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Komitas, Aghabab, Aprikian & Ganatchian: Mayrig - To Armenia

Komitas, Aghabab, Aprikian & Ganatchian: Mayrig - To Armenia

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In 1906, Komitas gave a concert and lecture in Paris. Debussy came on stage after the concert and knelt before the Armenian composer (who was also a priest, a singer and a pioneer of ethnomusicology), exclaiming: ‘I bow before your genius, Reverend Father.’

'Komitas is the voice of the land of Armenia, of its churches and its stones which remained silent for many centuries', the violinist David Haroutunian tells us. Along with the mezzo-soprano Eva Zaïcik, who is passionate about these songs, and the pianist Xénia Maliarevitch, he pays tribute to this great musician and to the French-Armenian composer Garbis Aprikian, now ninety-six years old. This heir to Komitas, a student of Olivier Messiaen, has made a major contribution to the dissemination of Armenian music, both classical and popular, in France and beyond. The album opens with his Lamento, a beautiful evocation of and touching homage to Komitas.

CONTENTS:

  • Aprikian: Lamento
  • Komitas: Qeler-tsoler
  • Komitas: Shogher Jan
  • Komitas: Shushiki of Vagharshapat
  • Ganatchian: Lullaby
  • Komitas: Tsirani tsar
  • Komitas: Hoi Nazan Im
  • Komitas: Lullaby
  • Komitas: Krunk (la grue)
  • Komitas: Antuni
  • Hakob Aghabab: Jan, ay loosin! (Loosin yelav)
  • Komitas: Yerangi
  • Aprikian: Lullaby (Arr. for Violin and Piano by David Haroutunian)
  • Komitas: Akh Maral Jan
  • Komitas: Garoun a (printemps)
  • Komitas: Chinar Es
  • Komitas: Kaqavik
  • Komitas: Yergink Ambel e
  • Komitas: Qele, Qele
  • Komitas: Dances: No. 5, Het-Araj
  • Aprikian: Little Nuptial Suite
  • Aprikian: Petite suite nuptial - IV. Scherzo. Réjouissances

REVIEW:

The album opens with Aprikian’s ‘Lamento’, a solemn and moving homage to Komitas, and continues with 5 other pieces by Aprikian and one each by Ganatchian and Achabab. The other 16 pieces are by Komitas. Songs of grief and sadness, separation from loved ones and rejoicing over times of reunion, lullabies, hardship, and homelessness alternate with instrumental pieces. Many reflect the Armenian folk tradition. A lullaby by Aprikian is especially lovely.

The performances are superb. Eva Zaicik, who impressed me greatly in her recent Nisi Dominus album for Alpha, is once again outstanding in a different style. She adapts easily to the vocal demands of this music, with silky singing in a quiet low register and smooth warmth in her higher brighter voice. In a similar way, David Haroutunian draws viola tones from his lower register and high-pitched almost ghostly effects, perhaps from playing sul ponticello (bowing near the bridge). Xenia Maliarevitch is a wonderfully attentive pianist.

When this arrived I didn’t know what to expect. It turned out to be a most welcome arrival that has appreciably broadened my musical horizon. Each time I listen I find something new to appreciate.

Notes, texts and translations incuded.

-- American Record Guide

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: Alpha
    • UPC/Barcode: 3760014199479
    • Item Number: ALPHA947