On April 25, Perspectives Ensemble, in cooperation with the Cathedral of St. John the Divine of New York, the Reverend James Kowalski, dean, and Kent Tritle, director of cathedral music, will present a one-hour concert of Armenian classical and village music and “sharagans” (church hymns) in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The concert celebrates the beauty and endurance of Armenian culture, the Armenian Weekly reports.
Featured artists include Zulal A Cappella Trio with Teni Apelian, Yeraz Meschian, and Anais Tekerian, as well as Perspectives Ensemble harpist Alyssa Reit, and flutist and artistic director, Sato Moughalian. The concert will take place in the St. James Chapel of the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave. at West 112th St. The event is free and open to the public.
The concert will also mark the release of Perspectives Recordings’ second CD of “oror”/lullaby Armenian music for flute and harp, dedicated to the memory of all those who have “fallen asleep.”
In Armenian, Zulal means “clear water.” Zulal, the a cappella trio, takes Armenia’s village folk melodies and weaves intricate arrangements that pay tribute to the rural roots of the music while introducing a sophisticated lyricism and energy. Zulal’s singers have been singing together since 2002.
The trio celebrates the trials and joys of old Armenian village life: budding romances in elevated gardens, the disappointments of hapless suitors, secret messages placed upon the western winds, the moonlit faces of shepherd boys and their brides… These are the searing impressions of the past that come to life in Zulal’s arrangements, reminders of a simpler past, tokens of comfort in the complex, modern world.
Perspectives Ensemble was founded by Moughalian in 1993 as the resident ensemble for the series “Perspectives in Music and Art” at Columbia University. The ensemble has presented thematic concerts as well as programs on subjects that bridge the visual, musical, and literary arts, consistently receiving the highest critical accolades. The New York Times praised the “first-rate performances by accomplished musicians,” “a superb recital by the Perspectives Ensemble,” and “rhythms [that] were remarkably precise, supple and subtle.”
Perspectives Ensemble presents concerts and recordings that feature the works of living composers and historic figures, shedding new light on their work through explorations of music in the context of time and place. Perspectives has collaborated with IberArtists in programs of Spanish and Catalan music of the modernist movement and for world premieres by Vadillo, Artero, Sotelo, and Erkoreka. Perspectives Ensemble was recently appointed “artist in residence” of the Foundation for Iberian Music, City University Graduate Center. The New York Times called the ensemble’s performance of “El Amor Brujo” stunning: “Perspectives Ensemble worked [without a conductor], yet gave a performance that was remarkably polished, fastidiously balanced, and full of electricity.”
Perspectives Ensemble has presented in the Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, Lincoln Center, Columbia University, New York University, the Rubin Museum, and the Ethical Culture Society, and has recorded for Sony Classics, Newport Classics, and New World Records, among others. It was the resident ensemble for the Young People’s Chorus of New York’s Transient Glory commissioning program, and has served as a resident ensemble for the Miller Theatre’s groundbreaking “Pocket Concerto Project.”
Recordings include “Sonnets to Orpheus” by Richard Danielpour (Sony), “Recollections” by Karl Husa (New World), and Charles Tomlinson Griffes’ “Goddess of the Moon” (Newport). “The performances by the Perspectives Ensemble, an outstanding aggregation based in New York, are first-rate, with particularly fine playing by the flutist Sato Moughalian,” wrote the New York Times. Most recently, Perspectives Ensemble released a critically acclaimed CD featuring the works of Xavier Montsalvatge with soloists Timothy Fain, violin, Sato Moughalian, flute, Sasha Cooke, mezzo, and Angel Gil-Ordóñez in 2013 on the Naxos label.
The April 25 program is made possible by the generous support of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Daniele Doctorow Prize for Music, the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation, the Hegardt Foundation, and Perspectives Ensemble’s many friends.