May 21, 2024

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CD review: Abdullah Ibrahim – Solotude 2021: Video, CD cover

Abdullah Ibrahim’s solo recital was recorded live at the Hirzinger Hall in South Germany, sometime during lockdown. The octogenarian South African pianist, almost alone in the concert hall, is playing for no one in particular – or perhaps for the absent ones.

What is the most striking is the joyous, radiant loveliness infusing each of the twenty tracks – these are dreamy yet never unfocused, soulful without being sentimental, and beautiful in a plain, unadorned way.

Ibrahim repeats patterns and fragments from old compositions, getting entirely absorbed in their repetition – to the point of disappearing. But the threat of disappearance makes the performance all the more poignant. And if music is time, Solotude gently suggests it is also timelessness – the quiet knowledge that beauty always survives itself.

01. Mindiff
02. Trieste My Love
03. Nisa
04. Blue Bolero
05. In-Tempo
06. Dreamtime
07 Blue Bolero (First Reprise)
08. Peace
09. Blues For A Hip King
10. District 6
11. Tokai
12. District 6 (Reprise)
13. Pula
14. Sotho Blue
15. Blue Bolero (Second Reprise)
16. Did You Hear That Sound?
17. In The Evening
18. Once Upon A Midnight
19. The Wedding
20. Signal On The Hill

Abdullah Ibrahim piano

Solotude - Abdullah Ibrahim

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