Recorded in the Armenian capital of Jerevan, this disc offers a rare opportunity to sample music by Armenian composers, here represented by three works for cello and orchestra. Naturally Khachaturian is among the selected composers, with his impassioned and expansive Concerto-Rhapsody from 1963 as the disc's opening work. This is followed by Suren Zakarian’s Monograph for cello and chamber orchestra, in which the solo part, in a discourse reminiscent of a stream-of-consciousness technique, gives voice to a conflicted soul. A Suite for cello and chamber orchestra by Zakarian's younger colleague, Vache Sharafyan follows. The composer's aim has been 'to create a sense of the perpetual cycle of life and history', with a Mattinata (morning song) for its opening movement, while the closing one is called Postero die (‘the following day’). Sharafyan has also arranged the disc's epilogue, an atmospheric arrangement of the song Krunk (Crane) by the composer usually described as the founder of Armenian classical music: Komitas, or Soghomon Soghomonyan (1869–1935). In this version for trio the melody is “sung” by the cello with the piano reinforcing the mood. To this, the composer has added what he himself describes as ‘an emotional echo’, in the form of a duduk – the most Armenian of all instruments. The archaic sound of this double-reed woodwind instrument is often heard in film scores and here lends a wistful character to the closing moments of this Armenian Rhapsody. The UK-based Alexander Chaushian, cello soloist in all of these works, is Armenian by birth, and has secured the expert support of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra under their principal conductor Eduard Topchjan. Chaushian’s recent disc of three Russian cello sonatas has been warmly received, for instance with a special recommendation from The Strad, whose reviewer remarked that he with it 'establishes himself firmly in the echelons of international cellists.'
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