Armenian music at the Festival delle Nazioni in Italy

Spirito d’Armenia

"The history of the Armenian people is a story of suffering and endurance. But its traditional music is full of gentleness and peace. Like other nations marked by stories of pain and oppression, what the Armenians have not found in reality, has joined them in music instead." these are the words of Jordi Savall, uttered last night in the Church of San Domenico in Città di Castello, at the second concert of the Festival delle Nazioni in Italy.

And the concert was a fascinating journey into the mystical Armenian music from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century music, in which the traditional instruments of Armenia, the duduk and kamancha, played by Georgi Minassyan, Haig Sarikouyoumdjian and Guaguik Mouradian, merged harmoniously with the ancient instruments of the Western tradition, played by Jordi Savall and the musicians of Hespérion XXI.

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the Festival delle Nazioni is paying homage to Armenia with a musical programme running from August 27 to September 6 in Città di Castello, in the province of Perugia in Umbria, Italy. The 47th edition of the Festival features Armenian symphonic and chamber music, folk and classic, sacred and profane, choral and curative, medieval hymns and premiere compositions. 

On the opening night of the festival, the stage hosted the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra led by conductor Eduard Topchjan. The programme included the famous Concerto for violin and orchestra by Aram Khachaturian, which Anush Nikoghosyan performed as a soloist, and two masterpieces of the Russian music: 'A night on Bald Mountain' by Mussorgsky and 'Schéhérazade' by Rimsky-Korsakov. 

Photo credit: © David Ignaszewski, Annalisa Savoca