A treasure island of piano music — Spiegel Online
The Grand Piano label continues to uncover gems of the piano repertoire. — Fanfare

STEPANIAN, Haro (1897-1966)

26 PRELUDES FOR PIANO


  • Mikael Ayrapetyan, piano

Described by Aram Khachaturian as “the greatest Soviet Armenian composer”, Haro Stepanian followed the pioneering efforts of composers such as Komitas in establishing a strong national voice for Armenian music. He composed three symphonies, operatic works, numerous songs, chamber pieces, and works for piano. Building on the models of Chopin, Rachmaninov and fellow Armenians such as Komitas and Tigranian, the 26 varied and sharply contrasting Preludes are exquisite folk-influenced
miniatures suffused with sadness, poetic contemplation, the natural world and scenes of Armenian life.

Tracklist

 
8 Preludes, Op. 47 (1947) (00:55:35 )
1
No. 1 in G Minor (00:02:52)
2
No. 2 in A Major (00:01:37)
3
No. 3 in F Minor (00:02:33)
4
No. 4 in F-Sharp Minor (00:01:41)
5
No. 5 in G Major (00:01:59)
6
No. 6 in F Minor (00:02:29)
7
No. 7 in C Minor (00:03:06)
8
No. 8 in F-Sharp Minor (00:01:43)
 
8 Preludes, Op. 48 (1948) (00:17:03 )
9
No. 1 in E Minor (00:01:41)
10
No. 2 in C Minor (00:02:30)
11
No. 3 in A Major (00:02:15)
12
No. 4 in A Minor (00:01:42)
13
No. 5 in F Minor (00:01:59)
14
No. 6 in F-Sharp Minor (00:02:37)
15
No. 7 in G Minor (00:02:20)
16
No. 8 in F Major (00:01:59)
 
8 Preludes, Op. 63 (1956) (00:14:32 )
17
No. 1 in E Minor (00:02:01)
18
No. 2 in G Minor (00:01:29)
19
No. 3 in F-Sharp Major (00:01:52)
20
No. 4 in A Minor (00:01:23)
21
No. 5 in B Minor (00:02:31)
22
No. 6 in B Minor (00:01:18)
23
No. 7 in B Major (00:02:01)
24
No. 8 in G Minor (00:01:57)
25
Prelude in A Major (1964) (1964) (00:02:41)
26
Prelude in F Minor (1965) (1965) (00:02:30)
World Première Recording
Total Time: 00:54:46

The Artist(s)

Ayrapetyan, Mikael Mikael Ayrapetyan is a pianist, composer, producer and teacher, as well as a researcher and public figure. He has done much to popularise Armenian classical music all over the world with his Secrets of Armenia musical project, which began during his studies at the Moscow State Conservatory in the class of Professor Mikhail Sergeyevich Voskresensky. The performing traditions of Konstantin Igumnov, Samuil Feinberg and Lev Oborin are reflected in Ayrapetyan’s performances of the extensive Armenian piano heritage.

The Composer(s)

Stepanian trained in Moscow, at the Gnessin Music College, from 1923–26, where his fellow pupils included Aram Khachaturian (1903–1978). He subsequently joined the composition class of Vladimir Shcherbachov at the State Conservatory in Leningrad (St Petersburg). Stepanian began teaching at the State Conservatory in Armenia’s capital, Yerevan; and by the late 1930s he was the chairman of the organising committee of the Armenian Union of Composers. He became increasingly interested in the folk music of his own country, and undertook a number of expeditions to collect musical samples from around Armenia. ‘I fell in love with Armenian folk music,’ he explained, ‘as one loves one’s mother, one’s friend or one’s beloved. In it I heard the voice of the heart and soul of my native country, the echoes of historical storms, sorrows, joys and hopes, anger and dreams of my people. Throughout my life I looked upon it as if it were a living being.’ His work in this area was greatly admired, and Khachaturian (with whom he remained close friends) wrote to him in 1953, ‘I think you are the greatest Soviet Armenian composer, whose merits before the native art are really great.’

Reviews

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

“Mr Ayrapetyan plays them with a wide palette of tonal color, fine virtuosity, and consummate musicianship. ” – American Record Guide

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