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World Music CD Reviews Europe

SHOGHAKEN ENSEMBLE

By Raffi Meneshian

Armenia Anthology
Traditional Crossroads

GEVORG DABAGHIAN
Masterworks For ArmenianDuduk:Miniatures
Traditional Crossroads

In the end, Armenia Anthology and Miniatures are about the coronation of a new king to the duduk throne: Armenian native Gevork Dabaghian. The duduk is an Armenian wind instrument that is made from the wood of an apricot tree and emits a soulful and soothing sound. It is considered the national musical instrument of Armenia. On Miniatures, Dabaghian shows off his chops on 15 beautiful tracks featuring his masterful duduk playing. His musical range and precision renditions of classic Armenian folk tunes are astonishing. Dabaghian performs Armenian folk songs from composers such as Sayat Nova and Komitas. On Anthology, Dabaghian’s Shoghaken Ensemble takes center stage, performing music ranging from Armenian pagan ritual melodies to bardic love songs. Most songs are performed on period instruments such as the duduk, kamancha, dhol, zurna, kanon and shvi. This disc also features the gorgeous vocals of Aleksan Harutyunyan and Hasmik Harutyunyan, who sing folk songs with vigor and compassion. Both discs capture the haunting beauty of one of the world’s oldest musical legacies.