A DOUBLE BILL: KARINE POGHOSYAN AND ANI KALAYJIAN IN CONCERT Armenian News Network / Groong April 5, 2004 Entertainment Wire By Sahan Arzruni NEW YORK On Sunday afternoon, March 28, 2004, the annual `Musical Armenia' series presented two relative newcomers to an audience at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, in New York City. Pianist Karine Poghosyan was at her best playing Rachmaninoff's Second Sonata, capturing the turbulent ebb and flow of the score with passion, technical mastery, and precise pedaling. Her piano sound was pleasant and rounded (aside from a few banged notes), and her emphasis on a recurring chromatic motif anchored the multi-sectioned composition, weaving it convincingly into a seamless fabric. Ms. Poghosyan produced moments of beauty and introspection with Beethoven's E minor Sonata, her opening selection, though she was perhaps less successful in molding the composition into a unified whole. The two well-known Armenian pieces, Babajanian's `Elegy' and `Dance of Vagharshapat,' were loudly applauded by the Armenian audience filling the hall. I would have preferred a more lyrical, smoother `Elegy,' and a lighter, more nimble `Vagharshapat'; nevertheless, Ms. Poghosyan navigated Babajanian's thorny piano scores quite successfully. Cellist Ani Kalayjian opened her part of the program with Schumann's Stücke im Volkston, a five-movement set, which - regrettably - the audience constantly interrupted with applause, upsetting Ms. Kalayjian's musical concentration, and impeding her valiant attempt to construct a coherent arc through the music. Bohuslav Martinu's Second Sonata came off best in Ms. Kalayjian's performances. A work of vitality and originality, its purpose seems to be giving pleasure to the performer and the audience, rather than making a musical statement. Ms. Kalayjian was able to capture the many moods of this piece by the contemporary Czech composer. Ms. Kalayjian rounded out her program with two Armenian pieces: Aram [sic] Arutunian's sprightly `Impromptu,' and Komitas' `Krunk,' in a soaring arrangement by Aslamazian. She played both pieces with aplomb and great sentiment. Barbara Podgurski was the assisting pianist, who on occasion preferred to be the featured soloist rather than an ensemble partner, and drowned out Ani Kalayjian's cello part. Since its inception in 1982, the `Musical Armenia' series has introduced some 40 Armenian musicians to the community. The Prelacy and its Ladies' Guild should be commended for this gallant effort. Many of these artists - George Pehlivanian, Vagram Saradjian, Suren Bagratuni, Catherine Manoukian, and Isabel Bayrakdarian, come to mind - now entertain international careers, and are proud representatives of our musical culture.
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