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"Mikael Ayrapetyan gives these often difficult pieces the virtuoso treatment.This is a world premiere recording, making it historic as well as attractive. Please keep these discs coming!"

- american record guide

Альбомы и рецензии

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Baal HaSulam

Melodies of Upper Worlds

Stephen Estep
American Record Guide, September 2019

The result is over an hour of slow cantorial music that takes little advantage of the piano. Ayrapetyan plays with a perfect balance of simplicity and expression…

 

© 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2019

The sleeve note with the disc relates the life-journey of Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag, born in Warsaw into a Jewish family in 1885, he spent most of his life in Jerusalem. He was to become known as Baal HaSulam as he devoted his life to the Kabbalist Book of Zohar. If that means little to you, I can add from the disc’s enclosed booklet that it is ‘an ancient spiritual wisdom that empowers us improve our lives, and to achieve a lasting fulfilment’. It was during his two years in London, beginning in 1926, that he composed the cycle ‘Melodies of Upper Worlds’ in a series of tunes without words that have been arranged for the keyboard by the Armenian pianist, Mikael Ayrapetyan. The titles I have shown in English translations, though, like myself, you may find little in the music to picture those words, but they were intended to be easily memorised for singing. Maybe best to start at track 16, Saint, which, from a musical point of view, is a score of substance as it leads into the final Beloved of the Soul. Born in 1984, Ayrapetyan studied at the Tchaikovsky State Conservatoire in Moscow, and is now a very active concert artist and composer. Here he has also acted as Producer and disc Editor for a recording made in the Conservatoire last year.

 

© 2019 David’s Review Corner

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Mikael Ayrapetyan

A Whole in 12

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2019

Pianist-composer Mikael Ayrapetyan (b. 1984) strays into melodic territory with his own sensibilities and it all may give you pleasure I trust, depending on what your ear wants to hear. I speak of his A Whole in 12, Miniatures for Piano (Grand Piano 809), which presents to us 12 lyrical solo piano works that have a rhapsodistic lyricism and a soaring sort of introspection that in lesser hands could well degenerate into New Age lullabies.

It is all very tonal, and fine for that. It is thick with chordal accompaniment throughout, the left hand offering up broken arpeggiated, sometimes near-Alberti chordal patterns quite pianistic, a constant factor. I find myself listen to the left hand and finding it interesting in itself as I hear this album repeatedly.

 

© 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2019

Mikael Ayrapetyan was born in Armenia in 1984, and comes from a musical family who moved to Moscow so that he could be admitted to the State Conservatory. Today he enjoys the multi-talented life as a concert pianist, composer and teacher, his extensive travels having done much to popularise Armenian classical music in concert halls and on disc. The present release offers the world premiere recording of his recent work for solo piano, A Whole in 12, being a series of miniatures each with a descriptive title. In the western world they would be described as ‘pop’ classics, their tuneful content aimed at a wide and large audience. Each offer emotive musical pictures of events that have taken place in his own life, with such titles as The Lady Plays, Longing, Clouds, The First Snow, Christmas Eve, Rain and Rendezvous, with a mezzo-forte dynamic being used extensively as he charms the ear with filigree over a slowly moving bass. The release, performed by the composer, comes in his own recording made last year in the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and forms part of a new Grand Piano series of pianists playing their own works. Interesting.

 

© 2019 David’s Review Corner

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Tigranian. Armenian Folk Dances, Mugam Arrangements

Stephen Estep
American Record Guide, September 2019

The Armenian Folk Dances are from 1935; Tigranian transcribed the melodies faithfully and added accompaniments that complement them well…they are nicely detailed…

Ayrapetyan plays everything well…

 

© 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, May 2019

The music is first-rate and well performed. Anyone who loves the Armenian tinge will welcome this. Those not familiar with what that means will find this a very good introduction to it as well. Recommended with a big smile.

 

© 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Read complete review

Records International, May 2019

Tigranian belongs to the first generation of composers and folk song collectors who laid the foundation of an Armenian national style. Tigranian’s piano transcriptions of folk dances are perhaps his most important legacy, emulating folk instruments and capturing and preserving colorful depictions of Armenian folk life that are simple in texture and rich with harmonic and melodic detail but interests also extended to Persian improvisational vocal-instrumental poems or mugams whose examples take up the second half of this album.

 

© 2019 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, April 2019

Spanning nearly a century, having been born in 1856, Nikoghayos Tigranian, became one of the founders of an Armenian national style of composition. Blind from the age of nine, his parents did everything possible to give him a wide education. They found him piano mentors who adapted to his impairment, taking him to such a degree of excellence that he was subsequently to tour as an acclaimed concert pianist. He also studied composition, though it was by collecting folk music in the form of dances, that he made such a major contribution to Armenian music. That collection was then published in his books of piano transcriptions. The disc opens with eleven that appeared in 1935, and were to awaken much interest in charming and happy music. He was also responsible for early recordings of Armenian dances, though it would appear that the contents of the disc are all ‘World Premiere Recordings’. Following these dances, we have several pieces that move into the world of classical music. They are much coloured by East European influences and his exposure to Russian classical music. There are also pictures, the final track—Nouruz Arabi—being his impression of morning in Arabia with the warmth of the sun creating a grand conclusion. This is the fourth volume of his national music presented by the much acclaimed Armenian pianist, Mikael Ayrapetyan. It does not call for outgoing technical accomplishment, but it has here found a most persuasive advocate. The recording made in the Great Hall of the Moscow State Conservatory last year is of very high quality.

 

© 2019 David’s Review Corner

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Barkhudarian. Piano works

Sang Woo Kang
American Record Guide, March 2019

Barkhudarian was a 20th Century Armenian composer known for his piano miniatures and the folk feeling he infused into those pieces. Ayrapetyan plays adequately—one can hear the Armenian folk songs and street musicians who influenced the composer.

 

© 2019 American Record Guide 

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, October 2018

More power to percipient pianist Mikael Ayrapetyan in ceaselessly developing the already wide compass of his Secrets of Armenia music project. We should also be thankful to Grand Piano for supporting Ayrapetyan’s quest. It can only be to the good that we get the opportunity to hear so much unknown music.

Another world opens out for the curious.

 

© 2018 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Records International, June 2018

This Armenian and Georgian composer [Barkhudarian] is known for his piano miniatures. Some are among the first piano works to use Armenian folk themes as the basis for a series of original compositions. His colorful and unusual harmonies, created by the sinuous, interweaving modes of Armenian music, are immediately attractive and his miniatures, whether full of grace or pungent dance rhythms, bear out Glazunov’s admiration of his ‘sincerity, elegance and harmony of form.’

 

© 2018 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, May 2018

The Armenian-born pianist, Mikael Ayrapetyan continues his invaluable survey of music from his homeland, though in this case the link is a little more tenuous. Sarkis Barkhudarian was born in Georgia in 1887 where he first learned to play the piano as a very young child, before being admitted into the Berlin Hochschule, eventually graduating in St. Petersburg. As a composer he was to meet all of the Communist party diktats following the Revolution, eventually returning to Georgia to head the composition section of Tbilisi Conservatory. He was active in most genres including works for the theatre and concert hall, but today his name largely resides in his works for solo piano, his style belonging in the era of Glazunov, though he was to live through to 1973. It would be difficult not enjoy his music, though, with thirty-six tracks on the disc, you will gather that these cameos are essentially pretty tunes that he leaves largely undeveloped, and most are of folk-inspired origins. As a sampling point try the last three of the Twelve Armenian Dances (tracks 14 to 16). You need clean finger articulation that Ayrapetyan can supply in abundance, and the recorded sound is excellent. Its all makes a pleasing diversion.

 

© 2018 David’s Review Corner

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Stepanian. 26 preludes for piano

Luis Suárez
Ritmo, January 2019

KOMITAS: Piano and Chamber Music (Ayrapetyan, Sergeev) GP720
STEPANIAN, H.: Preludes, Opp. 47, 48 and 63 (Ayrapetyan) GP760

Teniendo el piano como referente, recomendaría a cualquiera que no conozca Komitas y/o a Haro Stepanian y que esté interesado en una actuación de primera clase o que nunca haya oído hablar de estos compositores de alta talla, pero que quiera una introducción, obtener estos sendos trabajos. Aquí está uno de los compositores más fascinantes que he encontrado en mucho tiempo, Komitas. De biografía trágica, sobreviviente del holocausto armenio de 1915, admirado por Debussy y la Schola Cantorum, disponemos de esta muestra de música tradicional magníficamente interpretada en calidad del sonido, pasión y habilidad de primer nivel, sacando el alma y la esencia de la música y personas que la generaron.

H. Stepanian es otro compositor de talento indudable con las características de la coloración armenia. Enamorado de la música popular de su país, denota en estas miniaturas la voz del corazón y el alma de su país natal, los ecos de las tormentas históricas, las tristezas, las alegrías y las esperanzas, la ira y los sueños del pueblo. Compositor, cuyos méritos ante el arte nativo son realmente grandes. La interpretación de Ayrapettyan está marcada por un gusto musical delicado y aspiraciones estilísticas poéticas.

 

© 2019 Ritmo

Peter Burwasser
Fanfare, January 2018

The young Armenian pianist Mikael Ayrapetyan is a very fine advocate for this decidedly obscure music.

 

© 2018 Fanfare 

Rob Haskins

American Record Guide, January 2018

 

…these are what might be termed strong examples of the Socialist Realist aesthetic. Mr Ayrapetyan plays them with a wide palette of tonal color, fine virtuosity, and consummate musicianship. The piano sound is a little boomy and reverberant, but that is better than claustrophobic.

 

© 2018 American Record Guide 

MusicWeb International, August 2017

The Grand Piano engineers conspire with happy results in rendering Ayrapetyan’s admirable way with chiming charms and epic rhetoric.

 

© 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Records International, July 2017

 

Building on the models of Chopin, Rachmaninov and fellow Armenians such as Komitas and Tigranian, these 26 varied and sharply contrasting Preludes from 1947, 1948, 1956 and single from 1964 and 1965 are exquisite folk-influenced miniatures suffused with sadness, poetic contemplation, the natural world and scenes of Armenian life.

 

© 2017 Records International

David Denton

David's Review Corner, June 2017

 

Published in three sets of eight Preludes, the Armenian composer, Haro Stepanian added a further two just before his death in 1966, all here recorded for the first time. Musically educated in Russia, he was to return to his homeland to become a teacher while at the same time adding a portfolio of works that included five operas, three symphonies and much chamber music. Included in his solo piano scores were the Twenty-six Preludes. all of which came after the Second War, though stylistically they belong to a previous generation and owe much to Chopin and Rachmaninov. Certainly they show no affinity to the musical upheaval that had taken place in the early 20th century, these scores of melodic beauty, with an Armenian folk language interwoven into the fabric of an easy-going attraction. Each are of a quite short duration, the whole disc a little less than fifty-five minutes, with the result that they are essentially a series of cameos, with a few imposing moments such as the F sharp minor Prelude that closes the first set. The Second set was composed one year later in 1948, and is even more obviously linked to a folk inspiration from the past, the content falling pleasantly on the ear. The Third dates from 1956 to which he added two short Preludes in the two years before his death in 1966. The very fine Armenian-born soloist, Mikael Ayrapetyan, has already brought to the Grand Piano label music by three compatriots, Komitas, Bagdasarian and Abramian, and I hope he continues to draw our attention to more neglected music. Here he gives refined and sensitive performances that seem so serve the composer’s style. As I have commented previously, the venue imparts a ‘clattery’ quality to the piano’s upper octaves.

 

© 2017 David’s Review Corner

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Komitas. Piano and Chamber Music

Luis Suárez
Ritmo, January 2019

KOMITAS: Piano and Chamber Music (Ayrapetyan, Sergeev) GP720
STEPANIAN, H.: Preludes, Opp. 47, 48 and 63 (Ayrapetyan) GP760

Teniendo el piano como referente, recomendaría a cualquiera que no conozca Komitas y/o a Haro Stepanian y que esté interesado en una actuación de primera clase o que nunca haya oído hablar de estos compositores de alta talla, pero que quiera una introducción, obtener estos sendos trabajos. Aquí está uno de los compositores más fascinantes que he encontrado en mucho tiempo, Komitas. De biografía trágica, sobreviviente del holocausto armenio de 1915, admirado por Debussy y la Schola Cantorum, disponemos de esta muestra de música tradicional magníficamente interpretada en calidad del sonido, pasión y habilidad de primer nivel, sacando el alma y la esencia de la música y personas que la generaron.

H. Stepanian es otro compositor de talento indudable con las características de la coloración armenia. Enamorado de la música popular de su país, denota en estas miniaturas la voz del corazón y el alma de su país natal, los ecos de las tormentas históricas, las tristezas, las alegrías y las esperanzas, la ira y los sueños del pueblo. Compositor, cuyos méritos ante el arte nativo son realmente grandes. La interpretación de Ayrapettyan está marcada por un gusto musical delicado y aspiraciones estilísticas poéticas.

 

© 2019 Ritmo

Jean-Baptiste Baronian

Crescendo (France), July 2017

Komitas est le nom de prêtrise de Soghomon Soghomonian, dont la vie mouvementée et exemplaire est indissociable de l’histoire moderne de l’Arménie. S’il a survécu au génocide perpétré par les Jeunes Turcs en 1915, il n’en a pas moins subi les terribles effets : atteint de graves traumatismes et interné à plusieurs reprises, il a dû contre son gré renoncer à la composition et abandonner ses travaux d’ethnomusicologie, lui qui, avant les massacres, avait collecté plus de trois mille chants populaires à travers tout le Caucase. Icône arménienne absolue, Komitas, ou Komitas Vardapet (c’est-à-dire père Komitas), est un authentique découvreur et un des pionniers de la musique polymodale. La sienne, reconnaissable immédiatement, traduit de manière saisissante l’âme arménienne—une notion, qui a peut-être quelque chose de galvaudé, à l’instar de la notion d’âme russe, mais qui dit bien que chacune de ses partitions, y compris celles qu’on qualifierait d’anodines, exprime la réalité la plus profonde d’une culture sans équivalent dans l’histoire de l’humanité. Ce disque en apporte la preuve, car les cinq œuvres pour piano et pour violon et piano qu’il contient, et qui ont été écrites entre 1899 et 1916, donnent l’impression de n’en former qu’une seule, un peu comme si elles appartenaient toutes à un gigantesque opus, dont les racines seraient le folklore de l’Arménie, ses chants séculaires, parfois mâtinés d’orientalisme, et ses airs traditionnels ainsi que les modes si singuliers de la liturgie arménienne. D’aucuns estiment que le style de Komitas est par trop répétitif et qu’il frôle la monotonie. C’est comme s’ils déploraient que la tour de Pise ne soit pas toute droite.

 

© 2017 Crescendo (France)

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, September 2017

Mikael Ayrapetyan takes the piano chair and acquits himself well on the solo piano works, which consist of “Seven Folk Dances” (1916), “Twelve Children’s Pieces Based On Folk-Themes” (1910), Misho-Shoror” (1906), and the World Premier recording of “Seven Songs for Piano” (1911). Vladimir Sergeev joins on violin for the World Premier of “Seven Pieces for Violin and Piano” (1906).

It is a program of great beauty, well played. …It is a real treasure!

 

© 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

David DeBoor Canfield

Fanfare, September 2017

Texturally, all of the works tend to be quite simple. There are rarely more than two or three notes sounding simultaneously in any of these works. In his use of simple textures, Komitas might said to be the Erik Satie of Western Asia. Most of the works are moderate to slow in tempo. It is not until the last of the Seven Songs for Piano that the listener hears something of an uptempo piece. All of these characteristics and devices give Komitas’s music an exotic flavor, but one which is quite pleasing in its effect.

These pieces are graciously and sensitively performed, and well recorded. Consequently, I can heartily recommend this disc to those who would like some simple and relaxing music that marches to a different drummer.

 

© 2017 Fanfare

Sang Woo Kang

American Record Guide, July 2017

One of the pioneers of ethnomusicology, Vardapet (Komitas) played an important role in the dissemination and recognition of Armenian music, especially in collecting folk materials. These works are simple, lyrical pieces based on folk themes. Ayrapetyan’s straightforward playing is well-suited to these short works…

 

© 2017 American Record Guide 

Bob Stevenson
MusicWeb International, May 2017

I strongly recommend exploration of this illuminating and beautifully recorded disc.

© 2017 MusicWeb International 

Read complete review

Records International, April 2017

Records International, April 2017 Folk dance-types (the 1916 7 Folk Dances in which Komitas evokes the specific timbres of Armenian folk instruments) and harmonized actual folk songs (the 1911 7 Songs and the violin-piano pieces composed between 1899 and 1911) were designed to bring Armenian folk music to a wide European audience and their colorfully exotic sound quickly captures your attention and hold it throughout this 70-minute disc. © 2017 Records International

© 2017 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2017

 Born in Turkey in 1869, but taken to Armenia when he was twelve, Komitas became one of the foremost Armenian composers living in the early part of the 20th century. The enclosed booklet gives a graphic history of his eventful, colourful and nomadic life, though the only part that is pertinent to this disc is of his years spent in Berlin studying singing, and his subsequent desire to collect folk songs sung in Armenian, Kurdish, Persian and Turkish. These he then used as the basis for the five works included on this new release covering his major scores for the piano. Unlike Bartók and Kodály, who undertook a similar task in their part of the world, Komitas did not create works of ‘classical’ importance or in any way ‘compose’ them, rather he notated the songs, often on a single line, with an occasional added bass note. The result, as in the Seven Folk Dances from 1916, are haunting melodies often of greater length than vignettes; the Seven Songs for piano add a little more in the way of harmonisation but are otherwise brief cameos; The Twelve Children’s Pieces, based on Folk-themes, are even more concise, but they are, at least, ‘compositions’ rather than simple tunes; Msho-Shoror is a linked series of dances and is of greater substance, and finally the Seven Pieces for violin and piano is a score I would described as a ‘composition’. As you will gather the music makes precious few demands on the performers—the violinist, Vladimir Sergeev, and pianist, Mikael Ayrapetyan. 

© 2017 David’s Review Corner

Armenian piano music

José Luis Arévalo

Ritmo, November 2016

El poso que persas, bizantinos, árabes, turcos y rusos fueron dejando es lo que ha conformado la música armenia, de la que en este disco se traza, a través del piano, un breve panorama. La figura del que es conocido como padre de la música armenia, Komitas Vardapet, se ilustra con la transcripción de Seis danzas, de líneas rítmicas y melódicas obsesivas, armonizadas con una sencillez que recuerdan los trabajos de Bartók. Spendiarian, alumno de Rimsky-Korsakov, es representado con los cuatro Bosquejos de Crimea, de manifiesta inspiración en la música popular expresada con mayor coloración y complejidad. Un punto de inflexión lo marca Babadjanian, con títulos más occidentalizados y de estilo más moderno y virtuosista, que permiten entrar en las obras de Abramian y Bagdasarian, 24 Preludios, ambas muy interesantes de escuchar, en las que encontramos texturas complejas y escritura pianística técnicamente exigente con claras deudas de Rachmaninov, Prokofiev o Stravinsky. Finaliza este panorama con tres obras compuestas en 2009 por Amirkhanian, de lenguaje moderno con rasgos del impresionismo francés y del jazz pero manteniendo siempre la línea de conexión con elementos populares. El pianista Mikael Ayrapetyan, perfecto traductor de esta música, nos invita de manera atractiva y amena a profundizar en su conocimiento. 

 

© 2016 Ritmo

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, August 2015

All the music here is highly enjoyable and draws one back for repeated listening. Pianist Mikael Ayrapetyan is the perfect vehicle to drive these pieces. Yerevan-born himself the music inevitably runs through his musical veins and all the nuances inherent are subtly illuminated by this skillful musician. This is an extremely enjoyable disc.

 

© 2015 MusicWeb International 

Read complete review

Ettore Garzia
Percorsi Musicali, July 2015

Mikael Ayrapetyan is an Armenian pianist with a specific goal: to deliver hidden gems of the Armenian classical repertoire. In this collection, he plays a series of beautiful compositions for solo piano, in chronological order, highlighting the development phases of the Armenian composition. There are traditional elements, but also new points of views about Russian and French composition’s models; many unknown composers of that country would deserve a higher degree of popularity.

 

© 2015 Percorsi Musicali

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2015

The Western world knows little about Armenian music, though it has a rich history stretching back to the Middle Ages, this disc offering 20th century works for piano. Beginning with the Six Dances by Komitas, one of the early collectors of folk-song which he notated for piano, each quite short and based on music he had collected. Often unusual in their harmonic twists and turns, their rustic quality is highly attractive, though thirteen years earlier, in the four Crimean Sketches from Aleksandr Spendiarian, we are in a far more cultured quality, though they too are based on folk melodies, the writing having a warmth missing in Komitas’s more spartan regime. Particularly winning is the mercurial and joyful sketch, Chanson a boire, the whole work requiring that we hear more from this neglected composer. Arno Babadjanian, a pupil of Khachaturian, is our most recognised name on the disc, the six short pieces, written over the period 1936 to 1947, are in a very commercial style that borders on salon music with a jazzy Humoresque and an Elegy to his mentor that includes fleeting references to Khachaturian’s ballet music. Taken directly from discs issued on the Grand Piano label, and previously reviewed in these columns, come seven highly attractive Preludes from Edouard Abramian and Eduard Bagdasarian written in the period style of Rachmaninov. Finally to the present century with three pieces from Robert Amirkhanian, still firmly rooted in the Romantic era, their melodies pleasing and the harmonies delightful though predictable, while the delicacy of Children’s Images has passing influences of French Impressionism. Impeccable and lucid playing from the Armenian pianist, Mikael Ayrapetyan, completes an inexpensive sampler of his native piano composers.

 

© 2015 David’s Review Corner

Abramian. 24 preludes for piano

Jed Distler
ClassicsToday.com, July 2016

Mikael Ayrapetyan’s assured technique and natural flair for his countryman’s aesthetic result in performances that effortlessly fuse poetic nuance and high-octane virtuosity. …Well worth hearing.

 

© 2016 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review

Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide, May 2015

Mikael Ayrapetyan…gives these often difficult pieces the virtuoso treatment, yet is always mindful of the music’s basic lyrical impulse. In 4, a deeply affecting work dedicated to the composer’s mother, the melody is encased in the middle of a rich texture, and he brings it out wonderfully. The Moscow recording has warmth and plenty of heft. This is a world premiere recording, making it historic as well as attractive. Grand Piano’s goal, to present obscure but worthy piano music, is again superbly realized. Please keep these discs coming!

 

© 2015 American Record Guide

Henry Fogel
Fanfare, January 2015

These may not be as challenging on so many levels for the listener in the way that Bach’s or even Shostakovich’s preludes are, but this is a highly engaging and inventive set of pieces, at times brilliant in its virtuosic demands, at times lyrically beautiful, at times dramatic, and at times clearly reflective of folk music origins. The consistency of Abramian’s inventiveness keeps one engaged throughout the hour.

The committed, lively, and accomplished playing of Mikael Ayrapetyan is one more asset.

 

© 2015 Fanfare

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, September 2014

…these lovely preludes are a brilliant introduction and any lover of piano music will find this CD a thoroughly rewarding experience. Mikael Ayrapetyan plays all of it with due reverence for his compatriot’s music…

 

© 2014 MusicWeb International 

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David Denton
David's Review Corner, September 2014

Never seeking to gain international recognition as a composer, the Armenian-born Eduard Abramian was one of his nation’s most distinguished pianists and teachers. The idea of composing a score in all twenty-four major and minor key signatures dates back to Bach, with Chopin and Rachmaninov being among the most notable since then. In the case of Abramian they seem to have been composed out of his desire to write a number pieces in contrasting moods, and, maybe by accident, he repeated some keys and omitted others. Begun in 1951 and completed seven years later, they form a highly attractive work lasting over the hour, and should prove extremely attractive to pianists. Written in a formal tonality, they are often technically demanding, particularly in the Sixth and Nineteenth, while many have influences of French Impressionism and Prokofiev’s brittleness in the Twenty-third. For my part I particularly enjoy him in the tender and lyric moments that we first hear in the Ninth. I don’t suppose they could hope for a more brilliant and generous advocacy than this from the Armenian pianist, Mikael Ayrapetyan. He is superb in his dexterity and red-blooded in the outgoing Preludes, and I hope we will hear him recording in a wide ranging spectrum of music. The Moscow recording is in the premiere league.

 

© 2014 David’s Review Corner

Ludolf Baucke
Armenisch-Deutsche Korrespondenz, February 2015

Der 1923 in Tiflis geborene und 1986 in Jerewan gestorbene Eduard Abramian war Komponist und Pianist zugleich. Während seiner Lehrtätigkeit am Jerewaner Konservatorium reiste er häufig in entlegene Regionen des Landes und lernte eine Fülle heimischer Volksmusik kennen. Vieles davon ist in die Musik eingeflossen, vor allem in die zwischen 1952 und 1972 komponierten 24 Préludes. Im Gegensatz zu Zyklen anderer Komponisten folgen Abramians Préludes keinem festen Tonartenplan und wechseln noch nicht einmal stetig zwischen Dur und Moll. Der gestalterischen Freiheit bekommt diese Eigenart sehr gut. Mal tönt ein Volkstanz (Nr. 3), mal ein Wiegenlied (Nr. 4). Mikael Ayrapetyan spielt die Charakterstücke einfühlsam und zeichnet Abramians differenzierte Vorstellungen von Durtonarten prägnant aus. Da klingen C-Dur im ersten Prélude ganz versonnen und D-Dur (Nr. 7) wider Erwarten elegisch.

 

© 2015 Armenisch-Deutsche Korrespondenz

Christoph Vratz
Concerti, December 2014

Mikael Ayrapetyan entdeckt die Musik seines armenischen Landsmanns Eduard Abramian. In der Ersteinspielung von dessen an Chopin angelehnten Sammlung mit 24 Préludes aus dem Jahr 1958 zeigt er, dass es durchaus lohnen kann, diese Musik für sich zu entdecken. Spätromantische, volksmusikalische und zaghaft moderne Elemente bilden hier einen stellenweise sehr individuellen Stilmix, der nur selten epigonal wirkt. Ayrapetyan deutet diese Werke auf entschlossene, handwerklich solide Weise. Eine konzentrierte Leistung, ohne zu überwältigen. Die Reibungen, Lieblichkeiten, Forschheiten hätte man sich noch konsequenter vorstellen können. Der in Moskau ausgebildete Pianist besitzt eine genaue Witterung für ausgefallene Stimmungen, er besitzt auch die nötige Sorgfalt für die kleinen, mitunter traurigen Noten, doch dass diese Musik durchaus einen Zauber besitzt, vermittelt er ohne selbst zu zaubern.

 

© 2014 Concerti

Bagdasarian. 24 preludes for piano

Lynn René Bayley
FanfareJanuary 2015

In praising this music, I am by default praising the playing of pianist Ayrapetyan, whose style is so wonderfully musical yet self-effacing that attention is always drawn to the composer.

Bagdasarian’s music is certainly worth exploring, as is the pianism of Ayrapetyan. As for violinist Sergeev, he possesses a light, sweet tone which is perfectly apropos to these scores. The sonics are clear, with just enough space around the musicians.

© 2015 Fanfare

Colin Clarke
International Piano, January 2015

Mikael Ayrapetyan makes the best possible case for this music, enshrined in a fine recording.

© 2015 International Piano

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, September 2014

This was an altogether fascinating introduction to a composer who is almost unknown outside his native country. On the strength of this disc he deserves a great deal more exposure which this release will, I hope, help achieve. The sound is crisp and clear and the playing very good indeed.

© 2014 MusicWeb International 

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David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2014

Never seeking recognition outside of his native country, the 20th century Armenian composer, Eduard Ivanovich Bagdasarian, here makes a rare appearance on disc. Active in a very wide field of music from ballet to television background scores, he was also trained as a pianist, and much of his output was for the keyboard. Composed over the period 1951–58, the 24 Preludes follow the traditional pattern of a piece written in all of the major and minor keys. They are mainly cameos, some lasting just a few seconds, the final prelude being the most extended at three and a half minutes. Even in short time-spans he finds some catchy melodies…The Rhapsody in B minor was originally written for violin and orchestra and also became known as Armenian Rhapsody. Here performed in a version for violin and piano, the music seems to continue where the final prelude left off. Harmonies between the two instruments sometimes sound distinctly strange, the violin often decorating the piano part until they embark on a wild dance at the work’s central point. The Nocturne ends the disc in a romantic mood from yesteryear. From the composer’s home city of Yerevan, Mikael Ayrapetyan graduated in Moscow, his performances highly pleasing and of excellent clarity…Vladimir Sergeev…produces a nice tone. Excellent sound. 

© 2014 David’s Review Corner