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The Independent Culture
Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble: Mnemosyne (ECM)

This follow-up recording to Officium, the first, astonishingly successful collaboration between the Norwegian saxophonist and the English early music vocal group, more than lives up to expectations. The new album goes further and deeper than its predecessor, drawing its often fragmentary material from Ancient Greece, the Americas, and European folk-song as well as medieval and renaissance composers. The sound is often ravishingly beautiful, with the Hilliards given more space than before, and Garbarek often plays second fiddle to the voices. At over an hour and a half in length, it's difficult to make a snap judgement, but the signs are that Mnemosyne will continue to deepen for a good while yet.