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Daniel Morrison
Fanfare, July 2017

Hayk Melikyan’s playing is spiky, incisive, energetic, clear, and precise. It is also on the percussive side and is stronger on rhythm than on lyricism—more legato is occasionally to be desired in lyrical passages. …The sound of this recording is spacious, well-balanced, and very realistic. Piano tone is well defined, although there is some slight ringing.

Given the limited quantity and small scale of his compositions for the instrument, it would be hard to consider Arutiunian a major contributor to the piano literature, but what he did write is colorful, engaging, and entertaining, and this enjoyable release is recommended. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, January 2017

Strength and imagination are the hallmarks of this disc. The full-impact recording and Melikyan’s total engagement complement this collection. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, January 2017

I recall in the 1960’s I bought an imported Russian disc of the Armenian composer, Alexander Arutiunian, and wondered why such attractive music was being ignored. I have never encountered him again until the arrival of this highly desirable disc containing his complete piano music. He had been born in Yerevan in 1920 and was to become an infant prodigy pianist before his education took him to Moscow. His return to his homeland found him entering into a long and highly productive life as a composer, the present disc collecting music from throughout his life set out in chronological order from 1935 to 2004. He was known as the writer of outgoing virtuoso scores, but here the works offer little in that category, and are essentially cameos, the Humoresque lasting less than a minute. Many are linked to form a larger work, such a short three-movement Sonatina, which then lasts almost five minutes. When it does offer a challenge it is in the fast and dexterous sections, such as the finale of the three contrasting Preludes, and the final fugue of the Polyphonic Sonata. By now we are in the 1940’s and atonality is creeping into his thought-process, and a growing debt to the influence of Shostakovich becomes ever present. Three Musical Pictures returns graphically to his homeland in 1963; Six abstract Moods take him back to tonality in a resurrection of the days of Debussy and French Impressionism, and after a break from piano composition for many years, the 2004 Album For Children, completed eight years before his death, was intended for young fingers. All are lovingly played by the internationally famous Armenian pianist, Hayk Melikyan, the piano sound rather brittle in the upper octaves. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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