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BARKHUDARIAN, SARKIS (1887–1972)

Four Oriental Dances • 12 Armenian Dances • Piano Pieces, Series 1 and 2


  • Mikael Ayrapetyan, piano

The Armenian and Georgian composer Sarkis Vasil’evich Barkhudarian is famed 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 colourful 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’.

Tracklist

 
Vostochniye plyaski (Oriental Dances) (1913) (00:10:00 )
1
Oriental Dance No. 1 * (00:02:59)
2
Oriental Dance No. 2 * (00:01:47)
3
Oriental Dance No. 3 * (00:02:50)
4
Oriental Dance No. 4 * (00:01:48)
 
12 Armenian Dances () (00:23:00 )
5
No. 1. Dance of the Bride * (00:01:45)
6
No. 2. Children's Dance * (00:01:05)
7
No. 3. Dance of the Matchmaker * (00:01:48)
8
No. 4. Dance of the Rural Girls * (00:01:43)
9
No. 5. Provocative Dance (Men's) * (00:01:33)
10
No. 6. Maiden's Roundelay * (00:01:20)
11
No. 7. Dance of Friendship (Men's) * (00:02:21)
12
No. 8. Dance of a Mountain Girl * (00:02:05)
13
No. 9. Dance of Farewell (Women's) * (00:02:14)
14
No. 10. Masker's Dance (Men's) * (00:02:17)
15
No. 11. Circular Dance (Joint) * (00:02:27)
16
No. 12. Festive Dance (Men's) * (00:01:43)
 
Piano Pieces, Series 1 (1918) (00:19:00 )
17
No. 1. Naz-Par * (00:02:29)
18
No. 2. Fairy Tale * (00:03:18)
19
No. 3. Sketch in B Minor * (00:01:43)
20
No. 4. Watercolor * (00:01:05)
21
No. 5. Smooth Dance * (00:01:33)
22
No. 6. Lullaby * (00:01:57)
23
No. 7. Maiden Dance * (00:01:45)
24
No. 8. Boots-Dragonfly * (00:00:41)
25
No. 9. Dance in A-Flat Major * (00:01:32)
26
No. 10. Sketch in D Minor * (00:02:30)
 
Piano Pieces, Series 2 (1923) (00:22:00 )
27
No. 1. Scherzo * (00:03:01)
28
No. 2. Circular Dance in B Minor * (00:02:51)
29
No. 3. Gulnara's Dance * (00:01:06)
30
No. 4. Nanochka's Dance * (00:01:16)
31
No. 5. Anoush's Sorrow * (00:02:13)
32
No. 6. Prelude in D Minor * (00:00:54)
33
No. 7. Prelude in D-Sharp Minor * (00:01:01)
34
No. 8. Nocturne * (00:04:08)
35
No. 9. Sketch in A Major * (00:02:43)
36
No. 10. Lullaby of Shushani * (00:02:41)
World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:12:12

The Artist(s)

Mikael Ayrapetyan Mikael Ayrapetyan is a pianist, composer and producer. He is also the founder and artistic director of the music project Secrets of Armenia, which aims to increase international awareness of Armenian classical music, and actively organises concerts featuring Armenian music in venues around the world, for which he is producer, artistic director and pianist. Born in 1984 in Yerevan, Armenia, he studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory, and continues to uphold the performing traditions of the Russian piano school, of which Konstantin Igumnov, Samuel Feinberg and Lev Oborin are luminaries. His repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the contemporary and includes rarely performed works by Armenian composers. His recording of Eduard Bagdasarian’s piano and violin music [GP664] earned a five-star rating from International Piano, and his album of Haro Stepanian’s 24 Preludes [GP760] was praised as a “discovery” by both Classica and Piano News.

The Composer(s)

Sarkis Vasil’evich Barkhudarian Barkhudarian was born on 7 September 1887 in Tiflis (now Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia), the third of eight siblings. His first musical experiences were those found directly around him: the visiting street musicians, and the Armenian folk songs that his mother, Varduhi Ivanovna Saipian, would sing for him. His earliest surviving compositions date from his time at the Music Institute: the first being a Waltz composed on 25 April 1903. He kept an album of his new piano compositions, all miniatures in a variety of forms, some with pictorial titles: Lullaby, Farewell Song, Brook, waltzes, and so on. This collection of around 40 miniatures from c. 1903–09 is equally influenced by the musical and the literary.

Reviews

“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.” – MusicWeb International