Komitas: the portrayer of the Armenian spirit.

As I previously said I am going to write more about Armenian culture. Today I would like to introduce you to the founder of Armenian classical and secular music Komitas. Born In Turkey to Armenian parents Soghomon Soghomonyan was orphaned at the age of 11 after which he was sent to Armenia to study liturgical singing at the Seminary in Etchmiadzin.  After graduating in 1893 He adopted the name Komitas that of the seventh century Armenian Katholicos. Already interested in composition and Armenian folk music he decided to go to Berlin and study music at Kaiser Friedrich Wilhelm University from 1896 to 1899. After graduation he acquired the title of a Doctor of Musicology and returned to Echmiadzin where he took over conducting a male choir. Komitas started collecting folk songs and travelled widely around the country listening and recording details of Armenian folk songs and dances. This way komitas collected about 3000 songs which he later also adapted for choir singing.

in 1892 Komitas started his major work Badarak (devine Liturgy) and never finished due to the upcoming World War I. Badark is still used as one of two most important musical settings during the Armenian Church Liturgy.

Komitas’s music is hearful, it carries the history of this land and the memories of the people of Armenia. To Understand his music one needs more than a musical ear say many musicologists.

“O crane, fly high above the mountains
Where the winds of change shall carry you to freedom.
Soar high above the wilderness plains of our people,
Glide through the rain of a deluge of tears,
And build your nest upon the sheltered crests of Ararat.”