Recorded in the Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, this disc offers an opportunity to sample music by Armenian composers, here represented by three works for cello and orchestra, and is in a way a follow-up to the 2011 release [BIS-1948] which was also devoted to concertante works for cello by Armenian composers. The programme opens with Aram Khachaturian, whose 1946 concerto, which contains many Armenian and Georgian folkloric allusions and rhythmic dances like those of the Ashoug, has been described as being closer to a symphony with cello than to a concerto. The second work, Arno Babajanian’s Cello Concerto, is permeated by specific intonation rooted in Armenian folk music and folklore. The disc concludes with the cello concerto by the French composer of Armenian origin, Michel Petrossian, a work from 2022 entitled 8.4, an allusion to the book of Genesis, chapter 8, verse 4, where Mount Ararat is first mentioned. The work glorifies the symbolic and spiritual aspect of Ararat, the ‘sacred mountain’, and integrates Armenian and Byzantine liturgical chants.
The UK-based Alexander Chaushian, cello soloist in all of these works, is Armenian by birth, and has secured the expert support of the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra under its principal conductor Eduard Topchjan.