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Karen Ananyan, Aram Ilyich Khachaturian, Sayat Nova, Komitas Vardapet, Alexander Arutunian, Arno Babadjanian, Shirin etc

Armenian Metamorphoses (arrangements by Armen Babakhanian - pictured)

Armenian Rhapsody Alexander Arutunian & Arno Babadjanian
Ananyan: Folk Reflections
Khachaturian: excerpts from Spartacus & Gayane

Cadence Ensemble

Signum: SIGCD129 [53 mins]

A very classy collection of Armenian folk-derived music put over expertly with flair and controlled schmaltz, never quite over the top. We listened to it straight through with pleasure and growing admiration.

The clever chamber music arrangement of the Sabre Dance to end left no feeling that we were being short-changed without an orchestra; indeed we played it through again as an encore.

It took five recording days at Abbey Road in London (October 2007); the recording quality is of the highest and there are no lapses in the feeling of spontaneity.

Peter Grahame Woolf