Conceived jointly by violinist Movses Pogossian and violist Kim Kashkashian on the occasion of Tigran Mansurian’s 80th birthday, the Con anima project brings together a dedicated cast of players to perform the Armenian composer’s chamber music. The emphasis is on newer pieces – only the Third String Quartet dates from the 20th century – but there is a timeless quality to Mansurian’s work, all of which resounds with the spirit of his homeland. “His works are full of signifiers that come from Armenian ornaments, paintings or stones, “ writes Elena Dubinets in the CD notes. “His music itself feels as if it was carved out of stone.” Sonata da Chiesa is dedicated to the memory of priest-composer-folklorist Komitas, an enduring inspiration for Mansurian. Agnus Dei is influenced by Armenian sacred music, and Die Tänzerin is based upon an Armenian folk dance.
Other featured artists include Varty Manouelian (violin), Boris Allakhverdyan (clarinet), Michael Kaufman (violoncello), Steven Vanhauwaert (piano), Tatevik Mokatsian (piano), Teng Li (viola), and Karen Ouzounian (violoncello).