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Komitas’ Divine Liturgy, Winds of Passion Duduk Quartet

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Product Description

Landmark Recording of Komitas’ Divine Liturgy Features

Komitas Vardapet’s Divine Liturgy has been released by the Los Angeles-based Armenian Arts organization. The compact disc was officially introduced to the public during a ceremony on January 15, 2006, at the Glendale Public Library.

The recording is unprecedented in the history of Armenian music as it features an entirely instrumental rendition of the Liturgy, performed by the duduk quartet Winds of Passion.

Stepan Partamian, who conceived and produced the project, commented on the rationale behind the recording. “The vast repertoire of Armenian sacred music, and Komitas Vardapet’s Divine Liturgy in particular, represents some of the highest compositional achievements of the Armenian people,” he said; “yet Armenian church music has never integrated instrumentation using indigenous instruments. I believe this recording reflects a fresh model for performing Armenian spiritual music, through the use of a genuinely and recognizably Armenian instrument, namely the duduk.”

Acknowledged as the most emotional of Armenian instruments, the duduk stands apart for having a timbre that comes closest to the human voice. This fact, according to the Winds of Passion Quartet, was a major reason the group took on the challenge of recording the Liturgy. A statement from the quartet reads: “Given its complex melodic structure, emotional range, immediacy, and compositional wholeness, Komitas Vardapet’s Divine Liturgy is the finest example of Armenian spiritual music.”

The Winds of Passion Quartet, comprising some of the most accomplished duduk players in the world today, has garnered both popular and critical acclaim through its concerts and a string of recordings.

Winds of Passion’s “Divine Liturgy” was made possible through a grant from the Armenian Arts Fund, which supports the Armenian Arts organization for realizing far-reaching cultural projects. Founded in 2000 in Los Angeles, the Armenian Arts Organization seeks to promote extraordinary Armenian talent in the visual and musical arts. To date the organization has produced a number of high-profile events, including concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Ford Ampitheater; publishes the “Armenian Arts” magazine; and produces the acclaimed and controversial “Bari Luys” and “Tser Kartsike” call-in shows on local television and the Internet.

According to Partamian, the recording of Winds of Passion’s “Divine Liturgy” represents a milestone for the Armenian Arts Fund, as it was made possible through grassroots support from the local Armenian community. Partamian added that proceeds from the sale of the compact disc will be used solely for initiating cutting-edge artistic projects by the Armenian Arts organization.

The “Divine Liturgy” compact disc is accompanied by a 36-page, fully illustrated booklet featuring extensive liner notes in Armenian and English, as well as information on the Armenian Arts organization.

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