Musicologist, PhD in Arts, Head of the Research Department of the Komitas Museum-Institute, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Arts of the National Academy of Arts of RA, Lecturer at the Komitas State Conservatory of Yerevan, Liaison Officer for Armenia at the International Council for Tradition Music. She defended her dissertation thesis at the Institute of Arts of the National Academy of Arts of RA. In 2014-15, she conducted post-doctoral research at the Center for Systematic Musicology of the Graz University in Austria. Shakhkulyan is the author of the following monographs: Komitas: His Early Creative Period (Yerevan, 2014), Greeting to your New Life: Komitas for Juniors (Yerevan, 2019) and a number of published volumes. She is the author of about 30 articles published in Armenia, USA, Italy, Finland and Poland. Shakhkulyan has presented papers at international festivals, conferences and congresses in Yerevan, Budapest, Zurich, Czestochowa, St. Petersburg, Rome, Lucca, Graz, Tokyo, etc. Shakhkulyan’s research interests include Komitas’s music and musicological research, Armenian folk music, counterpoint in the Armenian, Russian and Western music and the XX century counterpoint.
KOMITAS’S BERLIN PERIOD OF CREATION
As it is well known, Komitas’s studies in Berlin played a major role in his formation as a musician. Although before then he received musical education, it lacked systematization. The influence of Berlin studies refers to each musical branch Komitas worked in: research, creation and performance. At the same time, it is logical to talk also about the opposite vectors of influences, especially in the area of folk music collection and research. In Komitas’s time period, collection of folk music was not common in the world. Komitas was a pioneer in this direction – if not the first, he was at least one of the firsts. Talking about the church music collection and research, we have to point that Komitas’s relations with Oscar Fleischer, Max Friedlander and Heinrich Bellerman, who were his teachers, were crucially influential in his further career.
In this paper, I will be focusing on Komitas’s works which were done in Berlin, among which being romances and choral works based on lyrics by famous German poets, piano works, chamber works, the only survived orchestral work and the Patarag in German translation. While studying Komitas’s compositional activity in Germany, a number of attractive questions arise to be discussed, which sometimes lead to unexpected results. (1) What was the applied impact of Berlin studies on Komitas? (2) An opinion circulates that Komitas’s piano works are not convenient for pianists because Komitas himself was not a master in piano performance. Both Komitas’s Berlin studies and the piano works written in Berlin reject this opinion. (3) Why do Armenian and German versions of Komitas’s Patarag differ from each other while being based on the same melodies? (4) It is also attractive to discuss the influence of German period on further activity Komitas had in Echmiadzin and Constantinople.