Supported by the Armenian Embassy in Latvia, the American Delos company has released an 80-minute CD of the concert version of the Holy Liturgy by Komitas on the 150th birth anniversary of the composer.
This version has been arranged and edited by Armenian composer Vache Sharafyan. In his arrangement, the added colors of female voices, which increase the beauty of the work initially written for a male choir.
The recording of the Liturgy was preceded by a concert at St. Hovhannes Church, the most ancient church in Riga, on September 20, 2019. The concert was performed by Latvian Radio Choir and Armenian soloists Hovhannes Nersisyan and Armen Badalyan and was conducted by Sigwards Klyava.
The preparatory work took about three years, during which the Latvian Radio Choir performed excerpts from Komitas’ works at concerts organized by the Armenian Embassy in Latvia in 2017-2018. French-Armenian Komitas expert Mkrtich Mkrtchyan and Latvian Armenologist Valda Salminyan worked with the choir.
The accompanying booklet includes introductory words by Armenia’s Ambassador to Latvia Tigran Mkrtchyan and composer Vache Sharafyan, as well as Komitas’ autobiography. The photos presented in the booklet have been provided by the Komitas Museum in Yerevan.
It also includes the entire Armenian text of the Liturgy in Latin transliteration, as well as the English translation.
The release of the album is expected to further raise the interest towards Komitas among the world music community.
The CD will be on sale from July 10.