THE BOSTON GLOBE In season finale, BMOP charts the Armenian experience;
by By Matthew Guerrieri Globe Correspondent
/ May 27, 2008
"Sinfonia No. 2 un poco concertante," a BMOP commission and world premiere, takes that essence as its starting point.
Melodies erupt into dense, slow-shifting harmonic clouds; a repetitive figure builds into crashing waves of multitudinous,
Ivesian dissonance. A solo duduk, the Armenian folk oboe (pre-recorded for this concert), spins periodic arabesques, the instrument's
microtonal inflections transmuted in the orchestra. Sharafyan creates complex, deliberate, ultimately
captivating grandeur - artistic director Gil Rose led a terrific, vivid performance.
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
TRIBUNE-REVIEW CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
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 plesure 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
SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOCE
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
By ALLAN KOZINN
..."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. CAMPBELLThe 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.
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER MUSIC CRITIC