Armenia - Sacred Choral Music

The Music of Armenia, Volume 1
Sacred Choral Music
Celestial Harmonies 13115


  1. Aravot lousaber (19th century hymn, arr. Komitas)
  2. Aysor dzainen (13th century by Hovhaness Yerzenkatsi, arr. Komitas)
  3. Bats mez ter (traditional hymn)
  4. Hayrapetakan maghtan (Komitas 1895)
  5. Yekyalks (5th century by Hovhan Mandakouni)
  6. Hyer mer (traditional medieval hymn, arr. Komitas)
  7. Havoun havoun (10th century by Grigor Narekatsi)
  8. Sirt im sasani (13th century by Arakel Siunetsi, arr. Komitas)
  9. Yerg votnlvai (13th century by Arakel Siunetsi, arr. Komitas)
  10. Ov zarmanali (12th century by Grigor Pahlavouni, arr. Komitas)
  11. Hereshtakayin (12th century by Nerses Shnorhali)
  12. Metsatsoustseh (5th century by Sahak Partev)
  13. Yerg votnlvai (13th century by Arakel Siunetsi)
  14. Hayr arakogh (12th century by Nerses Shnorhali)
  15. Our es myer im (tradtional hymn, arr. Robert Attayan)
  16. Khachi ko Kristos (7th century by Sahak Dzoraporetsi)
  17. Yekeghetsin haikakan (12th century by Vahan Petelian)
  18. Marmin terounakan (traditional hymn, arr. Komitas)
  19. Chanapar (12th century by Nerses Shnorhali)
  20. Echmiadzin (7th century by Sahak Dzoraporetsi)
  21. Varanimk (tradtional hymn, arr. Vardan Sakissian)
  22. Marmin terounakan (traditional hymn, arr. Emmi Abgar)
  23. Bashkheh zharmin (traditional hymn, arr. Emmi Abgar)
  24. Ter voghormya (12th century by Nerses Shnorhali, arr. Komitas)

Performers: Haissmavourk Choir - Mihran Ghazellian, dir.; organ in tracks #20-24

Production date: 1995

Armenia was the first country to formally convert to Christianity, and of course its traditions go back to deep antiquity. The choral style is comparable to the other Eastern chant styles, and here is a truly first rate recording of some authenticity.

Modern performance style for this music dates from the time of the poet & musicologist Soghomon Soghomonian Komitas (1869-1935) who is credited with many of the arrangements on this program. The melodies appearing here date back as far as the 5th century.

Other recordings of Armenian choral music have previously appeared, including the classic:

Arménie 1: Chants Liturgiques du Moyen Age
Ocora 559001

The present series documents these forms in more detail. The other volumes are as follows:

The Music of Armenia, Volume 2
Sharakan / Medieval Music
Sharakan Early Music Ensemble
Celestial Harmonies 13116
The Music of Armenia, Volume 3
Gevorg Dabagian: Duduk
Celestial Harmonies 13117
The Music of Armenia, Volume 4
Karineh Hovhannessian: Kanon
Celestial Harmonies 13118
The Music of Armenia, Volume 5
Shoghaken Folk Ensemble / Sasun Folk Group
Celestial Harmonies 14119 (2 CDs)
The Music of Armenia, Volume 6
Songs of Nagorno-Ladarakh
Celestial Harmonies 13121

The 2nd volume presents a collection of medieval lyrics on religious themes, sometimes using the same melodies as the choral music and sometimes using others. These lyrics have roots to the 11th century and beyond, although in that collection they are performed along with modern instruments. In some ways, this might be analogous to a continuous modernization of the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Spain. Volumes 3 & 4 turn to instrumental traditions and quickly enter the domain of world music, outside of the scope of the present site. Volumes 5 & 6 continue in that mold.

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Todd M. McComb