ‘Remember Me, My Dear’ – the closing applause a fitting tribute to a 21-year cross-genre partnership that captured hearts and minds across the world.
Alyn Shipton, Jazzwise
 
The way the group and Garbarek interacts is fascinating. In some pieces, such as the anonymous Procurans odium, the repetitive vocals form a base for Garbarek’s free flowing improvisation, having established the vocal part first it then becomes more an accompaniment than partner. Yet in others, such as Garbarek’s own Allting finns, Garbarek’s soprano saxophone simply forms a top line over the others to create a five-part texture. Perotin’s busy Alleluia nativitas with its long melismatic passages is quite a surprise as Garbarek is able to join the four voices and craft a fifth line. The final way they interact is that Garbarek’s improvisations come at pause points in the music, in effect creating a dialogue. […] for those who are already admirers and converts, there is plenty to enjoy on this disc and it forms a fitting conclusion to the Hilliard’s journey.  […] ‘Officium’ was a live experience, each venue was different, each time the interaction between the Hilliard Ensemble and Garbarek would be different, and this recording catches it on the wing.
Robert Hugill, Planet Hugill
 
This album is their last together, as The Hilliard Ensemble has since disbanded. And because it was recorded in a church, the sound is echoey and diffuse, qualities that help Garbarek, playing soprano, harmonize with the ensemble on a textural, as well as a harmonic level. The music certainly casts a spell, beginning with Garbarek’s haunting solo introduction on ‘Ov Zarmanali’, the first track.
Matthew Kassel, Downbeat
 
The version of ‘Litany’ by Russian composer Nikolay Kedrov is particularly beautiful, with sonorous saxophone flourishes soaring above the celestial voices. While there is drama and intensity, the expansive set fashions a calming, pensive mood in what’s an exquisite offering.
Ian Sinclair, Morning Star
 
The way one piece echoes the last or pre-echoes the next is the stuff of creative genius and makes each of ECM’s four programmes eternally durable. On the penultimate track, ‘Agnus Dei’, Garbarek roams into the far distance then doubles back to join The Hilliards in an intimate musical embrace for the closing ‘Remember me, my dear’, from which the album takes its name. And while as a rule this latest collection (14 tracks in all) promotes a unique brand of quiet piety, there are exceptions, not least Pérotin’s gaily skipping ‘Alleluia nativitas’ and an especially challenging rendition of Hildegard’s ‘O ignis spiritus’, which seems to reflect the painful image: ‘Holy are you, cleansing the festering wounds.’ […] this beautifully engineered disc concludes a four-album trans-millennial tale that helped define meaningful music for a generation. It ‘crosses over’ while maintaining integrity on both sides of the divide and deserves to reach the widest possible audience.
Rob Cowan, Gramophone
 
In dem vielfältigen Repertoire begegnen sich die Genres oft auf überraschende Weise. So erklingt das um 1200 von Perotin komponierte ‘Alleluia nativitas’ fast wie ein swingender Gospel. Eine Aufnahme, die mehrfaches Hören lohnt.
Andreas Schneider, Jazzthetik
Garbarek blends with the vocal lines – sung captivatingly by the Hilliards – like a fifth voice. With restraint and the greatest of control he wanders and floats through the spaces created by the singers…The early music is not just given a modern sheen. Garbarek explores a space from the inside, but with a sound whose hymnic character and pathos cannot be denied. The music raises the question of what is old and what is new.
Peter Rüedi, Die Weltwoche
 
 
Named for the Scottish ballad which concludes it, Remember Me, My Dear is a live album from the unforgettable final tour of Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble, recorded in October 2014 at Chiesa della Collegiata dei Santi Pietro e Stefano in Bellinzona, in the Ticino canton of Switzerland. The album embodies all the special attributes of this unique alliance between the Norwegian saxophonist and the British vocal ensemble.
 
They were first brought together by producer Manfred Eicher in 1993. With Officium, the debut album made the following year, “something came into existence that was not there before”, in the words of Jan Garbarek, and the music touched a large international audience. A million copies of Officium were sold swiftly, and a thousand concerts – many in churches, abbeys and other sacred spaces – followed over a 20-year period. And there were further recordings, the double album Mnemosyne (1998) and Officium Novum (2009). The repertoire of Remember Me is drawn from all three albums and adds a new piece, “Procurans odium”, a medieval song preserved at the Bavarian monastery of Benediktbeuern. All of the music is transformed by the live context, by the subtlety of the singers, and the improvisational daring of Jan Garbarek. “He can pick up on anything, and his ears are phenomenal,” David James has said. “The slightest nuance, he’ll play into it and feed something back – it’s just so thrilling to perform with him.” Jan Garbarek, near the beginning of the association: “I’ve loved medieval music for years. The old music is very familiar to me, for it uses modes which you find in folk music and jazz. I find it completely natural to join in with it, and it has since broadened my whole perspective of playing.”
 
The range of music addressed expanded as the Officium project developed. Remember Me, My Dear begins with an Armenian traditional piece in Komitas’s arrangement. There is also contemporary music, including Arvo Pärt’s “Most Holy Mother of God”, and two Garbarek compositions: “We are the stars”, based upon Native American poetry, and “Allting finns”, a particularly beautiful setting of a poem by Swedish author Pär Lagerkvist. On the present recording it segues into the Litany of Russian composer Nikolai Kedrov, whose music spanned the 19th and 20th centuries, integrated here alongside 12th century music of Hildegard von Bingen, 13th century music of Pérotin, and more. In the playing of Garbarek and the singing of the Hilliards, time is dissolved in the resonant performance space.
 
“Hard, smooth stone surfaces and an abundance of air were the properties we sought,” wrote Jan Garbarek in a programme note. When these were available, “the concerts were bliss. Flowing so easily, the sonority of the voices hovering harmoniously under every arch and vault, filling every corner of splendent space. Sax roaming freely above, below inside the vocal texture, a soaring sum of parts…” The Bellinzona concert, two months from the final show, bears out this description.
 
The retirement of the Hilliard Ensemble, after a forty-year career, also brought the Officium collaboration to an end. The last Officium performance was at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, in December 2014. The outstanding recordings remain, the Officium-Mnemosyne-Officium Novum cycle now augmented by Remember Me, My Dear.
The Hilliards can also be heard on a further 40 ECM titles, singing everything from Tallis and Gesualdo to Arvo Pärt and Gavin Bryars. Jan Garbarek is of course one of ECM’s primary artists, first recording for the label in 1970 with Afric Pepperbird and subsequently appearing on dozens of albums as leader, co-leader, and featured soloist with composers including Eleni Karaindrou and Giya Kancheli.
 
CD booklet, in English and German, includes a performer’s note by Gordon Jones, and liner notes by Paul Griffiths and Steve Lake.
YEAR DATE VENUE LOCATION
2024 October 01 Sala Ziemi Poznan, Poland
2024 October 05 Kulturhus Hamar, Norway
2024 November 03 Konzerthaus Vienna, Austria
2024 November 05 Jazztage Ingolstadt, Germany
2024 November 07 Weimarhalle Weimar, Germany
2024 November 09 Stadthalle St. Ingbert, Germany
2024 November 10 Jazzfestival Ravensburg, Germany
2024 November 11 Schloss Elmau Krün, Germany
2024 November 15 Erholungshaus Leverkusen, Germany
2024 November 16 Otto-Flick-Halle Kreuztal, Germany
2024 November 18 Elbphilharmonie, großer Saal Hamburg, Germany
2024 November 25 National Philharmonic Hall Warsaw, Poland
2024 November 26 Baltic Philharmonic Hall Gdansk, Poland
2024 December 03 Prinzregententheater Munich, Germany
2024 December 09 Landestheater Linz, Austria
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