Chicago Tribune (12,18,02) (Chicago Orchestra Hall): "...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 (Yo-Yo 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..."
THE BOSTON GLOBE, by Matthew Guerrieri Globe Correspondent / May 27, 2008 By contrast, Vache Sharafyan's "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.
The New York Times / May 9, 2002, Thursday, 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"...
Pittsburgh Post Gazette (08, 05, 02) wrote: …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...
Pittsburgh Live By 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 … The composer is not afraid of dissonance, and the furious intensity he achieves serves clear narrative intent, including real satisfaction.
David Harrington (Kronos Quartet) wrote: “I find him (Sharafyan) to be a fascinating and expressive composer whose music unites the ancient with the new and mysterious inner worlds with boldly tangible elements...”
SAN FRANCISCO CLASSICAL VOCE / 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.
Tuesday, May 14, 2002 By R.M. CAMPBELL SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER MUSIC CRITIC 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.