Composer and pianist Eleni Karaindrou is perhaps best known for her scores for a host of Theo Angelopoulos films which respect and often enhance the lengthy meditations on time, love and memory. At its best, her music provides a paradox in requiring both close study and submission to its beauty and/or atmosphere.
Here, Karaindrou herself, the great Kim Kashkashian on viola, Jan Garbarek and Vangelis Christopolos on oboe and the accompanying Camerata Orchestra all play exquisitely (although some naysayers will insist that Garbarek has been mixed with undue prominence)on reworkings of music from ten films and plays. Although "Concert in Athens" is a beautiful sounding recording overall, it has no real sense of occasion (there is no applause or other indication that this was performed to an audience) and the brevity of the pieces leaves a slightly bitty and rushed feel overall. Nonetheless, there is much to admire here and a number of the individual themes are striking in their combination of melody, atmosphere and harmony. The theme from "Eternity and a Day" (which is an excellent soundtrack) is my favourite but the accordion-led tango of four tracks from "Number 10" provides a playful warmth of sound which which Karaindrou is not obviously associated. In summary, this is by no means compulsory but remains a very fine body of work on its own terms and an excellent introduction to Karaindrou and her oeuvre.