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Hamasyan, Tigran: Luys i Luso

Tigran Hamasyan is an Armenian pianist who has been interested in Armenian sacred music for a number of years. On his first album for ECM he got together with the Yerevan State Chamber Choir to produce Lusy i Luso which in English means Light from Light.

Some of these compositions date all the way back to the fifth century, so one can easily view this as an important musical document in the history of Armenian music. His plan is to visit many of these ancient places and play the music as a way of saying thank you to the people who wrote it all those years ago.

As with all ECM releases you can be assured of a professional all around production so it should come as no surprise this recording is of exceptional quality and sounds great.

The opening track "Ov Zarmanali" is a beautifully sounding solo piano piece that sets the mood for what is to come. There is certainly a 'sacred' feel in the follow up track "Ankanim araji Qo" as lovely choir and piano slowly envelop the listener. Possibly the most grandiose tune is "Ov Zarmanali (2)", a thirteen minute epic where exquisite choir vocals are wrapped around Hamasyan's piano, sometimes melancholic and at other times quite joyful creating diverse tones and moods. At times the musical complexity is quite high. The mood and tone in "Hayrapetakan Maghterg (1)" is one of contemplative wistfulness although most of these songs do carry an aura of melancholy. However, in "Hayrapetakan Maghterg" the piano playing is moody but underneath the veil of sadness there is a spark of optimism that occasionally breaks through the surface.

Another highlight is the intense interaction between choir and piano in "Voghormea indz Astvats" where the voicings and tones are pitch perfect.

This is one of those albums that is difficult to describe, partly because of my unfamiliarity with hymn music. One thing is for certain, Mahasyan is an exceptionally talented young pianist with a bright future in classical and jazz music.

Track Listing:
1. Ov Zarmanali (1) (1:26)
2. Ankanim araji Qo (5:09)
3. Ov Zarmanali (2) (13:10)
4. Hayrapetakan Maghterg (1) (3:51)
5. Bazum en Qo gtutyunqd (6:42)
6. Nor Tsaghik (7:38)
7. Hayrapetakan Maghterg (2) (1:45)
8. Hayrapetakan Maghterg (3) (4:25)
9. Havoun Havoun (4:34)
10. Voghormea indz Astvats (9:33)
11. Sirt im Sasani (1) (3:46)
12. Surb Astvats (5:45)
13. Sirt im Sasani (2)
14. Orhnyal e Astvats (4:10)

Added: November 30th 2015
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1331
Language: english

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