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Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Mikael Ayrapetyan, A Whole in 12, Miniatures for Piano
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. That is me though.
He is an Armenian known for a more identifiably Armenian style via his "Secrets of Armenia" project. This music is not typical for what Armenian music normally might be--not in the melodically minor mode of the Armenian strain, and that should I suppose neither deter us nor encourage us, for no artist should be expected only to follow a local muse. Still the singsong diatonic, often major-moded channels of this music was not what I might have expected and in some ways it is not how I would want to express myself personally. Of course that is never something that should stop us in our tracks, but then the question is whether the music appeals nonetheless? A Satie for example could excel with such reduced means, but this is not Satie-like. It goes elsewhere.
I cannot say I love all twelve of these miniatures. There are a few that haunt, a few others that seem a little too endlessly sweet, like baklava. Your personal capacity for such things will select you from among the crowd. If you crave the lyrically melodic, the nearly simple plainness of lyric sweet-amidst-sweet, you will no doubt be well served by this one. I find a number of them very lovely.
So it is your move. Ayrapetyan is dead serious about his lyric spell. Try a little and see what you think.