“Şahan Arzruni burst everywhere with grand enthusiasms...An ardent exponent of his people’s music, he displayed a flashy finger work, showed a talent for making the piano sound warm and colorful, and a real feel for the curves and inflections of his subject matter.”
The New York Times
“Şahan Arzruni is, from the standpoint of the living composer, one of our world’s most important pianists. His mastery of the keyboard includes a tone quality at once oceanic and limpid, a finger technique both crystalline and goldenly precise, and comprehension both solemn and witty.”
"Nothing is superfluous here. All are excellent Hovhaness and so very much a treasure trove. My strongest recommendation I give to this one. Wow!"
Classical Modern Music
“Pianist Şahan Arzruni’s recital fulfilled all expectations, as it displayed not only the fiery temperament of this extremely gifted artist but also his interest in the contribution of contemporary composers to piano literature.”
La Nación, Argentina
“Mr. Arzruni gives us some beautiful playing in this collection of familiar Chopin; he has an especially rich-sounding Steinway and is not hesitant to exploit its lushness. Rather than adhering slavishly to the theme of the program (Midnight Chopin), he is even a little theatrical now and then, preventing any aura of dynamic ennui. I particularly like the resonant tonal tapestries of the Prelude in C-sharp minor, and the B-minor Nocturne emerges with nicely restrained drama.”
American Record Guide
“Şahan Arzruni is a most formidable pianist. His performance of my Makrokosmos impressed me by its high degree of virtuosity and its sustained emotional fervor. Mr. Arzruni has to be counted among our very finest performers of contemporary music.”
“Arzruni reveals not only supreme technical mastery but also rare musical culture.”
Al Hamishmar, Israel
"...there are no visible links to any 20th century tradition, [Hovhaness's] voice being far too individual and maybe even ahead of his time...a well recorded, extremely well played and gap-filling project. For those interested in this it’s an easy recommendation."
“Şahan Arzruni plays beautifully.”
“Throughout, Arzruni impresses as a pianist with all the technical equipment one needs, a good sense of voicing, and a feel for the shape of what he’s playing.”
“It is a great thing for a composer to have an interpreter of his music who is not only a superb pianist but one who is able, by virtue of his superior artistry and musicianship, to comprehend totally the innermost meaning of whatever work he performs. Such a one is Şahan Arzruni who conveys to the listener the technical and musical content of the music he plays in a most satisfying manner.”
"Armenian pianist Şahan Arzruni was a long-time friend of Hovhaness, who left many handwritten manuscripts to him. For this thoroughly idiosyncratic recital, Arzruni has made a generous selection, nearly all of the world premiere recordings. There’s something both timeless and modern about these spare but invariably tuneful pieces, with Arzruni the perfect guide. This is a marvelous release, likable music, persuasively engineered, and with informative notes."
“Arzruni’s accurate playing was bold and evocative.”
Los Angeles Times
"Arzruni has done a great service bringing this magical, undeservedly obscure repertoire to a global audience."
“Şahan Arzruni showed himself as both a scintillating technician and a musician of fine, poetic insight.”
Berlingske Tidende, Denmark
“Şahan Arzruni performs my piano music with remarkable sensitivity and great technical skill. His singing tone, his expressive melodic line, and his ability to project musical color give resurrection and life to the music.”
“Pianist Şahan Arzruni projects an impassioned lyricism with enormous authority and skill.”
“Throughout, Arzruni underlined his splendid musical ability.”
Diario de Noticias, Portugal
“Arzruni’s playing was riveting from start to finish. He has complete command of the instrument and exudes a quality that lets his audience know that he is a deeply probing musician.”
New York Concert Review
"Arzruni is an excellent interpreter of this rather rarefied repertoire, and this disc is as good a choice as any for listeners who would like to hear more of Hovhaness than his few works that are occasionally programmed in concerts and recitals."
“You make this composer very happy!”
“Şahan Arzruni displays both an empathy for the tradition and the pianistic command necessary to make Hovhaness’s writing truly musical. He has the ability to conjure different shades and textures and to bring out a rapid rhythmic pattern with clarity while sustaining an impressionist haze below it.”
“Arzruni is clearly one of the world's most extraordinary interpreters of Aram Khachaturian's music. He also subscribes to a unique creed about the great composer himself. He plumbs the depths of each composition, to tease out its animating ideas: its national and historical perspectives; a philosophy rooted in nature itself; moral idealism tempered by worldliness. Arzruni informs these with his own emotion-drenched style, creating something entirely new and deeply profound. ”
“I wrote a piece [Album for my Granddaughter], and it was just the smallest infant. Şahan played it and it blossomed into a beautiful grownup.”
I have never attended a performance of Şahan Arzruni’s without sensing an electrical current through his playing. Íahan is never satisfied until he has completely ingested the kernel of each piece. “Do you hear an oboe here?” he might ask. “Or, rather, perhaps a flute?” Orchestral colors often arise from the keyboard in an Arzruni performance. Whether the mood is playful, sassy, or tender, he brings a new sense of importance to what he plays—each piece becomes uniquely itself under his hands.
“There are pianists who sit at the piano, pondering, hoping for the muses to inspire them. Not Şahan Arzruni. The moment he enters the stage, this daring pianist gets into the essence of the music, grabs you, and leads you across into the impenetrable realm of artistic meaning. And suddenly, you depart the outside world and allow yourself to be swept away.”
"[Arzruni's] deep understanding of the roots of this music is coupled with impeccable performances. Even if these were not world premiere recordings, this would be a highly-recommendable release of Hovhaness' piano music."
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