LEXINGTON, Mass. — Grammy Nominee composer and painter Hayg Boyadjian’s composition Variation on a Theme by Bach for piano solo was recently released on a Navona CD and is now available internationally, including on the internet on Amazon, Spotify, and other sites.
Navona Records presents “Sustain” Vol. 3, an exploration of the capabilities of piano and organ highlighting the varied compositional approaches of today’s composers. Influenced by the classical canon and moving in new directions, the latest edition in the “Sustain” series pays homage to the classical composers of yesterday, while thoughtfully expressing modern personalities and ideals in a dynamic presentation of new piano repertoire. From the suspenseful passages of Sydney Hodkinson’s Organmusic, to the turbulent times reflected in Bruce Babcock’s Alternative Facts, and Hayg Boyadjian’s delicate variations on Bach, “Sustain” once again gives it all, and everything in between.
Renowned pianist, music professor, musicologist, and critic Robin McNeil, a retired professor formerly at Colorado University, has written the following about Boyadjian “Hayg Boyadjian creates remarkable music. It is clearly 20th-21st century music, but does not rely on extemporaneous effects to generate a reaction from the audience. His compositions employ new harmonies to be sure, and they are pleasing to hear, thus, the pages of his compositions do not create disorder upon those who hear his significant music. Creativity and individualism are the ranking elements of his music.”
Hayg Boyadjian wrote, “It was with great trepidation that I contemplated writing a set of variations for piano on a theme by Bach. The part that came easy was the choice of the theme, which in my set of variations comes only at the end of the composition. I planned to follow in the footsteps of Bach as to the structure of the variations and also in keeping the harmonic language to a great degree in the realm of traditional harmonies with modern harmonies used very sparingly so that the composition makes an almost direct connection towards the music of Bach. It is in my musical output a piece that stands completely outside of my normal harmonic language. There is a very close resemblance to the music of Bach but infused with elements of modern musical language. Even these infusions are kept at a minimum so as to keep the general tendency of the work connected to the music of Bach.”
He continued, “I had not originally determined the number of variations that I would be composing, but I thought of Beethoven’s 32 Variations for Piano, thus to pay humble homage to two of music’s giants. Thus the 32 Variations on a Theme by Bach was born at a duration of approximately 45 minutes, which is available on YouTube. For the present CD recording I decided for practical reasons to reduce the length of the piece to about half its original duration, thus in this recording there are now 20 variations.”
Boyadjian makes use of retrograde, inversion, variations of rhythmic figures and ornamentation, and canon. As the piece progresses, it begins to sound more and more familiar in spite of the avant-garde harmonies and enharmonic writing….. It truly is an epiphany.”