Arax Davtian, soprano
Vladimir Yurigin-Klevke, piano
DRD 2007 (DDD)
Click to purchase from Delos
GLINKA: Alla Cetra (K Tsytre) • I Recall a Wonderful Moment (Ya Pomnyu Chudnaye Mgnavenye) • The Blue Waves Are Asleep (Usnuli Golubye) • How Sweet It Is To Be With You (Kak Slatko S Taboyu Mne Byt) • Tell Me Why (Skazhi, Zachem…) • The Fair Maiden Is Miserable (Gorko, Gorko Mnye, Krasnoi Devitse)
DARGOMYZHSKIY: The Sierra-Nevada Is Covered With Fog (Adelas Tumanami Sierra-Nevada) • The Garden (Vertograt) • Sixteen Years (Shesnatsat Lyet) • The Clouds In The Sky (Tuchki Nebesnye) • The Youth And The Maiden (Yunoshu, Gorko Rydaya)
TCHAIKOVSKY: That Was In Early Spring (To Bylo Ranneyu Vesnoi) Op. 38, No. 2 • Amidst the Bustling Party (Sred Shumnova Bala) Op. 38, No. 3 • Not A Word, Oh My Friend (Ni Slova, O Druk Moi) Op. 6, No 2 • In A Single Word (Khatel By V Yedinaye
Slovo) • Again Like Before (Snova, Kak Prezhde…)
RACHMANINOFF: Don’t Sing to Me, Fair Maiden (Ne Poi, Krasavitsa) Op. 4, No. 4 • The Lilac (Siren) Op. 21, No. 5 • An Excerpt From A. Musset (Atryvok Iz A. Musse) Op. 21, No. 6 • Rat-Catcher (Krysalof) Op. 38, No. 4 • Daisies (Margaritki) Op. 38, No. 3 • Spring Waters (Vesenniye Vody) Op. 14, No. 11
“one of the most beautiful, honest and touching recordings of these Russian musical gems” – Constantine Orbelian
Arax Davtian (1949-2010), People’s Artist of Armenia, was often called Armenia’s greatest soprano. She recorded this beautiful album in 1994, in her prime, at the urging of Constantine Orbelian, who conducted many performances and tours featuring Arax with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. Constantine writes in his memorial tribute to Arax that when he first heard her sing he was taken with “her crystal clear voice, pinpoint intonation, beautiful phrasing and line,” and goes on to say that “Arax was blessed with the rarest of all gifts: truth and sincerity in art.”
This choice collection of Russian musical gems was originally released on the Russian Disc label. Those of us at Delos who were privileged to hear Arax in performance dedicate this reissue to the memory of a great artist and a delightful personality.
Arax began her musical life as a pianist, and rose to international prominence as a singer in 1984, when she won the Viotti Competition in Italy, and was invited to the Bolshoi to sing Violetta. She became an international sensation in her tours of Europe and the US with the Moscow Virtuosi under Vladimir Spivakov, and sang with an impressive array of prestigious conductors and orchestras of Europe.
Vladimir Yurigin-Klevke is one of the leading pianist/chamber musician/accompanist figures in Moscow. His solo album of 20th Century Russian piano music (Gubaidulina, Pärt, Shostakovich, Shchedrin and Karayev, originally on Russian Disc) is scheduled as a Delos re-release in early 2011 (DRD 2008).
A letter from Constantine Orbelian:
“I met the late great Arax Davtian 22 years ago in the provincial French town of Tours. She was performing with my friend and colleague Vladimir Spivakov and his “Moscow Virtuosi” Chamber Orchestra. I was completely taken with Arax’s crystal clear voice, pinpoint intonation, beautiful phrasing and line, and captivating dedication to Mozart’s glorious Motet “Exsultate Jubilate.” Not only was this my introduction to Arax as a singer; it was my introduction to Arax the warm, wonderful person — the radiant and bubbly personality and superb artist — with whom I was lucky enough to perform over 250 concerts in the course of the next 20 years. In fact, when I was appointed Music Director of the Moscow Chamber Orchestra in 1991, I asked Arax to be the soloist in my very first concert at the famed Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Our tours and concerts took us from a first concert in the US on May 9th 1995 — to commemorate the founding of the United Nations in San Francisco — to Japan, South Africa, South America and of course throughout Europe.
Arax was blessed with the rarest of all gifts: truth and sincerity in art. Arax had her own truth and her own personal interpretations of the works of Mozart, Vivaldi, Pergolesi, Verdi, Puccini and of course the compositions of her native Armenian composers: Komitas, Sayat Nova, Babadzhanian, Mirzoyan and Arutiunian. Unfortunately, none of this repertoire was recorded or released; and sadly now it never will be, in Arax’s indelible interpretations. Luck had it, though, that back in the mid-1990s, I was able to produce the recording you are about to hear. As we all know, remarkable achievements require a substantial struggle and great perseverance. With Arax living in Armenia and the wonderful pianist Vladimir Klevke living in Moscow, we had to coordinate and set aside a few weeks of “down time” for her to come to Moscow and rehearse, prepare and record what I believe to be one of the most beautiful, honest and touching recordings of these Russian musical gems.
Ironically, one of Arax’s favorite encores in our concerts was the Angel’s aria from Mozart’s “Grabmusik.” Arax was an Angel then, and she is surely an Angel now.”