ARDASHES AGOSHIAN (b.1978): Piano Trio “Homage to Komitas”, NINA GRIGORYAN (b.19??): Aeternus for Piano Trio, KOMITAS (1869-1935): 6 Armenian Miniatures (arr. Varoujian Bartikian [b.196?]), ARNO BABAJANIAN (1921-1983): Piano Trio in F Sharp Minor.
Catalogue Number: 07W073
Label: Toccata Classics
Description: As the title suggests, this appealing disc explores the all-pervasive influence of Komitas Vardapet (Soghomon Soghomonian ) - whose remarkable life and musicological work are detailed in a very useful, extended booklet note - on Armenian music. Babajanian's gloriously Romantic trio is reminiscent of Taneyev, Rachmaninov, and especially Khachaturian, and is inflected throughout by the modes of Armenian folk music, even when not directly based on one of the folksongs collected by Komitas, which provides the main theme of the sonata form outer movements. The piano trio transcriptions of six of the many gorgeous Armenian melodies that Komitas collected and harmonised, make up a most attractive suite, in turn sentimental, lovestruck, forlorn, heroic, and passionate. One constantly encounters reminders of the fertile ground in which Khachaturian's gift for haunting, eloquent melodies was nurtured. Grigoryan's trio is a powerful neo-romantic work in three movements, with an imposing march and a decisive, energetic finale preceded by a restrained, prayerful introduction bracket a lively scherzo based on a traditional Armenian dance. Agoshian's dark, anguished Homage to Komitas depicts Komitas's turbulent life and descent into insanity, with broken bells, laments, a frantic but irregular dance, obsessive ostinati, the evocation of a Byzantine choir, and the quotation of melodies notated by Komitas. Trio Aeternus.