Monday, January 19, 2009

CD Review: Angelic Voice of Armenia

Isabel Bayrakdarian
Gomidas Songs

Armenia's operatic diva, Isabel Bayrakdarian, performs the traditional songs from Armenia's most celebrated figure in chants and songs, Gomidas Vartabed. Isabel presents us with examples from his large volume of work crossing many genres, lullabies, and hymns. Detailed liner notes of Gomidas' musical work are included, as well as Armenian-English translations of song lyrics. Moreover, the songs are divided into categories for 'Children', 'Nature', 'Love', 'Humor', and 'Yearning'. Isabel's vocals are accompanied by duduk, violin, clarinet, doubles bass, and piano on a few songs. The ambiance of the recording echoes a historical tone of contemplation and forlornness. In other words, the music is powerfully emotional and epic. Isabel does not waver and remains vocally strong and precise throughout. A glorious recording not to be missed. ~ Matthew Forss

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