Dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Shushi

Anna G. Asatryan
On May 26, 2012 the evening of the cmposer Ashot Babayan dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Shushi’s emancipation took place in Alexander Spendiarian Armenian Opera and Ballet National Academic Theatre of Yerevan. The cantata “Empopee” was performed by the chorus and ensemble of the opera theatre directed by Karen Durgaryan. The soloists were Kristine Sahakyan and Georgi Arakelov. The work of A. Babayan is composed of operas, vocal-symphonic, symphonic and chamber compositions, vocal works for voice and instromental ensemble, vocal series by the accompaniment of puiano. The theme of the Artsakh struggle for freedom is always present in his works. His sonata for violoncello and piano (1993) is dedicated to Tatul Krpeyan, and the symphony “Monte” – to blessed memory of Monte Melkonyan (Avo). In 2002, A. Babayan wrote the cantata “The return of Shushi” on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the liberation of Shushi set to words of Yuri Sahakyan, which was successfully played by State Armenian academic Chorus and State Armenian philharmonic ensemble directed by Hovhannes Chekijyan. In 2012 the composer edits the cantata and renames it “Epopee”. This cantata distinguishes from the other works of A. Babayan: the ocmposer who creates mainly in the genre of avant.gardism here appeals to the classiscal style. The cantata is formed of six parts: “Hello Shushi”, “Lullaby”, “You were calling”, “Attack”, “The song of martyrs”, and “Glory to you…”.

By its artistic merits, ideological content, high level of professionalism and good use of the ensemble and its seperate groups’ timbres, as well as due to the knowledge of timbre dramaturgy and polyphonic way of writing A. Babayan’s cantata “Epopee” is one of bright pages of modern Armenian vocal-symphonic music.