Vier Hayren, for Viola and Piano
Playing time approx.
The present publication is based on an earlier vocal composition by Tigran Mansurian with the same title Four Hayrens for mezzo-soprano and piano (1967). Forty years later, in 2007 (and again revised in 2010), the cycle was adapted for viola and piano at the suggestion of the famous violist Kim Kashkashian. The vocal version had its premiere in Yerevan, Armenia, in the late 60s, and thereafter it was performed in many countries around the world. Ever since it was mostly Kim Kashkashian who has been playing the viola version. The composition is based on four verses, so-called Hayrens, by Nahapet Quchak, the eldest and best-known Armenian poet and folk singer who lived in the 16th century. According to ancient oriental tradition his verses praise the love and beauty of women and girls, bemoan the lover's grief, and extol the sublimity of the Armenian landscape. The word «Hayren» actually means «Armenian» or «in Armenian style», but also defines a genre or form of medieval poetry still very much loved in Armenia today. It has its special prosody and connotes the expression of a certain sense of life. Hayrens were passed down by word of mouth in folklore as well as in the poetry of known authors. In order to convey the emotional content of these four Hayrens to the instrumentalists their texts are printed in a free adaptation in the edition.
I Davit Margare (Prophet David) - II Im hogvuyn hogi (O soul of my soul, my love) - III Yes ayn havqerun ei (That sort of fowl was I) - IV Yerb yes hashkhars eka (When I came into the world)
• Belaieff, 2014