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10.12.09

Kashkashian and Mansurian

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Read my review today in the actual Washington Post, the thing they print on paper:

Charles T. Downey, At the Baird, atmospheric sounds from Armenia
Washington Post, December 10, 2009

Violist Kim Kashkashian (photo by Julien Jordes / ECM Records)The Smithsonian Associates and the Embassy of Armenia presented a memorable concert in the National Museum of Natural History's Baird Auditorium on Tuesday night. The hour-long program of Armenian music, performed by violist Kim Kashkashian, Armenian composer and pianist Tigran Mansurian, and percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky, was drawn largely from their admirable series of recordings for ECM.

Speaking through an interpreter before the concert, Mansurian noted that, although he was going to sing some of the pieces, he is not a singer, and he was not kidding. Even with a voice that was barely audible, wobbly and generally unreliable, the venerable composer contributed something affecting and mysterious to two sets of Armenian folk song transcriptions by Vartabed Komitas, whose work on Armenian folk music is comparable to what Bartók and Kodály did in Hungary. Seeming to rise out of a distant past, Mansurian's voice, almost disembodied even with amplification, was echoed by many in the audience, humming along softly. [Continue reading]
Armenian Musical Evening
Kim Kashkashian (viola), Tigran Mansurian (piano and voice), Robyn Schulkowsky (percussion)
Music by Mansurian and Komitas
Smithsonian Resident Associates/Embassy of Armenia
National Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium


Kim Kashkashian and Tigran Mansurian on disc:
available at Amazon
Hayren
(2003)
available at Amazon
Neharót
(2009)
available at Amazon
Monodia
(2004)

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