On Wed., Jan. 22 the Hilliard Ensemble, England’s celebrated a cappella vocal quartet, will perform Armenian liturgical chants at the New York Metropolitan Museum’s Temple of Dendur exhibit, the Armenian Weekly reports.
The program, titled “Arkhangelos, A Millennium of Music,” will include a number of classic Armenian liturgical chants and one modern composition, alongside chants from other traditions.
The Armenian selections include “Ov Zarmanali,” “Hays Harg,” “Amen Hayr sourp,”and “Sourp Der Zorutyants.” Hilliard will also perform “Lord, Who Made the Spring Run,” a new Armenian piece set to an ancient text by Vache Sharafyan, the composer featured in the Silk Road Project organized by cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
The Hilliard Ensemble has had a long artistic association with Armenia and its music. In 2004, the group was invited to Armenia to record sharagans of the Armenian Church arranged by Komitas (1869-1935), the fountainhead of contemporary Armenian music.
Hilliard’s original recording of the Komitas pieces was made in the 13th-century monastery of Saghmosavank, atop the gorge of the Khasakh River.
The Metropolitan Museum is holding “Arkhangelos, A Millennium of Music” as a complement to its extensive collection of Byzantium artwork. In addition to the music of Armenia, the concert will include music from 13th-century France and 16th-century England, and will celebrate the ensemble’s ongoing relationship with living composers Arvo Pärt (from Estonia), Katia Tchemberdji and Alexander Raskatov (both from Russia).