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Though she gave piano recitals throughout Europe during her career, the name of Koharik Gazarossian has largely been forgotten today. Born to Armenian parents in 1907, she grew up in Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and studied piano there with a Hungarian pupil of Liszt. Not yet 20, she was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire, where her teachers were Paul Dukas (composition) and Lazare Lévy (piano). Gazarossian proceeded to make a name and a career for herself as a pianist touring 24 'well-tempered' recitals, arranged by tonality after the model of Bach's keyboard manuals. But she also composed throughout this time, especially for her own instrument, in a tonal language influenced by her teachers and by Armenian folk melodies and harmonies. Many of these pieces have yet to be rediscovered, but this album of the 24 Etudes presents the most compelling case for her revival. Gazarossian completed the Etudes in 1958, and they attracted the praise in particular of Armenia's most renowned composer, Aram Khachaturian. Not only the pre-eminent exemplar of Chopin can be heard in the technique of the Etudes, but also the sound of Scriabin (No.1), Rachmaninov (No.3) and Prokofiev (No.10). Each of the Etudes is dedicated to a different friend, and the set thus testifies to a wide social circle of accomplished musicians from across Europe and Asia. Several of them are dedicated to the best of her pupils back in Istanbul, others to fellow female pianists such as Magdi Rufer and Idil Biret. It is all the more appropriate that they should be revived here by Nare Karoyan, who grew up in Yerevan, capital of Armenia, before studying in Cologne with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, among other distinguished teachers. Now based in Germany, she gives regular recitals in Berlin, Bonn and other major destinations.
Though she gave piano recitals throughout Europe during her career, the name of Koharik Gazarossian has largely been forgotten today. Born to Armenian parents in 1907, she grew up in Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and studied piano there with a Hungarian pupil of Liszt. Not yet 20, she was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire, where her teachers were Paul Dukas (composition) and Lazare Lévy (piano). Gazarossian proceeded to make a name and a career for herself as a pianist touring 24 'well-tempered' recitals, arranged by tonality after the model of Bach's keyboard manuals. But she also composed throughout this time, especially for her own instrument, in a tonal language influenced by her teachers and by Armenian folk melodies and harmonies. Many of these pieces have yet to be rediscovered, but this album of the 24 Etudes presents the most compelling case for her revival. Gazarossian completed the Etudes in 1958, and they attracted the praise in particular of Armenia's most renowned composer, Aram Khachaturian. Not only the pre-eminent exemplar of Chopin can be heard in the technique of the Etudes, but also the sound of Scriabin (No.1), Rachmaninov (No.3) and Prokofiev (No.10). Each of the Etudes is dedicated to a different friend, and the set thus testifies to a wide social circle of accomplished musicians from across Europe and Asia. Several of them are dedicated to the best of her pupils back in Istanbul, others to fellow female pianists such as Magdi Rufer and Idil Biret. It is all the more appropriate that they should be revived here by Nare Karoyan, who grew up in Yerevan, capital of Armenia, before studying in Cologne with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, among other distinguished teachers. Now based in Germany, she gives regular recitals in Berlin, Bonn and other major destinations.
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Though she gave piano recitals throughout Europe during her career, the name of Koharik Gazarossian has largely been forgotten today. Born to Armenian parents in 1907, she grew up in Constantinople (modern Istanbul) and studied piano there with a Hungarian pupil of Liszt. Not yet 20, she was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire, where her teachers were Paul Dukas (composition) and Lazare Lévy (piano). Gazarossian proceeded to make a name and a career for herself as a pianist touring 24 'well-tempered' recitals, arranged by tonality after the model of Bach's keyboard manuals. But she also composed throughout this time, especially for her own instrument, in a tonal language influenced by her teachers and by Armenian folk melodies and harmonies. Many of these pieces have yet to be rediscovered, but this album of the 24 Etudes presents the most compelling case for her revival. Gazarossian completed the Etudes in 1958, and they attracted the praise in particular of Armenia's most renowned composer, Aram Khachaturian. Not only the pre-eminent exemplar of Chopin can be heard in the technique of the Etudes, but also the sound of Scriabin (No.1), Rachmaninov (No.3) and Prokofiev (No.10). Each of the Etudes is dedicated to a different friend, and the set thus testifies to a wide social circle of accomplished musicians from across Europe and Asia. Several of them are dedicated to the best of her pupils back in Istanbul, others to fellow female pianists such as Magdi Rufer and Idil Biret. It is all the more appropriate that they should be revived here by Nare Karoyan, who grew up in Yerevan, capital of Armenia, before studying in Cologne with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, among other distinguished teachers. Now based in Germany, she gives regular recitals in Berlin, Bonn and other major destinations.
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