“The evening really belonged to Bayrakdarian, the satin beauty, whose voice carried all before it. No, that doesn’t say it all: Her voice is one of the most engaging and congenial in the world today.” —Ottawa Citizen

Soprano sorceress Isabel Bayrakdarian, acclaimed internationally for her glittering accomplishments on both stage and screen, presents – in this hypnotically alluring album of Armenian sacred music – a more spiritual aspect of her multifaceted musical persona.

Isabel conceived this project as a heartfelt gift to God for sparing the life of her mother, and the entire album is very much a “family affair.” Her husband arranged the pieces, her brother plays the ceremonial percussion instruments, and her two sisters join her to form a vocal trio in several tracks.

This spellbinding music – scored variously for solo and ensemble voices, cello and women’s choir – will take its fortunate listeners on a deeply spiritual and meditative journey of the soul.

Track Listing

  1. Pourvarov Tapor (Censer procession) (0:13)
  2. Baghdasar Tbir (1683-1768): Zartir Nazeli (Arise, Graceful One) (4:27)
  3. Anonymous (medieval): Khngi Dzarin (Frankincense Tree) (3:52)
  4. Ara Bartevian (1902-1986): Mayr Yev Gouys (Immaculate Mother) (2:58)
  5. Hampartsoum Limondjian (1768-1839): Hamemad Kez (Incomparable One) (4:57)
  6. Anonymous (medieval): Varaneem (Burdened with Sins) (4:35)
  7. Anonymous (medieval): Avedis Kez Mariyam (Good Tidings to You, Mary) (4:34)
  8. St. Gregory of Nareg (951- 1003): Aghers ar Diramayr (Plea to Mother of God)* (5:06)
  9. St. Gregory of Nareg: Diramayrn (Mother of the Lord) (2:50)
  10. Anonymous (medieval): Badjar yev Sgizpn (Cause and Origin) (3:47)
  11. Movses Khorenatsi (410-490): Zandjareli Looso Mayr (Mother of Light) (2:39)
  12. Movses Khorenatsi: Sharaganner (Sharagans from Holy Week) (2:46)
  13. Gomidas Vartabed (1869-1935): Asdvadzadzin Yergnayin (Divine Mother of God) (1:30)
  14. Anonymous (medieval): Zgousoutyount Ko (O Pure God Bearer)* (1:26)
  15. St. Nerses Shnorhali (1102-1173): Aysor Joghovyal (The Saints Are Gathered) (2:51)
  16. Vartan Areveltsi (1198-1271): Antaram Dzaghig (Eternal Flower) (2:56)
  17. Anonymous (18th-19th century): Panin Hor (Word of the Father) (4:10)
  18. Anonymous (18th-19th century): Oor es Mayr Im (Where Are You, My Mother?)* (6:16)

Isabel Bayrakdarian; Ani Aznavoorian, cello; Coro Vox Aeterna; Anna Hamre, conductor; Siroun Kojakian; Marie-Jean Zaatar; Dr. Ishkhan Bayrakdarian