ALBUM REVIEW: Abdullah Ibrahim – Solotude | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

Reliably informed


Gearbox Records

Released: 26.11.21








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.


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