Words for a Hymn to the Sun: The Complete Piano Music of Georges I. Gurdjieff and Thomas de Hartmann, Volume Three This three volume compilation is tribute to the genius of
three uniquely talented men--a philosopher, a composer, and a
These works began with the philosophical searchings of Georges Ivanovich
Gurdjieff, an Armenian intellectual at the turn of the 20th century. His
homeland was the crossroad for the diverse cultures that ringed the Black,
Caspian and Mediterranean Seas. His fascination with the human spirit and
his searching for the truth took him on vast journeys through India, Tibet
and China. A keen observer, Gurdjieff, began to accumulate bits and pieces
of musical traditions. These he combined with his provocatively inspired
visions as a universal symbol of his philosophical beliefs.
Gurdjieff, however, did not have the musical ability to transform his
abstractions into reality. Fortunately, one of his disciples was a gifted
and successful composer in St. Petersburg, Thomas Alexandrovich de
Hartmann, whom he met in 1917. As a fellow searcher for the truth, de
Hartmann was eager to transform the raw musical utterances of Gurdjieff
into sophisticated piano compositions. Those scores, sadly, were left in a
state of disarray in the estate of de Hartmann.
Decades later, musicologist, professor, and pianist Cecil Lytle, became the
final element of the equation. In the mid 1980s, he and a team of
researchers began a three year quest, scrupulously studying the scattered
files of de Hartmann"s scores, assembling the first truly accurate
arrangements of the Gurdjieff/de Hartmann legacy. A man in touch with the
philosophical, as well, as the musical nature of the works, Lytle performs
them with deep emotion and unsurpassed skill.
The three volumes vary in their nature. Seekers of the Truth presents the
reflective, ceremonial music of Gurdjieff/de Hartmann"s majestic suites.
Reading of a Sacred Book contains some of their dance and character pieces
of a more lively nature. Words for a Hymn to the Sun completes the trilogy
with the final works of the great spiritual teacher, Georges Gurdjieff.
Truly, these dramatic piano performances serve as the highest praise to
three remarkable individuals.