Michael Nyman

Out of the Ruins

Out of the Ruins

Out of the Ruins

Silva Screen FILMCD 063
1989

The Holy Echmiadzin Chorus
Khoren Meykhanejian: conductor

In the late summer of 1989, BBC director Agnieszka Piotrowska asked me to write a choral work to accompany her documentary about the way in which the Armenians were coming to terms with the effects of the earthquake which struck on 7th December 1988, killing over twenty five thousand people. When I agreed, I could not possibly have predicted the profound effect the process of composing and recording would have on me; from Agnieszka’s choice of text -lines from the Book of Lamentations by the 10th Century Armenian poet, Grigor Narekatsi (which I have used in the odd-numbered section of the five-section work), through to the recording which took place into the night in the 4th century Echmiadzin Church, an hour’s drive from Yerevan. I am especially grateful to the choir who learned a long and difficult work in an unreasonable short space of time and to their conductor Khoren Meykhanejian who has produced a performance of quite astounding beauty.

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