One of the first countries to become Christian, Armenia is a mystery to most of us. This recording done by John Graham at Geghard Monastery is more than beautiful. It is a connection to a different place and time. Graham is a historical musicologist resident in Georgia (the country, not the state) who coordinates tours in this region. His website at John Graham Tours is rich with photos and commentary - and of course, massive amounts of music, both sacred and folk. I stumbled across his site several years ago. And now I'm saving my shekels, pennies, euros, pesos, etc. for a tour. In the meantime, take a look at these amazing countries and people. There is so much beauty in this world when we take our eyes off the sidewalk in front of us, isn't there?
Popular posts from this blog
Often called “the father of American choral music,” William Billings lived and worked in Boston from 1746-1800. He variously supported himself as a tanner and a singing school teacher, never with great success. However, he left a legacy of shape-note works that are sung to this day. The Easter Anthem is challenging and usually only sung at large conventions where folks really let it rip! It is rousing, lively, and full of Easter spirit. This performance by His Majesties Clerkes is combined with a slide show of Russian Orthodox icons. I’m not quite sure what Billings would have thought. The anthem is 236 in the Sacred Harp. What makes this performance stand out is the combination of professional-quality voices (using appropriate straight tone) with a spirited tempo. Several recordings I’ve reviewed of this anthem take it way too slowly and attempt to turn it into respectable church music. Remember that Billings and his contemporaries composed the music that the German-educated refo