Armenian Rhapsody (Alexander Chaushian/ Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra/ Eduard Topchjan/ Emmanuel Hovhannisyan) (BIS: BISCD1948)
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This disc offers a rare opportunity to sample music by Armenian composers, here represented by three works for cello and orchestra. Naturally Khachaturian is among the selected composers, with his impassioned and expansive Concerto-Rhapsody from 1963 as the disc's opening work. This is followed by Suren Zakarian's Monograph for cello and chamber orchestra. A Suite for cello and chamber orchestra by Zakarian's younger colleague, Vache Sharafyan follows. The composer's aim has been 'to create a sense of the perpetual cycle of life and history'. Sharafyan has also arranged the disc's epilogue, an atmospheric arrangement of the song Krunk (Crane). In this version for trio the melody is"sung" by the cello and accompanied by a piano and a duduk, an Armenian double-reed woodwind instrument is often heard in film scores. The UK-based Alexander Chaushian, cello soloist in all of these works, is Armenian by birth, and is supported by the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra under their principal conductor Eduard Topchjan.
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