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Peter Burwasser
Fanfare, January 2018

The young Armenian pianist Mikael Ayrapetyan is a very fine advocate for this decidedly obscure music. © 2018 Fanfare Read complete review

Rob Haskins
American Record Guide, January 2018

…these are what might be termed strong examples of the Socialist Realist aesthetic. Mr Ayrapetyan plays them with a wide palette of tonal color, fine virtuosity, and consummate musicianship. The piano sound is a little boomy and reverberant, but that is better than claustrophobic. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide

Carsten Dürer
Piano News, November 2017

This music is a true discovery for the piano repertoire! © 2017 Piano News

Stéphane Friédérich
Classica, October 2017

This album is a beautiful discovery. © 2017 Classica

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, August 2017

The Grand Piano engineers conspire with happy results in rendering Ayrapetyan’s admirable way with chiming charms and epic rhetoric. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Records International, July 2017

Building on the models of Chopin, Rachmaninov and fellow Armenians such as Komitas and Tigranian, these 26 varied and sharply contrasting Preludes from 1947, 1948, 1956 and single from 1964 and 1965 are exquisite folk-influenced miniatures suffused with sadness, poetic contemplation, the natural world and scenes of Armenian life. © 2017 Records International

David Denton
David's Review Corner, June 2017

Published in three sets of eight Preludes, the Armenian composer, Haro Stepanian added a further two just before his death in 1966, all here recorded for the first time. Musically educated in Russia, he was to return to his homeland to become a teacher while at the same time adding a portfolio of works that included five operas, three symphonies and much chamber music. Included in his solo piano scores were the Twenty-six Preludes. all of which came after the Second War, though stylistically they belong to a previous generation and owe much to Chopin and Rachmaninov. Certainly they show no affinity to the musical upheaval that had taken place in the early 20th century, these scores of melodic beauty, with an Armenian folk language interwoven into the fabric of an easy-going attraction. Each are of a quite short duration, the whole disc a little less than fifty-five minutes, with the result that they are essentially a series of cameos, with a few imposing moments such as the F sharp minor Prelude that closes the first set. The Second set was composed one year later in 1948, and is even more obviously linked to a folk inspiration from the past, the content falling pleasantly on the ear. The Third dates from 1956 to which he added two short Preludes in the two years before his death in 1966. The very fine Armenian-born soloist, Mikael Ayrapetyan, has already brought to the Grand Piano label music by three compatriots, Komitas, Bagdasarian and Abramian, and I hope he continues to draw our attention to more neglected music. Here he gives refined and sensitive performances that seem so serve the composer’s style. As I have commented previously, the venue imparts a ‘clattery’ quality to the piano’s upper octaves. © 2017 David’s Review Corner

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