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‘I always intended to write a ‘requiem’, but had always assumed that it would be in Latin. The idea of composing the first ever polyphonic setting of the ancient Armenian liturgy was an idea that came spontaneously and easily over evening tea with my collaborator and compiler of the text, Vatsche Barsoumian.

When I first set eyes upon the impressive (and daunting) text in fifteen movements, I knew immediately that it was a masterpiece in its own right, and that I would need to muster a lifetime of experience to do it justice during the six months that I had to compose the piece in time to mark and honor the 100th year commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. I was able to complete my task and the work was premiered on 23 April 2015 at Royce Hall, UCLA.

I am honored that Naxos has chosen to share our work with the world. If in some very small way our work uplifts and improves life on this planet, we will be most gratified.’

Ian Krouse

World Premiere Recording
KROUSE, I.: Armenian Requiem
Ian KROUSE (b. 1956)
Armenian Requiem

Shoushik Barsoumian, Soprano • Garineh Avakian, Mezzo-soprano
Yeghishe Manucharyan, Tenor • Vladimir Chernov, Baritone
Ruben Harutyunyan, Duduk • Christoph Bull, Organ
VEM String Quartet • Tziatzan Children’s Choir
Lark Masters Singers • UCLA Philharmonia
Neal Stulberg

Composed to mark the centenary of the genocide of 1915, the Armenian Requiem is a large-scale sacred work structured around the liturgical chants encountered in requiem services appended to the traditional Armenian Mass. It is written in a form that, uniquely for the music of the country, is not based wholly on the model of the Latin Mass. Instead, taking the precedent of Britten’s War Requiem, Ian Krouse embeds poems as interludes, and his work – a poignant meditation on loss couched in a marriage of Western and Armenian forms – offers both conciliation and hope.

Listen to an extract from Part II:
Ter voghormya (Lord, Have Mercy)
Highly acclaimed choral recordings from the Naxos American Classics Series

Sykes • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra • Alsop
‘Marin Alsop’s fiercely committed rendition of Bernstein’s crisis-of-faith masterpiece is right up there with the composer’s own – and that really is saying something.’
Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Soloists • Choirs • University of Michigan School of Music Symphony Orchestra
University Musical Society • Slatkin
‘Leonard Slatkin’s leadership does ample justice to Bolcom’s artistic vision and inner ear.’

The Philadelphia Singers • Hayes
‘The Philadelphia Singers… sustain an impressively high level of musicianship over the course of this long and demanding unaccompanied piece.’
Opera News

Rivera • Martens • Phan • Markgraf
Nashville Symphony Chorus and Orchestra
‘Especially striking throughout is a stirring orchestral directness and richly conjured choral vehemence, voiced with taut deliberateness by Harbison and ably realised by Giancarlo Guerrero’s articulate Nashville forces.’
Classical Ear ★★★★
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