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Bob Stevenson
MusicWeb International, December 2017

There are five groups of pieces on this disc, including one of miscellaneous violin and piano pieces. All are splendidly played and each group has its own rewards. For example, Seven Songs for Piano consists of some exquisite little pieces—each based on a named melody. As the booklet aptly puts it: “tiny windows on the gently circling melodies and rhythmic drive of Armenian music”. The sound of the piano on this release initially sounds slightly wrong—very slightly out of tune—until one realises that it, and the luminous acoustic, are absolutely right for this music. I visited Armenia a few years ago and these performances transport me back there—with some of the playing successfully recreating the specific timbres of various ethnic Armenian instruments. The only problem with this CD is that attempting to listen to all the piano music together is rather too much of a good thing. © 2017 MusicWeb International

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, September 2017

Mikael Ayrapetyan takes the piano chair and acquits himself well on the solo piano works, which consist of “Seven Folk Dances” (1916), “Twelve Children’s Pieces Based On Folk-Themes” (1910), Misho-Shoror” (1906), and the World Premier recording of “Seven Songs for Piano” (1911). Vladimir Sergeev joins on violin for the World Premier of “Seven Pieces for Violin and Piano” (1906).

It is a program of great beauty, well played. …It is a real treasure! © 2017 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

David DeBoor Canfield
Fanfare, September 2017

Texturally, all of the works tend to be quite simple. There are rarely more than two or three notes sounding simultaneously in any of these works. In his use of simple textures, Komitas might said to be the Erik Satie of Western Asia. Most of the works are moderate to slow in tempo. It is not until the last of the Seven Songs for Piano that the listener hears something of an uptempo piece. All of these characteristics and devices give Komitas’s music an exotic flavor, but one which is quite pleasing in its effect.

These pieces are graciously and sensitively performed, and well recorded. Consequently, I can heartily recommend this disc to those who would like some simple and relaxing music that marches to a different drummer. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

Sang Woo Kang
American Record Guide, July 2017

One of the pioneers of ethnomusicology, Vardapet (Komitas) played an important role in the dissemination and recognition of Armenian music, especially in collecting folk materials. These works are simple, lyrical pieces based on folk themes. Ayrapetyan’s straightforward playing is well-suited to these short works… © 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Bob Stevenson
MusicWeb International, May 2017

I strongly recommend exploration of this illuminating and beautifully recorded disc. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Records International, April 2017

Folk dance-types (the 1916 7 Folk Dances in which Komitas evokes the specific timbres of Armenian folk instruments) and harmonized actual folk songs (the 1911 7 Songs and the violin-piano pieces composed between 1899 and 1911) were designed to bring Armenian folk music to a wide European audience and their colorfully exotic sound quickly captures your attention and hold it throughout this 70-minute disc. © 2017 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, March 2017

Born in Turkey in 1869, but taken to Armenia when he was twelve, Komitas became one of the foremost Armenian composers living in the early part of the 20th century. The enclosed booklet gives a graphic history of his eventful, colourful and nomadic life, though the only part that is pertinent to this disc is of his years spent in Berlin studying singing, and his subsequent desire to collect folk songs sung in Armenian, Kurdish, Persian and Turkish. These he then used as the basis for the five works included on this new release covering his major scores for the piano. Unlike Bartók and Kodály, who undertook a similar task in their part of the world, Komitas did not create works of ‘classical’ importance or in any way ‘compose’ them, rather he notated the songs, often on a single line, with an occasional added bass note. The result, as in the Seven Folk Dances from 1916, are haunting melodies often of greater length than vignettes; the Seven Songs for piano add a little more in the way of harmonisation but are otherwise brief cameos; The Twelve Children’s Pieces, based on Folk-themes, are even more concise, but they are, at least, ‘compositions’ rather than simple tunes; Msho-Shoror is a linked series of dances and is of greater substance, and finally the Seven Pieces for violin and piano is a score I would described as a ‘composition’. As you will gather the music makes precious few demands on the performers—the violinist, Vladimir Sergeev, and pianist, Mikael Ayrapetyan. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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