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CD ECM Records Anouar Brahem: Souvenance

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2015

Souvenance - Music for oud, quartet and string orchestra

Anouar Brahem - oud
Francois Couturier - pian
Klaus Gesing - bas clarinet, saxofon soprano
Bjorn Meyer - bas electric

The music of Souvenance, by turns graceful, hypnotic, and taut and starkly dramatic, was recorded in 2014 – six years after oud-master Anouar Brahem’s last ECM album, The Astounding Eyes of Rita. “It took a long time to write this music,” he acknowledges, noting that his emotional world had been usurped by the unfolding story of political upheaval sweeping first through Tunisia then through the neighbouring countries.

Meaning ‘remembrance’, ‘Souvenance’, is the Tunisian oud master’s new album after a five year gap following quartet recording ‘The Astounding Eyes of Rita’ also on ECM that also featured Gesing and Meyer. In reuniting his former colleagues, Brahem has written a commanding and all embracing set that seamlessly captures and portrays emotions ranging from despair to joy, and pessimism to optimism that shows a real depth of vision. […] This is a wonderful album and Brahem should be congratulated for bringing together such passion and emotion in a set that for all its serenity speaks volumes. [ Nick Lea, Jazz Views ]

Prezentare generala CD ECM Records Anouar Brahem: Souvenance

2015

Anouar Brahem
Souvenance - Music for oud, quartet and string orchestra


Anouar Brahem - oud
Francois Couturier - pian
Klaus Gesing - bas clarinet, saxofon soprano
Bjorn Meyer - bas electric

Orchestra della Svizzera italiana
Pietro Mianiti - dirijor

Image result for anouar brahem


ECM website: " The music of Souvenance, by turns graceful, hypnotic, and taut and starkly dramatic, was recorded in 2014 – six years after oud-master Anouar Brahem’s last ECM album, The Astounding Eyes of Rita. “It took a long time to write this music,” he acknowledges, noting that his emotional world had been usurped by the unfolding story of political upheaval sweeping first through Tunisia then through the neighbouring countries. Extraordinary waves of change, accompanied by great hopes and fears. “I don’t claim a direct link between my compositions and the events taking place in Tunisia,” says Anouar, “but I have been deeply affected by them.” New directions for the music find Francois Couturier returning to the Brahem group, frequently supported by subtle string orchestration. The strings have a glowing transparency and fragility in these pieces, often providing shimmering texture against which the contributions of the quartet members – and, above all, Anouar Brahem’s unique oud-playing – stand out in bold relief. This double album was recorded at the Lugano studio in May 2014, and produced by Manfred Eicher."

* * *

Indirectly inspired by the sociopolitical upheavals in his country over the last five years, the album assumes a muted cinematic sweep, with scant harmonic movement, but a wealth of shifting texture. […] The oud playing is infallibly strong, but some of the album’s more striking moments belong to Mr. Gesing, who knows how to suggest the strain of a human voice. Spread across two CDs, this is a work of tensile beauty, by turns hopeful and foreboding.
Nate Chinen, The New York Times

Meaning ‘remembrance’, ‘Souvenance’, is the Tunisian oud master’s new album after a five year gap following quartet recording ‘The Astounding Eyes of Rita’ also on ECM that also featured Gesing and Meyer. In reuniting his former colleagues, Brahem has written a commanding and all embracing set that seamlessly captures and portrays emotions ranging from despair to joy, and pessimism to optimism that shows a real depth of vision. […] This is a wonderful album and Brahem should be congratulated for bringing together such passion and emotion in a set that for all its serenity speaks volumes.
Nick Lea, Jazz Views

At the end of the day, that's what ‘Souvenance’ truly represents: a spiritual narrative that explores the depths of emotion and the furthest reaches of the human condition...in the most understated yet clarified way possible. Brahem may take more time between recordings these days, but when the result is as moving as ‘Souvenance’, it's clearly worth the wait as the years melt away and the music makes all other concerns irrelevant.
John Kelman, All About Jazz

The marvelously empathetic strings are like active observers watching and serving the small group’s every whim and they do this expertly. ‘January’ beginning the second disc finds Couturier repeatedly marking out a small phrase, then ‘Like a Dream’ a big oud statement going deeper and more serious than before. ‘On the Road’ following is much more introspective Couturier again leading the ensemble off. ‘Kasserine’ – a city in Tunisia near Sidi Bouzid where the Tunisian revolution began – in this vein is like a lament at the beginning Brahem’s deft timbral facility a feat. Completed by ‘Nouvelle Vague,’ the strings just gorgeous in all their diffidence rising and falling tantalisingly at the beginning, a memorable album of Brahem’s music that deserves the highest praise.
Stephen Graham, Marlbank



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