Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Tigran Hamasyan: A Fable

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Tigran Hamasyan’s fourth album, a vibrant solo recording drawing from the music and poetry of his native Armenia, further solidifies the acclaim the 24-year-old pianist has garnered since his teens. While demonstrating his monster chops, the emphasis here is on simple, captivating melodies-both traditional songs and original compositions, imbued with a sense of veneration and longing.

Hamasyan interprets “The Spinners,” a song recorded by mystic philosopher G.I. Gurdjieff and composer T. De Hartmann in the 1920s, with his unique, lyrical touch. The Armenian folksong “Kakavik (The Little Partridge)” is played in alternating tempos and oscillating temperaments. Based on a medieval religious Armenian hymn, “Mother, Where Are You?” resonates with an aching tenderness. Hamasyan expresses his love of poetry through “The Legend of the Moon,” a wistful original inspired by 20th-century poet Gegham Saryan. And on the melancholy “Longing” he sings two verses by renowned Armenian poet Hovhannes Tumanyan, capturing a yearning for “my native forests … calling me to come back.”

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published