The composer Tigran Mansuryan has written three works commemorating the victims of the Armenian Genocide – Requiem, Ubi est Abel frater tuus? (Where is Your Brother, Abel?), and Three Arias (Sung out the Window Facing Mount Ararat).
The maestro dreamed that all the three works would be performed during one concert. But…
“It was my dream for those two concertos and Requiem to be featured at the same concert this year. It is one thing to dream of something and make plans as an author, and it is another thing when others take a broader view of events and arrive at quite a different decision. It was decided to give a concert in a square, and not a mourning concert, but one dedicated to life and aiming to make our existence continuous. I think it was nice as well. A few years ago I expressed my wish in several important circles, I considered that to be enough,” Tigran Mansuryan said at a meeting with reporters.
“Ubi est Abel frater tuus?” Concerto No.4 for cello and small orchestra has never been performed in Armenia.
According to the artistic director and conductor of Armenia’s State Chamber Choir Robert Mlkeyan who also participated in the press conference, he is prepared to perform all the works by T. Mansuryan. Next year they will organize the kind of concert that Mansuryan dreams of.
“As long as we have Tigran Mansuryan, we should be happy that he lives with us. It is our duty to perform his works, and it is also a great pleasure. Our nation has only one ‘Requiem’ – it was written by Mansuryan and it is a brilliant piece of music,” Mlkeyan noted.
Tigran Mansuryan said that despite the obstacles created by the Turkish embassy in Mexico, his ‘Requiem’ was performed by the orchestra conducted by R. Mlkeyan during a festival in Mexico City this year. “The Turkish embassy exerted great pressure to make sure that no announcement would be made at the festival to the effect that the work is dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims, and they also tried to prevent the work from being performed. The Armenian embassy in Mexico and Armenian public figures did their best. I was told that the Mexican authorities have close commercial ties with Turkey, and the Turkish embassy was putting pressure, taking this fact into consideration. But Requiem’s performance did take place.
The work has also been performed twice in Frankfurt this year, and it was announced there, it was written in large letters there that ‘Requiem’ commemorates the Genocide victims.
“Where is Your Brother, Abel?” Concerto for Cello was held in Venice on the same day when Pope Francis celebrated a Mass in Vatican to commemorate a century since the Armenian Genocide. Venice Symphony Orchestra and a prominent cellist played ‘Requiem’. “I was delighted with the cellist’s skill and I did everything so that he would play at the concert. I wanted only that musician to perform,” Tigran Mansuryan said.