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Music review, The Silk Road Ensemble at Chicago Orchestra Hall

 Wednesday, December 18, 2002, by John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

..."But the most wonderful piece on the program was "The Sun, the Wine, and the Wind of Time" (1998) by the Armenian composer Vache Sharafyan. The score derived much of its ineffable sadness from the duduk, an oboe-like instrument whose quivery, throaty sounds were framed by piano (Joel Fan), violin (Colin Jacobsen) and cello (Ma). The seamless evolution of moods and textures—from soft, somber lines made up of pained intervals, to more violent outbursts, back to mournful lines—made it entirely absorbing to the ear and mind..."

Music Review: New music group attains world-premiere nirvana

Monday, August 05, 2002 by David diAngelo, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

..."The evening's gem, though, was the Sharafyan. Without overtly referencing Vivaldi, this "Four Seasons" uses the calendar year as a metaphor for a circle of life. It began with "Summer" (with the performers bathed in harsh red lights) and cycled through death in "Winter" and rebirth in "Spring”....


Pittsburgh LiveBy Mark Kanny
Monday, August 5, 2002

Vache Sharafyan’s "The Four Seasons" was the significant world premiere, including Armenian poetry as a prelude to each of the four movements… Sharafyan’s language includes remarkable solo writing for saxophone, brilliantly played by clarinetist Michael Norsworthy and flute, performed with notable sensuality by DiDonato. The composer is not afraid of dissonance, and the furious intensity he achieves serves clear narrative intent, including real satisfaction. "The Four Seasons" required extra performers, including the first Pittsburgh residents to play with the group this season: violist Paul Silver and bassist John Moore from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and percussionist P.J. Gatch.

 From the recommendation- letter of Kronos Quartet, by David Harrington

...I have had the pleasure of hearing numerous works written by Mr. Sharafyan; I find him to be a fascinating and expressive composer whose music unites the ancient with the new and mysterious inner worlds with boldly tangible elements. His path is very personal and distinctive, and I’m certain there will be powerful music flowing for years to come from the mind and pen of Vache Sharafyan.     


           April 30, 2002, Robert Commanday, Senior Editor

The issue with a cross-cultural composition is one of criteria. By what standard and in what aesthetic is the work to be perceived? It must be the product of a real and gifted composer, strong enough a composition to establish its own measure, as Takemitsu’s pieces are. To an extent, Vache Sharafyan’s The Sun, the Wine, and the Wind of Time (from Armenia, 1998) created its own time and space. The western tradition was reflected in its overall song-form structure and writing for piano, violin and cello.


   The New York Times

May 9, 2002, Thursday MUSIC REVIEW:" At a Cultural Crossroads, Yo-Yo Ma Becomes a Spice Trader


..."And the Shostakovich, on Tuesday, seemed to flow naturally from the world of the work performed just before it -- ''The Sun, the Wine and the Wind of Time'' by Vache Sharafyan, from Armenia -- although it quickly established itself on Shostakovich's own terms"...

Tuesday, May 14, 2002By R.M. CAMPBELL

The evening did not just belong to Ma. Sharafyan's "The Sun, the Wine and the Wind of Time," scored for piano trio and duduk (an ancient Armenian wooden flute), was melancholy and searching. Sharafyan juxtaposes the conventional piano trio and the exotic sounds of the duduk with finesse and absorbing imagination. Gevorg Dabaghyan played the duduk with admirable poise.