Officium (album)

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Officium JG.jpg
Live album by
Released1994 (1994)
RecordedSeptember 1993
VenuePropstei St. Gerold, Austria
GenreJazz, Gregorian chant
LabelECM New Series ECM 1525 NS
ProducerManfred Eicher
Jan Garbarek chronology
Twelve Moons
Visible World
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3.5/5 stars[1]
The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings2.5/4 stars[2]

Officium is a 1994 album by Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek and early music vocal group Hilliard Ensemble. Based on 12th- to 16th-century liturgical works by composers including Cristóbal de Morales and Perotinus Magnus, the album was recorded at the monastery of Propstei St. Gerold in Austria.[3]


AllMusic awards the album with 3½ stars and Richard S. Ginell's review says: "Recorded in a heavily reverberant Austrian monastery, the voices sometimes develop in overwhelming waves, and Garbarek rides their crest, his soprano saxophone soaring in the monastery acoustic, or he underscores the voices almost unobtrusively, echoing the voices, finding ample room to move around the modal harmonies yet applying his sound sparingly."[1] Marius Gabriel remarked that Officium is "what Coltrane hears in heaven." [4]

Brought together by Manfred Eicher, this collaboration has become one of the most successful releases on the ECM label, achieving sales of more than 1.5 million.[5] Following a number of successful concert tours, a second collaborative album, Mnemosyne, was released in 1999. Officium Novum, another sequel album, was released in September 2010.[6]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Parce mihi domine" (from the Officium Defunctorum by Cristóbal de Morales) – 6:42
  2. "Primo tempore" (Anonymous) – 8:03
  3. "Sanctus" (Anonymous) – 4:44
  4. "Regnanten Sempiterna" (Anonymous) – 5:36
  5. "O Salutaris Hostia" (Pierre de la Rue) – 4:34
  6. "Procedentem sponsum" (Anonymous) – 2:50
  7. "Pulcherrima rosa" (Anonymous) – 6:55
  8. "Parce mihi domine" (de Morales) – 5:35
  9. "Beata viscera" (Magister Perotinus) – 6:34
  10. "De spineto nata rosa" (Anonymous) – 2:30
  11. "Credo" (Anonymous) – 2:06
  12. "Ave maris stella" (Guillaume Du Fay) – 4:14
  13. "Virgo flagellatur" (Anonymous) – 5:19
  14. "Oratio Ieremiae" (Anonymous) – 5:00
  15. "Parce mihi domine" (de Morales) – 6:52



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Netherlands (NVPI)[7] Gold 50,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[8] Gold 25,000*
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[9] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[10] Gold 100,000^

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b Ginell, R. S.Allmusic Review: Officium accessed 11 March 2010
  2. ^ Cook, Richard; Morton, Brian (2008). The Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings (9th ed.). Penguin. p. 525. ISBN 978-0-141-03401-0. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Stewart, Zan (4 November 1994). "Carving Out a Place for Hybrid Music : Jazz: 'Officium's' mix of a capella vocals and saxman Jan Garbarek has become an unexpected top seller. The music is hard to categorize, even for the artists themselves". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 18 November 2020. Retrieved 18 November 2020.
  4. ^ What Coltrane hears in heaven by Marius Gabriel
  5. ^ In Conversation With Jan Garbarek, Archived 2010-01-22 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Information on new CD Officium Novum
  7. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Jan Garbarek – Officium" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 1 March 2020. Enter Officium in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  8. ^ "IFPI Norsk platebransje Trofeer 1993–2011" (in Norwegian). IFPI Norway. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  9. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Jan Garbarek; 'Officium')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  10. ^ "British album certifications – Jan Garbarek – Officium". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 March 2020.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Officium in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.