Sharounag means ‘continuing’ or ‘continuous’.
There are several dimensions to this title:
- after a silence of seven years, I found myself composing
- the music is continuous, leading from one theme to another;
- and it is an affirmative encouragement to keep going.
The piece uses several folk songs, a church melody, a Duduk
melody of Jivan Gasparyan, and a brief quotation from Alan Hovhaness.
I have known and loved one of the folk songs for 31 years; while
others were introduced to me recently by my friend, Elia (or Yeghia
in Armenian) Cozalian. I briefly met Alan Hovhaness in London
during the 1979 Festival of Armenian music.
A motto chord opens and closes this piece, occurring at a few
points inbetween. Soon, various Armenian song fragments are heard
in succession and combination, as well as two unifying ingredients:
chains of rising and falling fourths, and thirds. Later, an extended,
decorated melody is heard, emulating the music of the Düdük,
- a double-reed wind instrument. Beginning with a return of the
motto chord, a recitative-like section gathers power and momentum
with new material, then melts into an ostinato accompaniment.
Above the chains of pedal fourths and left hand thirds, a folk
melody contains a delightful touch of hemiola. The time-signature
alters with the arrival of a vigorous melodic motif. As always,
this is combined with other song fragments. The music subsides
to a more lyrical passage, both hands in two-part canon, with
ever-widening pedal phrases.
Duration: about 14 minutes
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