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Mother of Light: Armenian Hymns & Chants in Praise of Mary / Bayrakdarian


Release Date: 10/14/2016 
Label:  Delos   Catalog #: 3521   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Baghdasar TbirAnonymousAra BartevianHampartsoum Limondjian,   ... 
Performer:  Isabel BayrakdarianAni AznavoorianIshkhan BayrakdarianSiroun Kojakian,   ... 
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Soprano Isabel Bayrakdarian is the originator for this project which was her fulfilment of the promise she made a couple of years ago in prayers offered to save her mother’s life when she committed to produce a collection of hymns and chants written in praise of the Virgin Mary. She has brought together 18 of these that amazingly cover a period ranging from a composer who died only 30 years ago back to one who died well over 1500 years ago! Of course it is almost impossible (I say almost because I don’t know) to be sure that anything written that long ago would sound as it is interpreted here but suffice it to say that those about which we can be more certain (13th-17th century) are not so very different in their sound world to those Read more written much nearer our time. They are all connected by a sound that is intoxicatingly ethereal. The occasional use of a cello or percussion accompaniment works very well but it is the unaccompanied voices that are so wonderfully evocative as well as incredibly restful, just the thing to effect a detox for the mind after a stressful day. Isabel Bayrakdarian is the key to this for her voice is an extraordinary instrument that is crystal clear with pinsharp diction and I say this despite the fact that I know no Armenian once I located the place in the text, which is not just given in English but is transliterated into Latin characters, I could follow the words so clearly an Armenian speaker would have no difficulty in doing so. Her accompanying singers, whether the vocal group Coro Vox Aeterna, her two sisters or the other two sopranos, give great support while the cellist, Ani Aznavoorian, also of Armenian origin, has a wonderfully rich tone which so perfectly complements the voices and her brother provides percussive support using instruments that are traditionally used in Armenian church services adds yet another layer to the proceedings when called for.

It is an interesting fact that hymns and chants that in several instances go back so long into what can truly be called ‘ancient history’ are the mainstays of today’s Armenian Orthodox church worship for I certainly know of no such parallels in other strands of Christianity and it shows the strength of undiluted tradition. I wouldn’t try to pick out any of these mesmerising items out for singular praise as they are all equally magnificent in their affecting power.

Anyone who enjoys the experience of the voice as instrument cannot fail to find this issue a fascinating and captivating listen. If you find the other-worldly sounds of Russian or Bulgarian Orthodox Church choirs with their rich basses addictive then the correspondingly high voices of these Armenian voices will weave their magic just as powerfully translating into a heady brew that will keep you spellbound.

– MusicWeb International (Steve Arloff) Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Zartir Nazeli by Baghdasar Tbir
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano), Ani Aznavoorian (Cello)
2.
Khngi Dzarin by Anonymous
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
3.
Mayr Yev Gouys by Ara Bartevian
Performer:  Ani Aznavoorian (Cello), Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
4.
Hamemad Kez by Hampartsoum Limondjian
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano), Ani Aznavoorian (Cello)
5.
Varaneem by Anonymous
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
6.
Avedis Kez Mariyam by Anonymous
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano), Ishkhan Bayrakdarian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
7.
Aghers ar Diramayr by St. Gregory of Nareg
Performer:  Siroun Kojakian (Soprano), Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano), Ani Aznavoorian (Cello),
Ishkhan Bayrakdarian (Percussion), Marie-Jean Zaatar (Soprano)
8.
Diramayrn by St. Gregory of Nareg
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
9.
Badjar yev Sgizpn by Anonymous
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano), Ishkhan Bayrakdarian (Percussion)
10.
Zandjareli Looso Mayr by Movses Khorenatsi
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano), Ishkhan Bayrakdarian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
11.
Sharaganner by Movses Khorenatsi
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
12.
Asdvadzadzin Yergnayin by Gomidas Vartabed
Performer:  Ani Aznavoorian (Cello), Ishkhan Bayrakdarian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
13.
Zgousoutyount Ko by Anonymous
Performer:  Siroun Kojakian (Soprano), Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano), Ishkhan Bayrakdarian (Percussion),
Marie-Jean Zaatar (Soprano)
14.
Aysor Joghovyal by Nerses Shnorhali
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
15.
Antaram Dzaghig by Vartan Areveltsi
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano), Ani Aznavoorian (Cello), Ishkhan Bayrakdarian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna
16.
Panin Hor by Anonymous
Performer:  Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano), Ani Aznavoorian (Cello)
17.
Oor es Mayr by Anonymous
Performer:  Ani Aznavoorian (Cello), Siroun Kojakian (Soprano), Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano),
Marie-Jean Zaatar (Soprano)
Conductor:  Anna Hamre
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Coro Vox Aeterna

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
  Angelic  April 8, 2018 By Eamon M. (Whistler, AL) See All My Reviews "What a wonderful CD. It is prayer-filled, uplifting filled with the Spirit. Isabel captures and expresses the full color of the emotion Mary experienced in life. One can hear those same emotions experienced by the Armenian people and how beautifully Isabel, choir and cellist lift you up. If I may give a little advice, light a candle turn the lights off And a beverage of your choice let this music minister to your spirit. You will be touched by God. “Holy,Holy,Holy Heaven and Earth is filled with Your GLORY." Report Abuse
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