Dele Yaman - Reflection on an Armenian Folksong
for Violin, Viola and Cello (with optional reed instrument obbligato (2010)
by Ron Hannah

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Duration: about 7 1/2 minutes

     In the years between 2002 and 2009, I travelled the world with my partner, Ruth. She is a wanderer, a gypsy, an experienced traveller, and through her I became one too. When she becomes interested in a country or a region she researches it well before going there. One such area was Turkey/Armenia, and in her researching we both became interested in the music of those lands. She discovered and introduced me to the duduk, a double reed instrument with a surprisingly mellow sound and when we parted company, to Turkey and Armenia she went.

     Clicking this link will take you to a performance of Dele Yaman, the sad lament of a young woman for her lover, the boy next

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door, who is late returning with his flocks. In light of Turkish atrocities toward the Armenians in WWI these sorts of songs, common to all cultures, take on an extraordinary poignancy in Armenia, and it is not by accident that the link above is on a site devoted to anti-war songs.

     When I was asked to write a string trio for the 25th anniversary of the Edmonton Composers' Concert Society (now called New Music Edmonton), I settled on this folksong as a starting point. It is perhaps somewhat sombre for a happy anniversary, but it reflects my overriding feelings of compassion for the poverty that I witnessed while travelling, and my sadness at the separation from Ruth. The score is dedicated to her, and it contains an obbligato (optional) part for a reed instrument. The range of that obbligato line is such that it is playable by only three Western instruments, English horn, clarinet and alto sax, and I have written parts appropriately transposed for each of them. If a duduk player steps forward I will be delighted to adapt it for that instruments as well!

     The score and parts may be downloaded from this page. If you perform it and wish to make a contribution to the composer it will not be refused, but my only stipulation is that you inform me of performances so that I may keep this website up-to-date.     


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