Magazine article Gramophone

'My Armenia'

Magazine article Gramophone

'My Armenia'

Article excerpt

'My Armenia' [G] Babadjanian Six Pictures Bagdasaryan Rhapsody (a). Nocturne (a) Khachaturian Gayane Two Dances (a). Poem-song (a) Mirzoyan Introduction and Perpetuum mobile (a) Komitas Seven Folk Dances. Garun-a (It is spring). Krunk (The Crane) (a). Tsirani tsar (The Apricot Tree) (a)

(a) Sergey Khachatryan vn Lusine Khachatryan pf Naive (F) V5414 (80' * DDD)

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

As far as Armenians are concerned, music is inextricably bournd up with loss. Every year, they gather to pay respects to those who died in the Armenian genocide and to sing works by Komitas Vardapet, for many a symbol of nationalist pride. Though Komitas himself survived the massacres, he was also a victim of the persecution, and eventually suffered a mental breakdown. Outside Armenia, people now might struggle to recognise his name.

So it's fitting that Sergey and Lusine Khachatryan have chosen him to headline this survey of 20th-century Armenian composers, marking the 100th anniversary of the genocide. Listening to the brother-and-sister duo, whose own great-grandfather survived the events of 1915, one marvels at Komitas's emotional depth. In The Crane, perhaps his best-known work, we hear music of lacerating passion. …

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