The pianist Mariam Kharatyan presented the music of Aram Khachaturian and
Komitas on November 13 at Sentralen hall in Oslo. This concert marked the
release of the two albums – Aram Khachaturian - “Chamber Music” and Komitas -
“Shoror” dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Komitas. The albums are the
result of Kharatyan’s PhD Artistic Research project Armenian Fingerprints -
interpreting the piano music of Komitas and Khachaturian in light of Armenian
folk music, which she has started from 2015 and worked on until 2019 in the
University of Agder in Kristiansand, in Norway.
“The whole project has been anchored on my inspiration from Armenian folk music,
and further search for the pianistic possibilities, and the impact of the
interplay between classical and folk music in my playing. I was curious about
what interpretational possibilities might emerge in piano works of Komitas and
Khachaturian when listening to Armenian folk music and responding to it through
musical expression in classical pianism. During these years, I have performed
nearly all major piano compositions of Khachaturian, started from miniature
piano pieces to chamber compositions and arrangements from ballets, also the
piano concerto. However, for this album, I have chosen the chamber music of
Khachaturian, for I believe that these compositions transmit my idea and
inspiration from the free, almost as improvisational timing in folk music, and
with chamber trio or duo, having this close communication, aiming to achieve
this free musical flow and expression in our playing”,-the pianist told ANM.
“Komitas' music has been the roots, my anchor, and the endless inspiration
throughout the whole project. In my artistic search, the Yot Par (Seven Dances
for piano), Msho Shoror, and the folk songs of Komitas were opening new
perspectives in my piano playing. On the crossroads of folk and classical music,
me together with Vigen Balasanyan performed (and recorded) selected folk songs
of Komitas on the grand piano with traditional instruments duduk and blul,
instead of voice”.
Mariam Kharatyan recorded the two albums during the autumn of 2018, in Kilden
Teater og Konserthus in Kristiansand, in Norway. It took about a year until the
release of the albums, which is presented by the prestigious Norwegian record
label Simax Classics and Grappa.
In Aram Khachaturian, Chamber Music album is presented the Song-poem, the Dance
for violin and piano, seldom performed and neglected composition of Khachaturian
- the Sonata for violin and piano, the Trio for clarinet, violin and piano, the
Lullaby and Adagio from ballets Gayaneh and Spartacus arranged by A. Pivazyan,
and the Sabre Dance from Gayaneh ballet, arranged by R. Asatryan. I have
recorded the compositions of this album together with violinist Adam Grüchot,
clarinetist Stig Nordhagen, and cellist Leonardo Sesenna. In album Komitas,
Shoror, I present the Seven Dances for piano - Yot Par, and Msho Shoror, and
selected folk songs played on the piano together with Vigen Balasanyan on
traditional instruments duduk and blul. The album is dedicated to the 150th
anniversary of Komitas.
Despite living in Norway, the pianist plays Armenian music quite often. “In my
concerts, I very often perform Armenian compositions, and if it is not included
in the announced program, I always play Armenian music during the encores. The
Armenian music, particularly the music of Komitas and Aram Khachaturian, has
been the primary focus of mine, especially started from 2015, throughout my
project Armenian Fingerprints.
The Norwegian audience is very enthusiastic and interested in Armenian music,
and in general, about knowing more about our culture and history. The music of
Komitas, Khachaturian and Babajanyan are of course the most familiar among
Norwegians, and they also are familiar with the music of Tigran Hamasyan”.
Mariam Kharatyan’s upcoming concerts will be in other Norwegian cities too, as
well as in Germany. “I am looking so much forward to perform in Yerevan during
By Sona Khachatryan