Karén Hakobyan Rebirth Adagio Has Premiere at Tekeyan Program Commemorating Genocide Centennial


Hasmik Papian

Hasmik Papian

Karen Hakobyan

NEW YORK — Tekeyan Cultural Association presents the world premiere of Rebirth – Adagio for string orchestra and Timpani, Opus 18, on Saturday, November 21 at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, 129 West 67th St., at 7:30 p.m.

The work is a complex musical composition centered around two distinct parts each with several interconnected sections. The first part consists of three sections, which bring out the somber and tense character of the music. The melody first heard in the lower strings is surrounded by constant trembling. It carries over into a brief second section Andante which intensifies and suddenly bursts into the third section – Molto Animato, energico. This fast section introduces an intense new theme which can be heard as a canon in various voices surrounded by constant motion. As the movement dies out leaving the lone double bass holding a low note it creates a bleak feeling in the air followed by silence.

The second part continues on from the silence developing the first, somber melody in the lower strings until a ray of light as a solo violin enters in the upper register. The violin peacefully plays the melody from Komitas Vardapet’s Tsirani Tsar (Apricot Tree). As the two melodies (past and future) collide, the bottom layer eventually dominates the beautiful melody of Komitas. After climax is reached, Komitas’s melody re-emerges as a dance leading into the triumphant Coda. The Coda synthesizes all the melodies introduced throughout the piece. As it builds towards the final climax, it brings a peaceful resolution symbolizing a brighter future.

Rebirth – Adagio was specifically composed for the Commemoration of the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide and reflect the composer’s deepest thoughts and feelings on one of the biggest tragedies of the 20th century.

Participating in the program will be Hakobyan, cellist Alexander Chaushian, soprano Hasmik Papian and conductor Arkady Leytush.

The program will fatuer works by Bach, Komitas, Babadjanian, Sharafyan, Mirzoyan and others, in addition to Hakobyan.