Ekmalian: Piano Works / Ayrapetyan
Makar Grigori Ekmalian, a student of Rimsky-Korsakov, played a significant role in the development of Armenian music in the 19th and 20th centuries, expanding its genre boundaries and contributing to the formation of a new national musical language. The folk-song arrangements represent Ekmalian’s skill in blending Armenian lyrical expressiveness with European stylistic colors. His magnum opus, the Patarag (Divine Liturgy) was canonized in 1895, and is still in use by the Armenian Church today. This album of world première recordings by the acclaimed Armenian pianist Mikael Ayrapetyan are performed from the composer’s unpublished manuscripts.
Ayrapetyan’s dedication to this music is apparent from the first bar. He is committed to bringing to light some unjustly ignored Armenian piano music. I found that the music is well served by his pianism—a delicate, legato touch complemented by some energetic playing. This is a well-recorded, musicologically interesting release.
Traditional Armenian music has been transferred into classical music by quite a few composers. Makar Grigori Ekmalian is one of them, and he has transferred the folk material with its lyrical expressiveness into his piano music in a particularly beautiful way. The main work of the Rimsky-Korsakov student, the Patarag (Divine Liturgy), was canonized in 1895 and is still used by the Armenian Church today. A selection of it, along with the 10 Armenian Folk Songs and other pieces, can be heard on a CD with Armenian pianist Mikael Ayrapetyan. The interpretations have a moving character and create a very special atmosphere of well-being in the listener.
-- American Record Guide
Release Date: January 14, 2022
Catalog Number: GP894
Label: Grand Piano
Number of Discs: 1
Period: Late Romantic
Composer: Makar Grigori Ekmalian
Performer: Mikael Ayrapetyan