On June 11, upon the initiative, organization, and support of the Embassy of
Armenia in Latvia (residence in Vilnius), famous American Delos Productions
record label has released Komitas’ “Divine Liturgy” full concert version
exclusive CD to mark the 150th anniversary of the great composer and priest.
According to the Embassy, the recording of the "Liturgy" was preceded by the
concert performance held on September 20, 2019, in Riga’s oldest St. John’s
Church by the Latvian Radio Choir along with Armenian soloists Hovhannes
Nersisyan and Armen Badalyan, conducted by Sigvards Kļava, after which the
recording took place in the same church. The release of the album is unique in
the sense that for the first time in history a non-Armenian mixed choir, namely
the Latvian Radio Choir, performed and then recorded the full concert version of
The preparatory works of the project lasted for about three years during which
in 2017 and 2018 the Latvian Radio Choir performed excerpts from Komitas' pieces
at concerts organized by the Embassy of Armenia in Latvia. Then, composer Vache
Sharafyan managed to transcribe Komitas masterpiece, originally designated for a
performance by a male choir, into a mixed choir performance. The release of the
album may further enhance the interest of the musical world towards Komitas.
French-Armenian Komitas scholar-musicologist Mkrtich Mkrtchyan and Latvian
Armenologist Valda Salmiņa also worked with the choir. In early 2019, Sigvards
Kļava, the conductor of Latvian Radio Choir with the support of the Mother See
of Holy Etchmiadzin visited Armenia, Etchmiadzin, including the Komitas
Museum-Institute, met with Komitas experts, having the opportunity to better
study the Armenian spiritual music and Komitas' heritage.
The 80-minutes long CD includes a booklet with introductory remarks by Tigran
Mkrtchyan, Ambassador of Armenia to Latvia, and the composer Vache Sharafyan, as
well as the autobiography, the life and creative path of Komitas. Komitas'
photographs presented in the booklet were provided by the Komitas
Museum-Institute in Yerevan. The booklet also contains the full Armenian text of
the Liturgy with Latin transliteration, English translation, as well as Episodes
from the creative paths of the soloists, conductor S. Kļava and Latvian Radio
The album will be available on sale from July 10.
Photo from the embassy's Facebook page.