Armen Badalyan – Komitas Divine Liturgy (2020) [24bit FLAC]

Armen Badalyan – Komitas Divine Liturgy (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:19:33 minutes | 1,35 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © Delos

YEREVAN, JUNE 12, ARMENPRESS. On June 11, upon the initiative, organization, and support of the Embassy of Armenia in Latvia (residence in Vilnius), famous American Delos Productions record label has released Komitas’ “Divine Liturgy” full concert version exclusive CD to mark the 150th anniversary of the great composer and priest, the Embassy told Armenpress.

The recording of the “Liturgy” was preceded by the concert performance held on September 20, 2019, in Riga’s oldest St. John’s Church by the Latvian Radio Choir along with Armenian soloists Hovhannes Nersisyan and Armen Badalyan, conducted by Sigvards Kļava, after which the recording took place in the same church.

The release of the album is unique in the sense that for the first time in history a non-Armenian mixed choir, namely the Latvian Radio Choir, performed and then recorded the full concert version of Komitas’ Liturgy.

The preparatory works of the project lasted for about three years during which in 2017 and 2018 the Latvian Radio Choir performed excerpts from Komitas’ pieces at concerts organized by the Embassy of Armenia in Latvia. Then, composer Vache Sharafyan managed to transcribe Komitas masterpiece, originally designated for a performance by a male choir, into a mixed choir performance. The release of the album may further enhance the interest of the musical world towards Komitas. French-Armenian Komitas scholar-musicologist Mkrtich Mkrtchyan and Latvian Armenologist Valda Salmiņa also worked with the choir.

For the first time in history, a non-Armenian mixed choir has performed and recorded the entirety of Liturgy by the great composer and priest Komitas Vardapet. The performance by the extraordinary Latvian Radio Choir under the baton of conductor Sigvards Kļava, who are both now very familiar with Orthodox-inspired works (as demonstrated by their versions of Rachmaninov, Tchaikovski and Sviridov for Ondine), marked the 150th anniversary of Vardapet’s birth. The concert took place in a very solemn setting in Riga on September 20th, 2019, and the present recording required three years of preparation to mark the historic event – and it certainly does not disappoint! It features the full voices of the Latvian choir with their sensuality and extraordinary sense of harmonic progression, although it’s not as advanced here as it is in Rachmaninov’s works. This performance is incredibly beautiful and yet so simple and profound. Komitas completed his Divine Liturgy a few weeks before April 24th, 1915 – the date that marks the beginning of the rounding-up of Armenian intellectuals, including Komitas. It was a prelude to the large-scale genocide of Armenians by the Turks of the Ottoman Empire that ensued. While Komitas managed to survive the mass killings having been found and rescued, his soul had nonetheless been shattered and he spent the last twenty years of his life in a psychiatric hospital in Paris. This is an album to dive into head-first and return to multiple times to fully appreciate all its aesthetic energy, and some passages such as And the Mercy, Amen (track 21) and Lord, Have Mercy (track 25) are particularly poignant. The Divine Liturgy was originally composed for a male choir, however, Sigvards Kļava presents it here as an arrangement for mixed chorus (a practice that has been criticized in general so far and yet is incredibly impressive here) by Armenian Vache Sharafyan. Not to be missed! – Delos&Pierre-Yves Lascar


1. Armen Badalyan – Hymn of Vesting
2. Hovhannes Nersesyan – Chosen of God
3. Armen Badalyan – With Your Virgin Mother’s Intercession
4. Latvian Radio Choir – Annunciation of the Procession
5. Armen Badalyan – Entrance Hymn
6. Latvian Radio Choir – Holy God
7. Armen Badalyan – Pray for Peace
8. Armen Badalyan – Glory to You, God
9. Armen Badalyan – The Body of the Lord
10. Kārlis Rūtentāls – Who Is Lord, Our God
11. Armen Badalyan – Again in Peace Let Us Beseech the Lord
12. Latvian Radio Choir – Christ Among Us
13. Armen Badalyan – Let Us Stand in Awe
14. Hovhannes Nersesyan – Sanctus
15. Hovhannes Nersesyan – Heavenly Father
16. Armen Badalyan – O Lord, You Are in All Things Blessed
17. Hovhannes Nersesyan – Son of God
18. Latvian Radio Choir – Spirit of God
19. Armen Badalyan – Be Mindful, Lord, and Have Mercy
20. Armen Badalyan – From All and for All
21. Armen Badalyan – And the Mercy, Amen
22. Armen Badalyan – The Lord’s Prayer
23. Hovhannes Nersesyan – The Holy One
24. Hovhannes Nersesyan – Amen, Holy Is the Father
25. Armen Badalyan – Lord, Have Mercy
26. Armen Badalyan – Christ Is Sacrificed
27. Latvian Radio Choir – We Have Been Filled with Your Good Things
28. Armen Badalyan – We Give Thanks to You
29. Hovhannes Nersesyan – Pray in the Church and Bless the Name of the Lord
30. Hovhannes Nersesyan – I Will Bless the Lord at All Times
31. Latvian Radio Choir – Pontifical Wishes

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