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


Kara-Murza • Korganov • Melikian

  • Yulia Ayrapetyan, piano

The music in this collection reflects the spirit of Armenia through dances and songs that have their origins in scenes from everyday Armenian life. Korganov’s pictorial Bayati is an especially vivid representation, while Kara-Murza’s Pot-pourri sur des airs arméniens is a significant work, combining Armenian folk music with the Western piano tradition. Melikian’s Emeralds is one of his famous cycles of romances, hallmarked by a strong sense of poetic narrative and a vivid emotional expressiveness. This album of Armenian piano discoveries is played by Yulia Ayrapetyan, a specialist in the music of Armenia.


Kara-Murza, Kristapor
Pot-pourri sur des airs arméniens, Op. 11 () (00:10:47)
Marche funèbre (1890) (00:06:47)
Korganov, Genary
Bayati (1887) (00:06:01)
Rhapsodie arménienne, Op. 15 (1892) (00:10:17)
Melikian, Romanos
Zmrukhti (Emeralds) (arr. V. Sargsyan for piano) (1920) (00:16:00 )
No. 1. Black Partridge (00:01:38)
No. 2. The Night Has Come (00:02:35)
No. 3. The Infant and the Brook (00:01:36)
No. 4. Don't Cry (00:01:55)
No. 5. You Shine (00:02:14)
No. 6. I am a Nightingale (00:02:17)
No. 7. Sprout (00:01:21)
No. 8. Lullaby (00:01:49)
Vard (The Heathrose) (arr. V. Sargsyan for piano) (1912) (00:02:34)
Ashun (Autumn Song) (arr. V. Sargsyan for piano) (1912) (00:02:05)
Sare Gyalin (Red-Haired Bride) (arr. V. Sargsyan for piano) (1913) (00:02:46)
Total Time: 00:56:42

The Artist(s)

Yulia Ayrapetyan Yulia Ayrapetyan is a US-based pianist, producer and pedagogue. She has attracted international recognition for her exceptional artistry, displaying striking assurance, imagination, artistic approach, and remarkable consistency in the musical integrity and creative insight of her performances. Born in 1988 in Bryansk, Russia, she studied in Moscow, and continues to uphold the performing traditions of the Russian piano school. Her repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the contemporary and includes rarely performed works by Armenian composers. She performed the US, Chinese, Europe, Russian and Armenian premieres of forgotten Armenian piano music, which she rediscovered. She actively supports and participates in recordings and concerts for her husband Mikael Ayrapetyan’s project, Secrets of Armenia.

The Composer(s)

Christophor (Khachatur) Makarovich Kara-Murza (Arm. Քրիստափոր Կարա-Մուրզա; born 2 March 1853 in Karasubazar (now Bilohirsk), Crimea; died 9 April 1902 in Tiflis (now Tbilisi), Georgia, studied piano, flute and music theory as a child. In 1882 he moved to Transcaucasia, where he visited a large number of Armenian villages and towns, collecting the music of several hundred folk songs and dances. In 1885 he began extensive and active concert activity. As a choral conductor, he organised hundreds of concerts, popularising polyphonic singing and striving to introduce it into the lives of the Armenian public. He created more than 90 large folk choirs in the cities of the Caucasus and Southern Russia, ranging from 40 to 150 participants each. Many of the participants of the choirs created by Kara-Murza became famous professional singers, such as Leon Isetsky, Nerses Shakhlamian, Beglar Amirjanian and Tsovak, who then continued Kara-Murza’s educational initiative after his untimely death. Kara-Murza wrote numerous songs and romances based on the words of Armenian poets, as well as instrumental pieces, music for dramatic performances and the unfinished opera Shushan. He also set music to Mikael Nalbandian’s The Song of the Italian Girl, which became the anthem of the First and Third Republics of Armenia. In addition, Kara-Murza wrote a large number of articles as a music critic, in which he touched upon important musical and aesthetic issues for that period of time, and musicological reviews of various concerts, opera performances and the creative activities of contemporary musicians, among other topics. For 17 years, from 1885 until his premature death in 1902, Kara-Murza managed to give around 248 concerts and write 320 songs. He often gave concerts in Tiflis, Baku, Alexandropol (Gyumri), Yerevan, Vagharshapat (Etchmiadzin), Astrakhan, Crimea, New Nakhichevan, Constantinople and other places, alongside organising choirs.
Russian composer and pianist Genary Osipovich Korganov [Karganov] (born 30 April [12 May] 1858 in Kvareli, Georgia; died on 23 February [7 March] 1890 in Rostov-on-Don, Russia) was the son of Major General Osip Ivanovich Korganov (1811–1870). Five of his brothers and sisters – Elena Teryan-Korganova, Nina Korganova (Dariali), Maria Korganova (Svetadze), Ivan (Hovhannes) and Konstantin Korganov – were vocalists. Genary Korganov began his musical education in Tiflis under the guidance of Eduard Epstein. He went on to study at the Leipzig Conservatory from 1874 to 1877 with Carl Reinecke, Salomon Jadassohn and E.F. Wenzel, and from 1877 to 1879 he improved his skills as a pianist at the St Petersburg Conservatory with Louis Brassin and Gustav Kross. Returning to Georgia in 1880 and settling in Tiflis, he entered the civil service, continuing to study composition in his spare time. He gave concerts in the city as a soloist, and was part of Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov’s inner circle. A music critic for newspapers in Tiflis, he also participated in the work of the Tiflis branch of the Imperial Russian Musical Society, and in 1889 was its delegate to St Petersburg as part of the celebrations commemorating Anton Rubinstein’s anniversary. He died on the return journey.
Romanos Ovakimovich (Roman Akimovich) Melikian (Arm. Ռոմանոս Մելիքյան; born 1 October 1883; Kizlyar, died 30 March 1935, Yerevan) was an Armenian composer, musical and public figure, choirmaster and music teacher. Although we know some biographical details, his life is shrouded in mystery, as he never gave a single interview. Born into the family of Akim (Hovakim) Melikian, he had showed an interest in music since childhood, but began his studies relatively late, graduating from the Rostov Music College in 1905. He then continued his musical education in Moscow until 1907 with Boleslav Yavorsky and Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov, who had taught in Tiflis and used Russian, Georgian and Armenian folklore in his compositions. At the end of the 19th century an influential Armenian community lived in the capital of the Don Republic, and its members would have been familiar with Ippolitov-Ivanov through his Armenian Rhapsody of 1895, recognising the folk tunes used within it. While still a student, Melikian tried to write music based on choral singing, but it was Ippolitov-Ivanov who determined the creative landmark of the young composer – the national romance. After leaving Moscow, probably on the advice of a teacher, Melikian went to Tiflis, where he could enrich his work through the abundance of diverse folklore. It was here, in 1908, that he participated in the organisation of the Armenian ‘Musical League’ society. From 1910 to 1914 Melikian studied at the St Petersburg Conservatory in the class of Vasily Kalafati and Maximilian Steinberg. In 1921 he founded a music studio in Yerevan, which became the national conservatory in 1923, serving as rector for only three years. The end of the Russian Civil War saw a truly fruitful period in the composer’s career, as he travelled around the cities of Armenia, popularising choral art and creating studios throughout the country. There was then a job at the House of Armenian Art, and he later became the first artistic director of the National Opera Theatre, now the A.A. Spendiarov Opera and Ballet Theatre.


“The music of Armenia gets impressive advocacy from Yulia Ayrapetyan on a release that should appeal to lovers of rare repertoire… highly effective piano transcriptions… The music of Emeralds is extremely attractive” – International Piano