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Yerevan Women’s Choir of Armenia

By Barlow Der Mugrdechian

Yerevan Women’s Choir of Armenia. MEG Recordings, P.O. Box 412, Cambridge, MA 02338. 69 minutes, 18 seconds.

Cambridge, Massachusetts based composer and musician Dr. Ohannes Salibian has been producing a series of digitally recorded compact discs, one of the latest of which is called Yerevan Women’s Choir of Armenia.The choir is under the direction of Artur Veranian, a graduate of the Komitas conservatory in Yerevan, Armenia, and who founded the Yerevan Women’s Choir in 1976. He has adapted work especially for women’s choral groups.

The CD is comprised of eighteen works, eight by the world-famous Armenian musician Komitas. In addition, works by Robert Petrosian, Makar Ekmalian, Nerses Shnorhali (12th century), Mesrop Mashtots (5th century), Ervand Erkanian, Giovanni Gabrieli (16-17th century), Nikolay Sidelnikov, Arne MellnŠs, and David Haladjian round out the mix of classical and modern composers.

The Yerevan Women’s choir is a thirty-member musical chamber group with a distinctive sound. Most of their works are from the a capella tradition of Armenian music. They have performed at more than 300 concerts world-wide: throughout Armenia, the former Soviet Republics, and Western Europe. They have received many international awards.

This CD highlights the choral mastery that the Yerevan Women’s Choir of Armenia has achieved. They move easily from sacred pieces to traditional folk music, always producing a beautiful sound. Excerpts from the Armenian Divine Liturgy are among the most beautiful of their renditions (for example Surb, Surb; Amen Hair Surb).This CD is a must add to the anyone’s collection of music.