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 thoseRead 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.
Panin Horby Anonymous Performer:
Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano),
Ani Aznavoorian (Cello)
Oor es Mayrby Anonymous Performer:
Ani Aznavoorian (Cello),
Siroun Kojakian (Soprano),
Isabel Bayrakdarian (Soprano),
Marie-Jean Zaatar (Soprano)
Coro Vox Aeterna
Average Customer Review: ( 1 Customer Review )
Angelic April 8, 2018By 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