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Officium Novum

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Officium Novum
Officium Novum


Long-awaited third album from one of the most touching and magical sound combinations in music today: Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek with Britain's premier vocal group, The Hilliard Ensemble. The first album, Officium, has sold nearly 1½ million copies, and it is still in the charts as one of the top 20 best-selling classical albums of the past decade, well after its 1994 release.

The spellbinding Officium album, with Garbarek's saxophone as a free-ranging 'fifth voice' with the Ensemble, gave the first indications of their immense combined musical scope and emotional power. Mnemosyne (1999) expanded the repertoire beyond 'early music' to embrace works both ancient and modern. Now Officium novum finds the collective at the crossroads of East and West.

A central focus is music of Armenia based on the adaptations of Komitas Vardapet, drawing upon both medieval sacred music and the bardic tradition of the Caucasus. The Hilliards studied these pieces during visits to Armenia, and the music's modes encourage some of Garbarek's most impassioned playing. Also included are Arvo Pärt's "Most Holy Mother of God" in an a cappella reading, Byzantine chant, two pieces by Jan Garbarek, including a new version of "We are the stars", plus Perotin's "Alleluia, Nativitas".

Personnel: Jan Garbarek (soprano & tenor saxophones); The Hilliard Ensemble (David James, countertenor; Rogers Covey-Crump, tenor; Steven Harrold, tenor; Gordon Jones, baritone)


  1. Name
  2. Ov Zarmanali (Komitas)
  3. Svjete Tihij (Byzantine Chant)
  4. Allting Finns (Jan Garbarek)
  5. Litany (Nikolai N Kedrov)
  6. Otche Nash (from the Lipovan Old Believer's Tradition)
  7. Dostonio Est (anon.)
  8. Surb, Surb (Komitas)
  9. Most Holy Mother Of God (Arvo Pärt)
  10. Tres Morillas (Spanish Anon.)
  11. Sirt Im Sasani (Komitas)
  12. Hays Hark Nviranats Ukhti (Komitas)
  13. Alleluia. Nativitas (Pérotin)
  14. We Are The Stars (Jan Garbarek)
  15. Nur Ein Weniges Noch (Giorgos Seferis)
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