Photo by ARMENPRESS News Agency
The recording of the "Liturgy" was preceded by the concert performance held on September 20, 2019, in Riga’s oldest St. John’s Church by the Latvian Radio Choir along with Armenian soloists Hovhannes Nersisyan and Armen Badalyan, conducted by Sigvards Kļava, after which the recording took place in the same church.
The release of the album is unique in the sense that for the first time in history a non-Armenian mixed choir, namely the Latvian Radio Choir, performed and then recorded the full concert version of Komitas’ Liturgy.
The preparatory works of the project lasted for about three years during which in 2017 and 2018 the Latvian Radio Choir performed excerpts from Komitas' pieces at concerts organized by the Embassy of Armenia in Latvia. Then, composer Vache Sharafyan managed to transcribe Komitas masterpiece, originally designated for a performance by a male choir, into a mixed choir performance. The release of the album may further enhance the interest of the musical world towards Komitas. French-Armenian Komitas scholar-musicologist Mkrtich Mkrtchyan and Latvian Armenologist Valda Salmiņa also worked with the choir.
In early 2019, Sigvards Kļava, the conductor of Latvian Radio Choir with the support of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin visited Armenia, Etchmiadzin, including the Komitas House-Museum, met with Komitas experts, having the opportunity to better study the Armenian spiritual music and Komitas' heritage.
The 80-minutes long CD includes a booklet with introductory remarks by Tigran Mkrtchyan, Ambassador of Armenia to Latvia, and the composer Vache Sharafyan, as well as the autobiography, the life and creative path of Komitas. Komitas' photographs presented in the booklet were provided by the Komitas Museum-Institute in Yerevan.
The booklet also contains the full Armenian text of the Liturgy with Latin transliteration, English translation, as well as Episodes from the creative paths of the soloists, conductor S. Kļava and Latvian Radio Choir.
The Embassy of the Republic of Armenia once again expresses its deep gratitude to the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of the Republic of Armenia, “OrganiQ” Company, especially Mkhitar Mkhitaryan, businessmen Hovik Mkrtchyan, Aram Harutyunyan, the Balasanyan Family Foundation for their support in bringing to life of the project and to DELOS for implementing this complex and responsible task of the CD recording on the top level.
The album will be available on sale from July 10.