The people of the villages are the best creators; go and learn from them: Today is Komitas's birthday
"Komitas is the pride of our nation, its work, our inexhaustible wealth ... He has invented our national song, Armenian music, national melody, selfless and pure. He has laid the foundation for national musical culture ... Komitas has released an Armenian song in the darkness of the ages of the people who have suffered a humiliating protest and anger against violence and slavery: his drowning grief, the unlawful life, and his faith in the bright future.”
Soghomon Soghomonian, one of the glorious minds born of Armenian people, was born in "Fertile Year", on September 24, 1869, in the city of Kütahya in the Ottoman Empire. Soon, in 1870, his mother, Taguhi Hovhannisian, died, and Komitas was admitted to the local school after graduating his father sent him to Brusa to continue his studies, which, however, did not end successfully. The Father, Gevorg Soghomonian died. Teenager Solomon stayed with his fraternal grandmother, and then was under the care of his aunt.
In 1881, the father of Kütahya was going to Etchmiadzin to serve as a bishop. At the request of the Catholicos he had to take an orphan boy with a beautiful voice with him, so that he would study at the Etchmiadzin spiritual seminary. It was forbidden to speak Armenian at that time in the town of Kütahya; Solomon was speaking in Turkish and to George D., the Catholicos greetings he replied: "I do not speak Armenian, if you want to, I will sing."
In 1890, Solomon was ordained to be a deacon. In 1893, he graduated from the seminary, got a degree in the priesthood and thus was named after Komitas, the 7th-century poet and author of the hymns Komitas Catholicos.
Komitas creates a choir in the seminary,with folk instruments orchestra, folk songs, and studies.
In 1895, Komitas was anointed with the spiritual rank of the vardapet. Then he went to Tbilisi, where he studied at a music school. However, while meeting Makar Yekmalyan, he changed his mind and studied and mastered the Harmony course. Further developments in Komitas's life are linked to Berlin where he studied and received a pension from Alexander Mantashev. Komitas was accepted by Professor R. Schmidt's private conservatory, along with the lectures of philosophy, aesthetics, general and music history of the Imperial University of Berlin. His talent did not remain indifferent on the spot and, at the invitation of an international music firm, he lectured on Armenian Church and secular music.
In September 1899, Komitas returned to Etchmiadzin. In a short period of time, Komitas radically changed the methods of teaching music in the seminary, created a small orchestra and highlighted the choir's performance level.
Then the gathering season begins. Komitas travels through different places in Armenia and writes Armenian, Kurdish, Persian and Turkish folk melodies and performs songs. He is also seriously engaged in research work, working on deciphering Armenian melody. His research activities cause a heated debate inside the church, after which he appeals to the Catholicos to release him, but in vain.
In 1910, Komitas moved to Constantinople, where he organized a 300-mixed choir called Gusan. The latter enjoyed great popularity among the population. More than 3,000 songs were collected in his bandwidth. Many spiritual melodies that were preserved verbally, were reprinted on their own. His series of ancient and highlights of musical folklore include improvisational methods of pagan beliefs, "Sasuntsi Davit" and "Mokats Mirza" ancient epic legends, medieval gypsy and popular versions of spiritual songs. The number of rhymed songs was 4000, but only 1200 were re-found.
Komitas spent most of his life in trips, giving lectures and performing as a soloist and conductor in his concerts. In this period, Komitas's art was admired by prominent musicians Vincent D’Andy, Gabriel Fore, Camille Sen-Sans. In 1906, after a recurring concert, French famous composer Claude Debussy said: "Dear Father Komitas, I will bow to your musical genius."
Komitas has always paid great attention to the development and propagation of spiritual music. One of his masterpieces is the "Divine Liturgy" for a special male choir.
During the First World War, the Young Turks began to implement their Pan-Turkic program of cruel and inhumane extermination of a part of the Armenian nation. In April 1915, Komitas was arrested along with a number of prominent Armenian writers, publicists, doctors and lawyers. Komitas was deported to the depths of Anatolia after the imprisonment accompanied by reprisals, witnessing the inhumane extermination of the Armenian people. Some individuals interceded and returned him to Constantinople, however, his mental world was completely violated. Komitas was separated from the outside world, staying only in his gloomy thoughts.
In 1916, the composer's health deteriorated and he was transferred to a psychiatric hospital. There was no hope of recovering, he could only see the children who were victims of the footpath, brutally raped women, humiliated men, and did not stop hearing the voices of Western Armenians. Medicine was powerless against this disease.
The genius of Armenian music found his final shelter in Paris, in the suburban sanatorium Vil-Jouif where he spent almost 20 years of his life, after which he parted with his life on October 22, 1935. This day came to Komitas long ago, this was the end of his physical existence.
In 1936, his remains were moved to Armenia and landed in Yerevan, in the Pantheon of prominent art figures named after his own name. The Museum-Institute named after Komitas operates in Yerevan today. It is called the State String Quartet of Armenia, the Yerevan Conservatory, the Chamber Music House, the Avenue, the Park, the Stepanakert Music School, and the choirs abroad, statues have been set up in Yerevan, Vagharshapat, Paris and elsewhere.
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