Various Artists

Music of Armenia, Vol. 3: Duduk

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An album of works for the duduk, the Armenian apricot wood oboe. Gevorg Dabagian is one of the premier players of the instrument in Armenia, and here displays why he is considered so. The tone of the instrument is stunningly like a stringed instrument; close enough to fool a listener without prior knowledge. The accompanying drone duduks add a nice texture to the pieces as well. The repertoire presented on the album ranges from harvesting folk songs to semi-classical works, with an emphasis placed on works from the ashugh class of Armenian troubadors, primarily the great Sayat Nova and Gusan Sheram. For a nice look at the instrumental solo traditions of Armenia, this album, and its partner volume four featuring the kanon would serve as a powerful duo of presentations of the semi-classical traditions of a region between the traditions of European and Asian.

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