Music of the Prieuré
Gurdjieff / de Hartmann
as played by Rosemary Nott
Nott CD cover Rosemary Nott’s contribution to the preservation and practice of the compositions of G.I. Gurdjieff and Thomas de Hartmann has been little rec­ognized beyond the circles of those who knew her in person. This cd offers an opportunity to experience some of this music as under­stood by a pianist who studied directly with its creators.

      American-born Rosemary Nott, already an accomplished musician, was introduced to this music in the early 1920s at the Prieuré, Gurdjieff’s Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man in Fontainebleau, France. She became a lifelong pupil of Gurdjieff and adopted de Hartmann as a mentor. She went on to play a significant role in establishing Gurdjieff’s work in the United States and England, teaching and playing for the Gurdjieff Movements, working with groups, and passing on her understanding to pianists wishing to accompany the Movements. She continued this work until her late seventies.

      One of Rosemary Nott’s students, Charles Ketcham, was chiefly responsible for ensuring that the thirty-year-old reel-to-reel tapes, recorded during a number of informal occasions through 1974 and 1975 in her West London home, were selected, digitized, and prepared for publication. He worked very closely with Rosemary Nott, and offers this recollection:

      “Among those at the Prieuré witnessing and listening to the birth of the music composed by Gurdjieff and de Hartmann was Rosemary Nott. As she relayed to me years later, ‘This was like no other music I had known. It seemed to me the most beautiful music I had ever heard.’ What is little known is that Gurdjieff also dictated to her certain melodies and asked her to bring them to a full realization, in the same way she had seen de Hartmann work with Gurdjieff.

      “Rosemary Nott had an unforgettable influence on those who came under her guidance. One was always struck by the purity of her approach to the music, her wishing only to serve the essence of each piece. She advised that the way to play the music is revealed by the music itself and through its effect on the state of the pianist.”

      The selections on this cd exemplify a range of the Gurdjieff / de Hartmann music – hymns, prayers, music for the Movements, and works reminiscent of the Middle East. Click here for a list of the pieces. Extensive liner notes appear in English, French and Spanish.

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