ECM Festival 2024: Tribute to Anja Lechner

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The big evening for cellist Anja Lechner.


"One of the most gifted cellists in the world, often bridging the gap between contemporary and traditional, east and west, and arranged and improvisational music"
- Greg Cahill, Strings, USA


Part 1
18.00 to 19.00 Special o Cello & Guitar o Anja Lechner & Pablo Márquez
approx. 45 minute break


Part 2
approx. 19:45 - 20:45 Lontano o Anja Lechner & François Couturier
approx. 25 minutes break


Part 3
ca. 21:15 Trio Liberamente o Anja Lechner / Mona Matbou Riahi /
François Couturier


The Trio Liberamente explores a variety of idioms in a subtle chamber music style,
fanning them out in a diverse program - and uniting foreign elements in an organic
way.


Cellist Anja Lechner and pianist François Couturier have enjoyed a continuous, multi-faceted collaboration - both as a duo
and as members of the Tarkovsky Quartet - that has grown over
many years. Their previous duo recordings Moderato Cantabile (2014) and
Lontano (2020) feature original compositions by both musicians as well as works by Federico
Mompou, Anouar Brahem and G.I. Gurdjieff, a composer with whom
Anja Lechner in particular has dealt intensively in her Lau]ahn.


With the young Iranian clarinettist Mona Matbou Riahi, the range of musical references
is now expanding. The wide-ranging musical and cultural backgrounds of the individual musicians
seem to be the ideal breeding ground for exploring as yet unknown spaces: Contemporary
composition and improvisation at the interface between Orient and Occident flow together
and open the ear to new listening experiences.


Mona Matbou Riahi first came together with Anja Lechner and Francois Couturier in the context of
performances of the music of G.I. Gurdjieff, whose compositions often draw on melodies from the
Middle East that are familiar to the Iranian clarinettist. (Born in Tehran,
and later active in the experimental music and multimedia scene in Vienna and Berlin, the
clarinettist has released albums as a member of the duo Naqsh (with the Iranian guitarist and composer
Golfam Khayam) and the transcultural Trickster Orchestra under the direction of Cymin Samawatie
and Ketan Bhatti).


Anja Lechner is the dedicatee of numerous works - among the composers who have written for her
are Valentin Silvestrov, Tõnu Kõrvits, Tigran Mansurian, Zad Moultaka and Dino
Saluzzi, to name but a few. Her varied work as a soloist and chamber musician, in the
most diverse genres and formations, is documented on numerous recordings.
In addition to the albums of the Tarkovsky Quartet (Nostalghia, Tarkovksy Quartet, Nuit Blanche), her Silvestrov recordings on leggiero, pesante (2002) and Hieroglyphen der
Nacht (2017) are also
worthy of mention, Die Nacht (2018) with the Arpeggione Sonata and songs by Franz Schubert, in a
version for cello and guitar (Pablo Márquez) or the album Chants, Hymns and Dances with music
by Gurdjieff, together with the pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos.


François Couturier's career as a pianist was characterized equally by classical music and jazz,
before he gained greater attention as a member of John McLaughlin's group. He then worked
for a long time with the Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem and also plays
in a duo with the violinist Dominique Pifarély. In addition to his improvisation, Couturier is also esteemed as a
composer whose works are increasingly in demand by film directors. His ECM-
discography also includes the solo album Un Jour Si Blanc, (which - like much of Couturier's work -
is inspired by various arts and combines influences from painting, literature and film).

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