program notes by composition > A > Armenian Dances (Part 1)

Armenian Dances (Part 1)

Alfred Reed

Armenian Dances (Part I) is a four-movement suite based on authentic folk songs from the Gomidas Vartabed, the founder of Armenian classical music. Part 1 is an extended symphonic rhapsody built upon five Armenian folk songs. Although the composer has kept his treatment of the melodies within the general limits imposed by its vocal, folk-song nature, he has also expanded the melodic, harmon- ic and rhythmic possibilities in keeping with the demands of a symphonic-instru- mental performance. “Armenian Dances” was first performed by Dr. Harry Begian (to whom it is dedicated) and the University of Illinois Symphonic Band in 1973.

Alfred Reed (1921-2005) was born and raised in Manhattan. After a distinguished career in the Army Air Force band and at Juilliard, he taught at the University of Miami for many years. He composed over 500 works for band, wind ensemble, orchestra, chorus and various chamber ensembles.

Last updated on April 5, 2012 by Palatine Concert Band