THE combination of the male vocal quartet that is the Hilliard Ensemble with Jan Garbarek’s solo saxophone has been around for a long time, and played in a darkened room, it makes for a soothing end of the day.
Replace the darkened room with a dimly-lit spacious cathedral and the effect is doubly mesmerising and hypnotic.
According to the programme this was a continuous sequence of music from their CDs but a printed runorder would have been good.
Apparently there were three pieces in Armenian by Komitas, a 19th century monk, and Arvo Pärt’s Most Holy Mother of God - set in English.
A medieval jam session followed with Garbarek “doing his thing” over a dance-like piece redolent of music from Paris’s Notre Dame in the 13th century, Alleluia, Nativitas.
The cathedral was packed with listeners soaking up every sound as unique resonances percolated from every corner of the building.
Maybe it doesn’t matter knowing exactly what we heard as the general pattern is simple.
Garbarek improvises astonishingly virtuosic riffs; a formula which these chaps have made their own. With the singers soon to retire they bade farewell with anon’s “Remember me mydeare.”
Many will - in their own darkened rooms.