Eros and Thanatos | Christophorus CHR77397

Eros and Thanatos


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Label: Christophorus

Cat No: CHR77397

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 5th May 2015



Ken Zuckerman (Indian sarod)
Chant 1450


Ken Zuckerman (Indian sarod)
Chant 1450


Eros and Thanatos, the Greek gods of covetous love and gentle death, are symbols of this programme from chant 1450.

The ensemble sings the chants of the nocturnal matins from the Gregorian Liturgy of the Hours, reading from a 16th-century manuscript in the Cathedral of Toledo. Unexpected components are integrated into the rigid structure of the liturgy: in place of the long Psalms and readings sung on a single recitation tone, we hear four-part love songs by the Spanish poet and composer Juan del Enzina (1468-1529). Both in their content and polyphonic texture, they provide a counterpoint to the monodic funeral liturgy.

In between these songs, and sometimes simultaneously with them, Ken Zuckerman improvises on the sarod, a traditional Indian instrument. With its bright sound and the entire weight of the North Indian musical language behind it, the sarod lends the programme a surprising colour. It reveals a close proximity to Gregorian chant with its fundamental structure based on fixed scales, however, harmoniously joining in with the songs, filling gaps and creating smooth transitions.

In this way, the love songs and Indian instrumental music respond to the austere Thanatos Gregorian chants with the power of life, allowing Eros to shine.

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