Anja Lechner & François Couturier

Moderato cantabile

Anja Lechner and François Couturier unite their differing approaches to music in Moderato cantabile. Combining Lechner’s classical ear with Couturier’s jazz background, the album makes for a unique listen. The pair have spent the past 10 years working closely in the Tarkovsky Quartet, but this is their first record as a duo.

They delicately handle various compositions from Komitas Vardapet, G.I. Gurdjieff and Federico Mompou, in addition to original pieces from Couturier. These new works provide interesting, contrasting elements to the rest of the album, for example, the staccato notes of Soleil rouge leap out of Mompou’s gentle Musica Callada XXVIII / Impresiones intimas I.

However, Lechner’s own brilliant ability does not fade behind Couturier’s expert composition; instead, her instrument leads the melody as a voice carrying a song. Moderato cantabile is a celebration of composers on the edge of music history, perfectly melding influences from the East with contemporary intuition.

Hannah Clugston