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Concerto for Strings, opus 48
Music of east and west
In these videos, the “Concerto for Strings”, opus 48, is performed by Oganes Girunyan, violin, Nataliya Girunyan, violin, Sergey Obukhov, viola, Stanislav Ovchinnikov, cello and Vladimir Dranitza, contrabass.
Part 1
Part 2
Concerto For Strings, opus 48…
... (1972) reveals a further attempt to merge the musical cultures of east and west without being too strictly conventional regarding the theoretical structures of either culture. This composition is mainly inspired by the melodic code “La Monotonia”, also heard in the Suite Symphonique. It is structured in four movements, each illustrating a specific picture.

I. Mouvement "Le Chant du coeur"
II. Mouvement "Marche Rituelle sous pluie et tempete"

The first movement is an instrumental challenge presenting tremendous technical problems to all instruments involved, owing to the very great diversity of dynamics and the complexity of the thematic elements woven into a stream of notes which secretly build up a hidden harmonic structure, based on classical principles, yet evoking exotic atmospheres. The framework of this movement is conceived in the traditional style of what is know as Sonata form, with an exposition section, a development section and a re‐exposition section ending with a Coda.

The second movement is a short Scherzo, illustrating a procession starting off in strictest discipline but as the music unfolds, it becomes more and more expressing, ending on a fortissimo aspect as the procession reaches its destiny, which is described in the final dramatic sequences, and which lead one right up to the doorstep of the ‘Prayer House’ where the third movement actually takes place.

The third movement, also called ‘La Monotonia’ (opus 13) describes the various episodes of a meditative invocation, starting with a Call to Prayer, played by the Altos and followed by the Prayer‐Walk scored on a rhythmic pattern, all of which is part of the A‐section of this slow movement, composed according to the principles of the classical ‘Lied‐Form’. The B‐section is the actual Prayer aspect with various thematic elements coming and going continuously in a Fugue style, while sticking all the way through to the monotonous formula of the Indian raga Bhairavi where no harmonic modulation prevails. This B‐section culminates into an Appassionata representing ‘Victory’ over the self, the atmosphere of which is emphasized by the classical western Harmonic Chords sounding in a full expressive outburst. The closing is a return to the A‐section of the first bars, followed by a Coda, all of which is expressive of the inner meditative call.

The fourth movement is made up of a series of five dances in Hindu style, alternated by variations of the numerous thematic elements, all of which are at the same time reminiscences of the melodies heard in the previous movements. The Coda of the fourth movement is inspired by the framework of the theme of ‘La Monotonia’ re‐exposed, ending the movement in graceful serenity and peace.

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