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Voices of Armenia

Voices of Armenia: Frontcover
Voices of Armenia: Backcover
EUR 22,00
Geghard Ensemble
Voices of Armenia

Armenian Sacred & Secular Music for Female Voices,
including Chants from the 4th till the 21st Century,
performed by the Geghard Ensemble

Conductor: Anahit Papayan
Artistic Director: Prof. Mher Navoyan

A live recording from the church of the German
UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery

HD Recording · DDD · Duration: c. 47 Minutes




he "Geghard" Ensemble was founded in 2001 by soloist and conductor Anahit Papayan. This female ensemble consists of eight singers. The artistic director is Mher Navoyan, Doctor of Science (Arts), medievalist-musicologist, professor of Yerevan State Conservatory after Komitas. Besides the Divine Liturgies sung each Sunday in St. Geghard Monastery (IV-XIII c.), the ensemble has also wide concert activities. The main aim of the ensemble is to present Armenian sacred and folk choral music in Armenia and abroad. The concerts are often accompanied by the lectures on Armenian music by the artistic director Mher Navoyan. The program of "Geghard" vocal ensemble includes Armenian medieval monodies from the 5th to the 15th centuries in solo and choral performances, choral arrangements of Armenian sacred and folk songs by Armenian classical and contemporary composers, works of Armenian contemporary composers and works of European classical and contemporary composers.
The ensemble has had numerous concerts in Germany (2002, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2015,2016, 2017 & 2018), Austria (2003, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2016), Finland (2005), France (2008, 2011), Czech Republic (2008), Belarus (2010), Poland (2010 & 2015), Italy (2010), Belgium (2012), Lebanon (2013), Russia (2014 & 2016). Among the festivals in which the Geghard Ensemble has participated especially are remarkable the "Salzburg Festival" in Vienna (Austria), "Caucasus" at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg (Germany), the "Moscow Easter Festival" (Russia), the "Kirkko Soikoon" in Finland, the sacred music festival "Voix et Route Romane" in Strasbourg (France), "Musicfest of International Bachakademie" Stuttgart (Germany), "Benefit" concert series of St. Nicholas Church, Prague (Czech Repablic), Internatioanl festival "Des Voûtes célestes of Vendee" (France), "Musica Sacra International" in Marktoberdorf (Germany), "Al Bustan", Beirut (Lebanon), "International Academy of Sacred Music" in St. Petersburg (Russia). In 2010 the Ensemble has participated in two competitions of sacred music and has won the "Grand Prix" in the competition of Orthodox church music "Kolozhski Blagovest" in Grodno (Belarus) and the first prize in the international competition "Hajnowka's Days of Orthodox Music", Hajnowka, (Poland). View more information and current concert dates at

Geghard Ensemble

Anahit Papayan ~ Soprano & Conductor
Luiza Yeremyan, Tatevik Tadevosyan, Ani Simonyan ~ Soprano
Katarine Hovhannisyan, Ruzanna Harutyunyan, Anna Arzumanyan, Ani Hovhannisyan ~ Alto

According to the tradition St. Geghard Monastery in Armenia, one of the ancient spiritual centers of Armenia, was founded at the beginning of the IV century by St. Gregory the Illuminator, the first catholicos of the Armenian apostolic church. The monastery flourished and prospered in the XII-XIII centuries, especially under the patronage of the noble families Zakarian and Proshian. Ot is famous for the rock hewn churches built at that period. The reason for the naming the monastery "Geghard" comes from the fact that the holy lance (Arm. Geghard), one of the reliques of the Armenian Church, has been preserved there for long time. It was the lance with which the Roman soldier pierced the Crucified Christ. It was Apostle St. Thaddeus, who brought the holy lance to Armenia in the I century. Now it is preserved in the museum of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin. As early as in the middle ages St. Geghard Monastery was famous for its musical traditions. In the VIII century Grigor Ayrivanetsi, a great musician, was mentioned in the history of the Monastery. In XIII century Mekhitar Ayrivanetsi, a medieval famous author and great musician, lived there. Even during the Soviet era the monastery had choirs. In 2002 was established a partnership between the two UNESCO world cultural Heritage sites St. Geghard Monastery and historical Lorsch Abbey in Germany. Since the year 2000 the St. Geghard Monastery is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Prof. Mher Navoyan ~ Artistic Director, Musicologist, Honored Worker of Art of RA, Doctor of Science (Arts), Professor, Pro-Rector for Research Affairs of the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan, Head of Folk music Department of the Institute of Arts of the National Academy of Sciences of RA. Navoyan is author of articles and monographs in the fields of theory and history of Armenian music. In 1993 Mr. Navoyan graduated from the Komitas State Conservatory in Yerevan as an orchestral performer and in 1994 as a musicologist. Since 1995 he is a professor in Yerevan State Conservatory, the lecturer of "History of Armenian Music", "The Basis of East Classical Music", "Armenian Sacred Music", "History of World Music" etc.

Series & Edition


ublishing Authentic Classical Concerts entails for us capturing and recording outstanding performances and concerts for posterity. The performers, audience, opus and room enter into an intimate dialogue that in its form and expression, its atmosphere, is unique and unrepeatable. It is our aim, the philosophy of our house, to enable the listener to acutely experience every facet of this symbiosis, the intensity of the performance, so we record the concerts in direct 2-Track Stereo digital HD. The results are unparalleled interpretations of musical and literary works, simply - audiophile snapshots of permanent value. Flourishing culture, enthralling the audience and last but not least also you the listener, are the values we endeavor to document in our editions and series.

The concerts at the UNESCO World Heritage Maulbronn Monastery supply the ideal conditions for our aspirations. It is, above all, the atmosphere of the romantic, candle-lit arches, the magic of the monastery in its unadulterated sublime presence and tranquillity that impresses itself upon the performers and audience of these concerts. Renowned soloists and ensembles from the international arena repeatedly welcome the opportunity to appear here - enjoying the unparalleled acoustic and architectural beauty of this World Heritage Site, providing exquisite performances of secular and sacred music, documented by us in our Maulbronn Monastery Edition.

Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler, K&K Verlagsanstalt

Works, Movements & Tracklist

Sacred Choral Music from Armenia:

St. Mesrop Mashtoz (360-440):
1. Two Repentance Sharakans (Hymns)
from the Canon of the Big Lent

Komitas Aghtsetsi (7th Century) / Komitas Vardapet:
2. Souls Devoted to the Love of Christ
Sharakan from the Canon of St. Hripsime

St. Grigor Narekatsi (10th Century):
3. The Bird
Tagh (Solemn Hymn) of Resurrection
Solo: Tatevik Tadevosyan

Hakob Klayetsi (13th Century):
4. Today the Heavens Rejoices
Sharakan from the Canon for St. Mary's Birth

St. Nerses Shnorhali (12th Century) / Komitas:
5. Who is like the Lord, our God
Fragment from the Divine Liturgy
Solo: Luiza Yeremyan

St. Nerses Shnorhali (12th Century) / Komitas:
6. Christ is in our Midst
Fragment from the Divine Liturgy

Anonymous (Tradition of Ani) / Komitas:
7. The Mother of the Lord
Medieval Tagh of Crucifixion (Maria's Lament)
Solo: Luiza Yeremyan

Anonymous / Komitas:
8. Through the Intercession of Thy Virgin Mother
Medieval Fragment from the Divine Liturgy

Anonymous / Komitas:
9. Christ has Sacrificed himself
Medieval Fragment from the Divine Liturgy

St. Movses Khorenatsi (5th Century) / Komitas:
10. The Mother of the Ineffable Light
Sharakan of Theophany (Appearance of God)

Secular Vocal Music from Armenia:

Armenian Traditionals / Komitas:
11. Mount Aragats & The Olibanum Tree

Armenian Traditionals / Komitas:
12. My Dear Mother / The Deer / It's Raining
Soloists: Luiza Yeremyan & Anahit Papayan

Armenian Traditional:
13. I have a House by the Sea
Solo: Anahit Papayan

Armenian Traditional:
14. The Moonlight
Solo: Ruzanna Harutyunyan

Armenian Traditional:
15. I Will Sew a Wedding Dress for You

Armenian Traditional:
16. Shousho
Solo: Luiza Yeremyan

Armenian Traditional:
17. Tamzara (Dancing Song)

18. Applause

Armenian Traditional / Komitas:
19. Nanik nananik
Solo: Luiza Yeremyan

Armenian Traditional:
20. Nanari na
Soloists: Anahit Papayan, Ruzanna Harutyunyan & Luiza Yeremyan

A concert recording to 'Direct 2-Track Stereo Digital HD' from the church of the German UNESCO World Heritage Site Maulbronn Monastery, recorded, released & created by Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler in cooperation with Sebastian Eberhardt, Klosterkonzerte Maulbronn ("Maulbronn Monastery Concerts").

Concert Date: June 9, 2018
Sound & Recording Engineer: Andreas Otto Grimminger
Mastering: Andreas Otto Grimminger & Josef-Stefan Kindler
Photography: Josef-Stefan Kindler
Artwork & Coverdesign: Josef-Stefan Kindler


Commissioned by the angels to bring this music to earth…

Sacred and secular songs from Armenia performed by eight young women (they look to be in their 20s) who sing as though commissioned by the angels to bring this music to earth. Their sound is reverberant and then some, but they come by the echoes honestly. This was recorded in concert at Maulbronn, an 850-year-old Romanesque monastery in southern Germany where constricted sonics are not a way of life. You won't have any trouble distinguishing the modal chants offered to the glory of God from the images of moonlight, wedding dresses, and houses by the sea evoked in the secular offerings. It's beautiful Music!

© 2019 American Record Guide


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This release is/was featured on Spotify's weekly list of 50 notable classical new releases, Nov. 9 till Nov. 16, 2018

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