“Armenian pianist Sahan 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 them 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.”
— Musical America
“Hommage” contains piano music by mostly unfamiliar Armenian composers who lived at the turn of the twentieth century. Tchouhadjian composed the first Armenian opera, Manas harmonized and orchestrated the national anthem of the present-day Turkish Republic. Mikuli was a student of Chopin and edited his complete oeuvre. Elmas was associated with Liszt. The album also contains piano compositions by Assadour, Sinanian, Papelian, Berberian, Spendiaryan, Yekmalian, Tigranian, and Ghorghanian.
Komitas is the fountainhead of new Armenian music. Born in 1869 in Kütahya, Anatolia, he was orphaned at an early age and sent to Mother See of Armenia where he studied at the Gevorkian Seminary. While a student he wandered from village to village, collecting folk songs. He did his graduate work in Berlin, receiving a doctoral degree. This recording contains all of Komitas’s piano works. The CD contains re-creations of Armenian dance tunes from various towns a charming set of children’s pieces, as well as arrangements of some of Komitas’s compositions for solo voice. Komitas died in a mental institution in Paris in 1935.
Produced on the occasion of the 175th anniversary of the foundation of Surp Pırgiç Armenian National Hospital in Istanbul, this CD introduces the works of some 15 composers born in Asia Minor. The album, beautifully produced, features music by Tchouhadjian, Sinanian, Manas, Alemshah, Gazarossian, Atmacayan, Karamanuk, Agosyan, and Eroyan. It contains also a 90-page booklet, written in three languages. The roster of performing artists includes pianist Şahan Arzruni, soprano Alis Manukyan, baritone Kevork Tavityan, soprano Jaklin Çarkcı, violist Ani Inci and the Kazaz Artin Choir, conducted by a host of local maestros.
The musical film Akhtamar was made in 2004 in Armenia on the shores of Lake Sevan. It was composed by Sirvart Karamanuk in 1969 to celebrate the centennial of its author, the national poet Hovhannes Tumanyan. The film was directed by Hovhannes Hovhannissyan with Samvel Ohanyan as the cinematographer. The lead artists include Mkhitar Melkonyan, Karen Mirzoyan, Anush Hovhannisyan and Nina Vartanyan. The orchestra and the chorus of the Yerevan State Conservatory was conducted my Maestro Hovhannes Mirzoyan. Produced by Sahan Arzruni.
A comprehensive biography and an examination of the creative life of composer Sirvart Karamanuk, authored by musicologist Prof. Araksi Saryan. The book also contains a number of highly personal essays by Karamanuk herself about her formative years. The volume includes several analytical articles about Karamanuk's output by various music critics. Written in Western Armenian, the book encompasses English and Turkish language summaries and includes some one hundred color photographs. Produced by Şahan Arzruni, this elegant volume is published by the Charents State Museum of Literature and Art.
Edvard Mirzoyan has composed only two piano compositions: one for his daughter, and the other for his granddaughter. “Poem,” was published in 1971 by the “Hayastan” printing company. “Album for My Granddaughter,” a set of six pieces, was commissioned and published in 1984 by Éditions Alphonse Leduc, a major French publishing house. In preparation for his 85th birthday, the two compositions were put together in a single volume with an included CD. Şahan Arzruni prepared the score and performed the included recording, both under the supervision of Mr. Mirzoyan.
“Such repertoire, however,” writes music critic Jed Distler, “is best served when interpreted by a mature artist possessing seasoned, adult-size fingers. Enter Şahan Arzruni, whose discography suggests that he may well be a ‘children's piano music’ specialist. He certainly plays these works with all the love, attention to detail, tone color, and character they deserve – and his annotations are both thorough and informative.”
— Classics Today
"These are the ageless melodies Chopin would improvise in the evenings to his amoureuse. This beautiful treasury has been newly recorded in our own studio, on a glorious nine-foot Steinway concert grand. We were very fortunate to have celebrated pianist Şahan Arzruni create this masterful album for us. Sweet, lyrical nocturnes will transport you to a world long gone. Lilting waltzes will gently caress you with their soft mood of romance. And you'll relax to the world's most gorgeous Preludes."
— Piano Today
Compiled on the occasion of Aram Khachaturian’s centennial in 2003, the CD includes the composer’s propulsive Toccata, jovial Sonatina, improvisatory Poem, and the two charming sets of Children's Albums. His style, characterized by sensuous melodies, pungent harmonies, captivating rhythms, and engrossing virtuosity, comes forth in a unique musical voice. Mr. Arzruni, who studied these compositions under the tutelage of Mr. Khachaturian himself gives an authoritative and compelling rendition to these spectacular masterpieces.
Album Artwork Design: Paul Sagsoorian
“An appealing collection, Visionary Landscapes collects key Hovhaness compositions from 1948 to 1968,” writes author Heather Phares, “when the composer was deep in exploring Armenian and Far Eastern traditions in his music. Arzruni's performance brings Hovanhess' works to life, from the atmospheric ‘Mystic Temple’ to the structured yet vivid ‘Visionary Landscapes’ suite. Arzruni's expressive playing -- which includes brushing, picking and striking the piano strings with sticks and emulating Japanese bells and Middle Eastern lutes -- arrives at a fascinating mix of innovation and history.”
— Barnes & Noble
Early in my career, in 1972, I began to record for the Musical Heritage Society. After making a few LPs, the president of the company, Dr. Michael Naida, asked me if I would record a collection of Toccatas. I accepted the challenge and started looking for compositions that would make a satisfying compilation. Initially, I found a score, “Toccata Album,” published by G. Schirmer and copyrighted in 1915, that put me on the right path. Pianist friends also helped me to unearth relatively unknown material, including the Liszt Toccata which had been discovered in 1969. I believe the present recording was its premiere on an LP.
Initially released on the occasion of Komitas' centenary in 1969, the disc was remastered and released as a two-CD set recently. This historic recording, produced under the artistic direction of Şahan Arzruni, contains performances by some of the legendary figures in Armenian music, including pianist Maro Ajemian, soprano Lucine Amara, mezzo-soprano Cathy Berberian, contralto Lili Chookasian, tenor Vahan Khanzadian, bariton Michael Kermoyan and bass Ara Berberian. Composer and conductor Alan Hovhaness conducts portions of Komitas' Divine Liturgy and a number of his choral masterpieces.
Album Artwork Design: Alan Wong
Compiled, arranged, and annotated by Şahan Arzruni, A Treasury of Armenian Chants is an introduction to the musical tradition. Produced by the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America (Eastern), the book features several canonical hymns, sections from the Divine Liturgy, and a sampler of secular songs. Each melody is introduced by informative notes, both in English and Armenian. The text of each song is translated and transliterated. The chants were recorded by St. Sarkis Children's Choir of Yerevan in 1993 under primitive conditions at the time when Armenia had just gained its independence.
A documentary film on Aram Khachaturian that was entrusted by the Armenian Ministry of Culture and Youth to Sahan Arzruni to be restored and re-edited on the occasion of the composer's centennial in 2003. The DVD contains rare historic footage from Khachaturian's student days till his funeral cortège in 1978.
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