The Music Masters Of Armenia

The Music Master of Armenia

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The album promises traditional music and song, and it certainly delivers in spades, with some pieces dating back to the fourth and seventh centuries. But since Armenia is one of those countries at the crossroads of the Orient and the Occident, it's perhaps no surprise that there's plenty of history to explore. The six-piece group, truly comprised of master musicians, does exactly that, although with a formality that's more akin to early classical music than folk. There's a beauty in that, but also a restraint that perhaps works against the natural grain of the music, especially when soprano Anna Mayilian is singing; she has a gorgeous, trained voice, but again, it brings such an air of formality that the music becomes stiff. Ultimately, although it can be enjoyed at that level, the music becomes a museum piece, which is almost certainly not the intent here. For something that's really quite ambitious, re-creating such history, it ends up somewhat muted and stifled, and not the glorious success it might have been.

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