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The musical affinity between Anja Lechner and François Couturier has been evident in their concerts and recordings with the Tarkovsky Quartet. In this new duo, the German cellist and the French pianist traverse a still-wider musical arc, playing pieces by G.I. Gurdjieff, Federico Mompou and Komitas, as well as Couturier’s own compositions. New arrangements, free interpretation, and improvisation are all part of the work in their exploration of repertoire situated, metaphorically or musico-historically, at the crossroads of East and West. The Catalan Mompou’s music drew influence, at different times, from French impressionism, from sounds of nature and from the mystical poetry of St John of the Cross. The Greek-Armenian philosopher and spiritual teacher Gurdjieff composed music influenced by his travels through the Caucasus and Asia Minor, channelling ancient knowledge in his adaptations from secular music and sacred dances.
The duo Anja Lechner and François Couturier have played together for ten years in different projects. Alongside their shared work the two musicians developed a friendship and musical understanding. They share their interest in
oriental music and sound. Francois Couturier played with Anouar Brahem, a master of Tunisian oud tradition, who
writes music influenced by both oriental and occidental bsources, extensively, along the way learning much about
Eastern melody and Arabic rhythmic cycles. Anja Lechner, meanwhile, has delved ever deeper into Gurdjieff’s
sound-world. More than a critical and popular success, her album “Chants, Hymns and Dances” (with Vasillis Tsabropoulos) influenced studies of Gurdjieff’s compositions inside his Armenian homeland. As a duo they create their own new sound and understand how to let their instruments communicate with the audience who they invite to join this musical journey.
Anja Lechner: violoncello
François Couturier: piano