TIGRAN: The Luys i Luso Project

July 16, 2015

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Luys i Luso

Luys i Luso is a unique project for piano and voices by Tigran Hamasyan featuring Yerevan State Chamber Choir conducted by Harutyun Topikyan.

Tigran’s new musical undertaking is the fresh and attractively youthful representation of the Armenian sacred music of the 5th to 19th centuries from his perspective and will be released by the internationally acclaimed record label ECM in September 2015. The repertoire ranges from enthralling hymns and sharakans to breathtaking chants by Grigor Narekatsi, Nerses Shnorhali, Mesrop Mashtots, Mkhitar Ayrivanetsi, Grigor Pahlavuni, Komitas, Makar Yekmalyan, etc., arranged for piano and voices by the pianist himself. All the compositions apart from “Patriarchal Ode” (Հայրապետական մաղթերգ) are written in Grabar, also known as Classical Armenian – the oldest attested form of the Armenian Language.

Luys i Luso project tour will start on March 24, 2015 with a premiere in Yerevan, and then continue with performances in 100 churches in Georgia, Turkey, Lebanon, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Luxembourg, Russia and USA. The entire tour and the concerts will be recorded by a professional camera crew under the supervision of Emily Mkrtichian and Alex Igidbashian and will come out as a separate film in 2016.

The main purpose of the project is to continue what the giants of Armenian sacred and folk music – Komitas Vardapet and Makar Yekmalyan started at the beginning of the century and express gratitude to the fathers of Armenian sacred hymns and chants by taking their music to the ancient churches and monasteries where it was born. For example, during the extensive tour throughout Turkey Tigran will perform in the historic province of Vaspurakan, where Grigor Narekatsi lived, but not at the actual monastery of Narekavank, as it no longer exists. The monastic complex was one of the most prominent in medieval Armenia and had a major school. It was abandoned in 1915 during the massacres, and demolished in 1951. Today, a mosque stands on its location. Within the frames of the project Tigran will perform the canto Resurrection Song” (Տաղ Յարութեան) by Narekatsi.

Two other famous songs included in Luys i Luso are “Ov Zarmanali” (Ով զարմանալի) and “Patriarchal Ode” (Հայրապետական մաղթերգ) by Grigor Pahlavuni and Komitas respectively. The hymn “Ov Zarmanali” is performed during Blessing of Water(Ջրօրհնեք), after the Divine Liturgy. It has reached us together with its melody and reflects the intricacies of ancient Cilician cantos.

Mesrop Mashtots is another key figure in the history of Armenia, whose sacred hymn “Ankanim Arachi Qo” (Անկանիմ առաջի Քո) is also to be found in the project. This well known theologian, hymnologist and linguist invented the new Armenian script circa 405 AD, thus establishing the Golden Age of Armenian Christian Literature. A collection of biblical commentaries, liturgical prayers and hymns constructed on an eight mode system is credited to him, corroborating his reputation for having laid the foundation of the Armenian liturgy. One of the most famous collection of hymns attributed to him is Hymns of Repentance, and “Ankanim Arachi Qo” is part of that collection, also known as Sharakan of Repentance.

 

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18/04/2015 Toulouse (FR) • 21/04/2015 Romans sur Isère (FR) • 22/04/2015 Bruxelles (BEL) • 07/05/2015 Basel (SZ) • 13/05/2015 Modena (ITA) • 14/05/2015 Coutances (FR) • 17/05/2015 Luxebmourg (LUX) • 19/05/2015 Rouen (FR) • 20/05/2015 Bordeaux (FR) • 22/05/2015 Strasbourg (FR) • 25/05/2015 Prague (CZ) • 26/05/2015 Monza (ITA) • 27/05/2015 Arras (FR) • 29/05/2015 Dortmund (GER) • 02/06/2015 Echmiadzin (ARM) • 06/06/2015 Tatev (ARM) • 07/06/2015 Shushi (NKR) • 13/06/2015 Gyumri (ARM) • 16/06/2015 Tbilisi (GEO) • 30/06/2015 Istambul (TUR) • 10/10/2015 Lyon (FR)  • 13/10/2015 Lausanne (SWI) •  15/10/2015 London (UK) • 20/10/2015 Angouleme (FR) • 05/12/2015 Los Angeles (US) • 07/12/2015 New York (US)

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