Wednesday, January 10, 2018

CLASSIC: Tigran Mansurian (1939): Requiem (2011). For soprano, baritone, mixed choir & string orchestra

I. 00:07 Requiem aeternam: Lento, solenne
II. Kyrie: Moderato, articolando
III. Dies irae: Con moto, passionato
IV. 16:21 Tuba mirum: Moderato, cantando
V. 21:05 Lacrimosa: Tranquillo
VI. 27:30 Domine Jesu Christe: Feroce
VII. Sanctus: Tranquillo, misterioso
VIII. 39:08 Agnus Dei: Lento, como preghiera

Kristine Muldma, soprano
Rainer Vilu, baritone
Eesti Filharmoonia Kammerkoor
Tallinna Kammerorkester
Tõnu Kaljuste
2 November 2016, Kaarli Kerk, Tallinn (Estonia)

For copyright issues:
Publisher (Schott):
Broadcast (ERR):

This work is dedicated to the victims of the Armenian genocide. During its composition, I was confronted by the problem of differing interpretations of the canonical texts laid down by the Armenian and Roman-Catholic churches. Armenian Christians conceive for example the intonation of the 'Kyrie eleison' according to the Western tradition somehow different from their tradition. I naturally selected the Armenian tradition; I had no wish to copy the rhetoric and gestures of a rite to which I am unaccustomed. I hope that the interlinking of ancient sacred and secular music of Armenia with the Latin text has created something unexpected and even slightly paradox in my music. (Tigran Mansurian)

Tigran Mansurian has created a Requiem dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide that occurred in Turkey from 1915 to 1917. Co-commissioned by the Munich Chamber Orchestra and the RIAS Choir Berlin, Mansurian’s Requiem reconciles the sound and sensibility of his country’s traditions with those of Western practices, the combination of ancient Armenian religious and secular music with the Latin Requiem text “giving rise to something unexpected,” the composer says. This is profoundly moving contemporary composition, illuminated by the “glow of Armenian modality,” as Paul Griffiths puts it in his booklet essay. The work is a milestone for Mansurian, widely acknowledged as Armenia’s greatest composer. The Los Angeles Times has described his music as that “in which deep cultural pain is quieted through an eerily calm, heart-wrenching beauty.” (

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