With this record pianist Diana Gabrielyan explores the musical richness of the twentieth century in Russia and her native Armenia, from two separate historical periods: post-World War I, with sonatas by Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and post-World War II, with the compositions by Babajanyan and Mansuryan. Though characterized by strong internal contradictions, almost diametrically opposed to one another, and spanning compositional languages from neoclassicism to serial and twelve-tone technique, they somehow manage to represent different aspects of a single reality: man always looking for a better world.
The purity and the intellectual elegance of Stravinsky’s neo-classical sonata lead us to an ideal world is shattered by Shostatkovich’s sonata, a work with a revolutionary spirit and musical portrait of the Great War, with strong harmonies and dissonances pushed to the extreme. Arno Babajanyan’s pieces are music of Diana’s heart and soul, as they are for every Armenian. Despite employing twelve-tone method, which has nothing traditional or national, he conjures pictures that are purely Armenian, confirming the evergreen spirit of a thousand-year-old people. The disc concludes with Tigran Mansurian’s Three Pieces , a fantastic journey into a mysterious and infinite universe, where every note is a shining star.