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31 Mar 2023

Nshan Mkrtchyan Records GSI Videos With Music by J. S. Bach, Isaac Albeniz, Charles Aznavour, and Philip Glass

Recently, we had a new guest in our showroom. Nshan Mkrtchyan is a classical guitarist who received his Master's degree in classical guitar from California State University Northridge (CSUN).

While at GSI, Nshan recorded five pieces. His recording session started with two movements - "Prelude" and "Courante" from Johann Sebastian Bach's "Cello Suite No. 2, BWV 1008". Both of these movements were arranged for guitar by Stanley Yates. For the "Prelude", Nshan chose a 2023 German Vazquez Rubio "Classic Estudio" CD/PE guitar - this is a modestly priced top-of-the-line student/entry-level concert instrument. In the video with "Courante", we can hear Nshan playing on a 2023 Teodoro Perez "Concierto" CD/IN which is the first all-French-polished model in the Perez line. This model displays the same amazing attention to detail and craftsmanship that is found in all the guitars from this maker.

Nshan's third video features a piece composed by French singer, Charles Aznavour. Aznavour was born in France to a family of Armenian immigrants. He was one of France's most famous singers, often perceived as France's Frank Sinatra. Nshan recorded one of Aznavour's greatest hit songs, "La Bohème" arranged for classical guitar by Jean-Marie Raymond. The guitar featured in the video is a 2023 Ariel Ameijenda "Confessional" CD/BW - it's one of Ariel's guitars that features wood that was taken from a confessional in a very old church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Next, we can hear Christopher Parkening's arrangement of "Rumores de la Caleta" by Spanish composer, Isaac Albeniz. This piece is subtitled "Malagueña" which is a traditional style of Andalusian music from Málaga. In this video, you can hear Nshan performing on a 2007 Jose Ramirez "1a C650-AP" SP/CSAR - this guitar has all the color and warmth normally associated with a great Ramirez and has playability more like the instruments they produced in the 1950s with easy neck angle and standard string length of 650 mm.

For his final piece, Nshan recorded "Orbit" by the famous minimalist composer, Philip Glass. This composition was originally written for solo cello, but it was arranged for classical guitar by Nshan. "Orbit" was commissioned by Damian Woetzel and premiered in 2013 in New York by the world-famous cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. Nshan recorded his guitar arrangement of this piece on a 2018 Florian Blöchinger SP/CSAR. It's a guitar that was built to an incredibly high standard, in terms of materials, craftsmanship, playability, and sound quality.

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