"Mikael Ayrapetyan makes the best possible case for this music,enshrined in a fine recording."
- International piano
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Armenian piano music
MusicWeb International, August 2015
All the music here is highly enjoyable and draws one back for repeated listening. Pianist Mikael Ayrapetyan is the perfect vehicle to drive these pieces. Yerevan-born himself the music inevitably runs through his musical veins and all the nuances inherent are subtly illuminated by this skillful musician. This is an extremely enjoyable disc.
© 2015 MusicWeb International
Abramian. 24 preludes for piano
ClassicsToday.com, July 2016
Mikael Ayrapetyan’s assured technique and natural flair for his countryman’s aesthetic result in performances that effortlessly fuse poetic nuance and high-octane virtuosity. …Well worth hearing.
© 2016 ClassicsToday.com Read complete review
Bagdasarian. 24 preludes for piano
International Piano, January 2015
Mikael Ayrapetyan makes the best possible case for this music, enshrined in a fine recording.
© 2015 International Piano
Komitas. Piano and chamber music
Sang Woo Kang
American Record Guide, July 2017
One of the pioneers of ethnomusicology, Vardapet (Komitas) played an important role in the dissemination and recognition of Armenian music, especially in collecting folk materials. These works are simple, lyrical pieces based on folk themes. Ayrapetyan’s straightforward playing is well-suited to these short works…
© 2017 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide
Stepanian. 26 preludes for piano
David's Review Corner, June 2017
Published in three sets of eight Preludes, the Armenian composer, Haro Stepanian added a further two just before his death in 1966, all here recorded for the first time. Musically educated in Russia, he was to return to his homeland to become a teacher while at the same time adding a portfolio of works that included five operas, three symphonies and much chamber music. Included in his solo piano scores were the Twenty-six Preludes. all of which came after the Second War, though stylistically they belong to a previous generation and owe much to Chopin and Rachmaninov. Certainly they show no affinity to the musical upheaval that had taken place in the early 20th century, these scores of melodic beauty, with an Armenian folk language interwoven into the fabric of an easy-going attraction.The very fine Armenian-born soloist, Mikael Ayrapetyan, has already brought to the Grand Piano label music by three compatriots, Komitas, Bagdasarian and Abramian, and I hope he continues to draw our attention to more neglected music. Here he gives refined and sensitive performances that seem so serve the composer’s style.
© 2017 David’s Review Corner
Barkhudarian. Piano music
David's Review Corner, May 2018
The Armenian-born pianist, Mikael Ayrapetyan continues his invaluable survey of music from his homeland, though in this case the link is a little more tenuous. Sarkis Barkhudarian was born in Georgia in 1887 where he first learned to play the piano as a very young child, before being admitted into the Berlin Hochschule, eventually graduating in St. Petersburg. As a composer he was to meet all of the Communist party diktats following the Revolution, eventually returning to Georgia to head the composition section of Tbilisi Conservatory. He was active in most genres including works for the theatre and concert hall, but today his name largely resides in his works for solo piano, his style belonging in the era of Glazunov, though he was to live through to 1973. It would be difficult not enjoy his music, though, with thirty-six tracks on the disc, you will gather that these cameos are essentially pretty tunes that he leaves largely undeveloped, and most are of folk-inspired origins. As a sampling point try the last three of the Twelve Armenian Dances (tracks 14 to 16). You need clean finger articulation that Ayrapetyan can supply in abundance, and the recorded sound is excellent. Its all makes a pleasing diversion.
© 2018 David’s Review Corner
Tigranian. Armenian Folk Dances, Mugam arrangements
American Record Guide, September 2019
The Armenian Folk Dances are from 1935; Tigranian transcribed the melodies faithfully and added accompaniments that complement them well…they are nicely detailed… Ayrapetyan plays everything well…
© 2019 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide
Mikael Ayrapetyan. A Whole in 12
Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, June 2019
Pianist-composer Mikael Ayrapetyan (b. 1984) strays into melodic territory with his own sensibilities and it all may give you pleasure I trust, depending on what your ear wants to hear. I speak of his A Whole in 12, Miniatures for Piano (Grand Piano 809), which presents to us 12 lyrical solo piano works that have a rhapsodistic lyricism and a soaring sort of introspection that in lesser hands could well degenerate into New Age lullabies. It is all very tonal, and fine for that. It is thick with chordal accompaniment throughout, the left hand offering up broken arpeggiated, sometimes near-Alberti chordal patterns quite pianistic, a constant factor. I find myself listen to the left hand and finding it interesting in itself as I hear this album repeatedly.
© 2019 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Read complete review
Baal HaSulam. Melodies of the upper worlds
David's Review Corner, May 2019
The sleeve note with the disc relates the life-journey of Yehuda Leib HaLevi Ashlag, born in Warsaw into a Jewish family in 1885, he spent most of his life in Jerusalem. He was to become known as Baal HaSulam as he devoted his life to the Kabbalist Book of Zohar. If that means little to you, I can add from the disc’s enclosed booklet that it is ‘an ancient spiritual wisdom that empowers us improve our lives, and to achieve a lasting fulfilment’. It was during his two years in London, beginning in 1926, that he composed the cycle ‘Melodies of Upper Worlds’ in a series of tunes without words that have been arranged for the keyboard by the Armenian pianist, Mikael Ayrapetyan. The titles I have shown in English translations, though, like myself, you may find little in the music to picture those words, but they were intended to be easily memorised for singing. Maybe best to start at track 16, Saint, which, from a musical point of view, is a score of substance as it leads into the final Beloved of the Soul. Born in 1984, Ayrapetyan studied at the Tchaikovsky State Conservatoire in Moscow, and is now a very active concert artist and composer. Here he has also acted as Producer and disc Editor for a recording made in the Conservatoire last year.
© 2019 David’s Review Corner
Spendiarov. Complete piano works and chamber works with piano
Chukhajian. Piano works
MusicWeb International, April 2021
Grand Piano continue their strong Armenian line. Grand Piano continue their strong Armenian line with no sign of fatigue. While they have pianists of the calibre of Mikael Ayrapetyan at their bidding may they long persevere with music from this neglected treasury. Each of the 38 pieces across these two CDs is separated by a good helping of silence; a classy touch which speaks volumes for the artistic judgements being made by musicians and record company. Add to this excellent work-specific notes by the pianist and a plethora of world premiere recordings with clarity and impact.
© 2021 MusicWeb International Read complete review
David's Review Corner, February 2021
Born in 1837, Tigran Gevorki Chukhajian, was a leading figure in Armenian music in the second half of the 19th century, fusing together East and Western influences. He was obviously very familiar with the music of Chopin in his use of delicacy, and also of Liszt in his technical showpieces that are included in this well filled disc, the twelve tracks displaying a composer who could offer a wealth of memorable melody. Go no further than the opening Impromptu that would have been for his own concert use, and we are made aware that he was obviously a highly skilled pianist. It is said that his mature education came from time spent in Italy, where he also enjoyed a career as a conductor of some renown, particularly in the theatre, biographies I have researched are so totally different from one to the other, the pianist on this release, Mikael Ayrapetyan, pointing out that his eventual death in 1898 was in poverty and totally unknown. So let me continue my admiration of the disc with the Grande Valse where he perfectly brings together the big gestures and the ‘Illusions’ of the title. The extended Caprice, with its big octave passages, is exciting for the listener, and fiendish for the performer, while the two Polka’s have an uncomplicated charm. But I must now comment on the superb playing of Ayrapetyan who is devoting so much time and effort in bringing Armenian music into our lives, and if you enjoy the music of Liszt, you must certainly place this at the top of your shopping list. As with his previous discs, it was recorded in the Great Hall of the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow and belongs to the finest piano recordings I have ever heard. © 2021 David’s Review Corner