New Armenian Music

ARTUR AVANESOV (b.1980): Quasi Harena Maris for Piano Quintet, 7 pieces from Feux Follets for Piano, ASHOT ZOHRABYAN (b.1945): Novelette for String Trio and Piano, MICHEL PETROSSIAN (b.1973): A Fiery Flame, A Flaming Fire for Piano Trio, ARTASHES KARTALYAN (b.1961): Tekeyan Triptych for Mezzo-Soprano and String Quartet, ASHOT KARTALYAN (b.1985): Suite for Saxophone and Percussion.

Catalogue Number: 03V071

Label: New Focus Recordings

Reference: FCR244

Format: CD

Price: $16.98

Description: An attractive and fascinating recital of works by Armenian composers that showcases the wide variety of styles in what is evidently a vital and inventive contemporary music scene in Armenian culture. The only thing all the works have in common is that the folk traditions of the country, and its unmistakable modal language are central to the compositional impulse, but even these are expressed very differently. Ashot Kartalyan's Suite is very attractive, making no secret of its modal melodies, and the outer movements' dialogue between the sinuous saxophone and the dancing drums evoke a lively folk ritual of some kind. Artashes Kartalyan's exquisite songs to beautiful texts by Vahan Tekeyan (1875-1945) (similar ecstatic imagery to Rūmī from six centuries and 800 miles distant) use composed folk-style melodies, indistinguishable from the real thing. Avanesov's Quasi Harena Maris was inspired by a passage from the Old Testament Book of Job, and consists of variations on a sombre chorale, sometimes presented with microtonal inflections, with an eloquent concertante piano part and a powerful dramatic progression, lamenting, protesting, now introspective, now vehement in its distress. His Feux follets, from an enormous cycle in progress, range from impressionistic to Romantic to modern, all inflected by Armenian folk modes. Various performers.


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