Jeff Manookian: Symphony of Tears



Jeff Manookian


A Grand Prize winner of both the Frederick Delius Composition Competition and the Composer's Guild International Composition Competition, Jeff Manookian is a recipient of multiple awards and commissions, including the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition.


Manookian's music has been performed by such orchestras as the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, Armenian National Opera Orchestra and Chorus, Pasadena Symphony, Utah Symphony, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Salt Lake Symphony, and by additional diverse orchestras and ensembles.


As a pianist, Manookian has soloed with the Philippines Philharmonic Orchestra, Mexico State Symphony, Bolivian National Symphony, Utah Symphony, South Coast Symphony (California), Butte Symphony (Montana), Salt Lake Symphony and other symphonies.


Manookian is the music director and conductor of the Intermountain Classical Orchestra and the University of Utah SummerArts Orchestra. Symphonic ensembles such as the Pasadena Symphony, Armenian National Opera Orchestra, Musical Society of Las Vegas Orchestra, Salt Lake Symphony, and various orchestras and choral groups have been guest conducted by Manookian.


Concerto for Flute and Orchestra


A commission from the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Manookian's Flute Concerto is luxuriantly post-romantic in its tonal casting. Its three movements make extreme virtuosic and interpretive demands on the soloist. This concerto received its world-premiere on September 26, 2001 in Yerevan, Armenia by the Armenian National Opera Orchestra at Khachaturian Hall with Laurel Ann Maurer as soloist and the composer conducting. The United States premiere took place a week later in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 5, 2001 at Maurice Abravanel Hall with Maurer, again, as soloist and James Michael Caswell directing the Salt Lake Symphony.


Symphony of Tears


In the 16th-century, the Ottoman Turks became the rulers of the Anatolia region, and the Armenian nation lived under Ottoman control for almost four centuries. In the years leading up to World War I, social hostilities worsened between Muslims and non-Muslims. Conservative Muslims targeted the Armenians, who were Christians, seeing them as suspiciously sympathetic to Europe.


On April 24, 1915, the Ottoman Turks rounded up and killed the Armenian leaders, writers, thinkers and professionals in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). From 1915-1923, the Ottoman Turk empire carried out an epic genocidal campaign where more then half of the Armenian population, throughout Anatolia, was brutally murdered.


Symphony of Tears carries the listener through the tragic events and deeply felt emotions of the Armenian Genocide. This work endeavors to honor the dead of this horrific event, comfort its survivors, educate the public of this tragedy, promote hope for the future of all peoples and console those who have suffered or are the progeny of the crimes of hate.


Dedicated to the memory of David Layton Brown, Symphony of Tears premiered April 30, 2000 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Utah by the Oratorio Society of Utah and the Madeleine Festival Orchestra, Joel Rosenberg conducting.


Symphony of Tears text


by Bradford Nelson and Jeff Manookian


with select passages from the Divine Armenian Liturgy




1. PROLOGUE - mezzo soprano, boy soprano and choir


Where is the grave of my father?




2. PRAISE - mezzo soprano


Park ee partzoons Asdoodzo, yev hergir khaghaghutiun ee martig hajootyun. Yev orhnootyun kez ee partzoons; orhnyal yes Der Asdvadz mer; Orhnemk uzkez yev kovemk uzkez. Khosdovanimk Der uzkez yev yergir bakanemk kez; parravoremk uzkez; kohanamk Der uzken vasun medzi parratz kotz. Der takavor soorpt yergnayin; Asdvadz yev Hayr amenagal. Yev hamenayn jam orhnemk uzkez, Der, yev kovemuk zanoon soorp ko havidyan yev havidyans havidenitz. Amen.


(Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will among men, and praise be to Thee in the highest. Blessed art Thou, O Lord our God. We bless Thee and we praise Thee. We acknowledge Thee Lord, and we worship Thee, O Lord, for thy great glory. O Lord king, the Holy One of heaven, God and Father Almighty. And at all times we bless Thee, O Lord, and we praise thy holy name forever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.)




3. LAMENT - choir and mezzo soprano


Where is the grave of my father?


So many bodies in the shadow of Ararat


lie charred as hate's kindling.


Did his corpse find peace in the dirt?


Or did his ashen limbs scatter
across the landscape


by God's omniscient breath?


Who conceived of bringing this Hell into Eden?


A serpent consumed everyone.


This is not the life to understand.




Tad ara intz, Asdvadz yev irav ara intz ee tadasdini imoom. Hazkeh vor voch eh soorp ee marto meghavoreh nenkavoreh, purgya zis. Too, Asdvadz huzorich im yes Unter moratzar zis, unter durdoom kunam yes ee neghel tushnamvo imoh.


(Do judgment for me, O God; and do justice to me in my cause. From the unholy generation; from the sinful and deceitful man deliver me. Thou art, O God, the giver of my strength, why hast Thou forgotten me? Why go I so heavily while my enemy opresseth me?)




4. “1915” - choir


Der voghormia. (Lord have mercy)


O, cruel awakening that should so


harshly blind us


with the piercing light of bitter truth!


Der voghormia.


Such evil surrounds us:


suspicion and hate, religion and circumstance.


The alien whispers of war.


Der voghormia.


Political tricks pit men against men,


brother against brother.


The heartbreak of wasteful pain:


fear and separation, humiliation and death.


Der voghormia.


Tears flow from our eyes like blood from wounds as our women are marched


into rivers of rage


to drown in torrents of grief.


Our men are bound by animosity


and shot in the head like animals,


their naked bodies thrown into the mud


to rot and bloat, or to be eaten by dogs.


Der voghormia.


Our children are held hostage to hate


and serve as slaves to another god


or as soldiers in an unholy war.


Horror upon horror, unceasing hopelessness!


O, cruel awakening that should


so harshly blind us


with the piercing light of bitter truth!


Der voghormia.


Our future is torn from us!


Our nation is buried!


Our villages burned!


O, cruel awakening!


O, piercing light of truth!




5. LULLABY - mezzo-soprano and boy soprano


Oh, sleep, sleep my baby.


Your mother's arms are around you.


And the stars and moon


will keep you from harm


as they travel the night.


Oh, can you still hear, my son,


I still hear, I still hear


the lullaby I would sing to you?


the lullaby you would sing to me.


Oh, sleep, sleep my baby.


Your mother's arms were around you.


And the world was safe on those moonlit nights.


The world was safe on those
moonlit nights


My son, my song would sing you to sleep.


your voice so rich with love.


And the stars and moon would


keep you from harm


as they did travel the night.


You needed only the stars


shimmering flicker


My son, I sang to you my lullaby.


Now it's my heavenly song.


to accompany your heavenly song.


My dreams were filled with music and visions of goodness.


My dreams were filled with music and visions of goodness.


Demons would flee hearing


your protective melody.


Oh, sleep, sleep my baby.


My heart will always be with you ...


Why am I left behind?


Watching you sleep for the very last time


I could hear your lullaby,


your lullaby to me.


6. ELEGY - choir


A thousand requiems,


we sing unto the many who were slain.


And we must also grieve


their unborn generations.


A nation first to embrace God's Son,


was the first to suffer the wrath


of Hell's children.


But their memory and tradition survive.


And their blood still flows within us.


Eden has not lost its fragrant flower.


Its precious seed has spread across the earth.


And we shall sing to those who live of Armenia.


Give them strength, oh God, we cry.


Grant them life … Armenia.


No blade is sharp enough to cut


the vision from our mind.


No man is strong enough to crush


the spirit from our body.


No flame is hot enough to burn


the sorrow from our heart.


No bullet is fast enough to escape


the light of truth.


Hated unto death,


our distant fathers' names and stories


still live dauntless in our mind and heart.


Consumed by the memory,


we wet their graves with our tears.


We cannot hate the past.


But we must dance their dance


and sing their song.


A thousand requiems,


we sing a thousand requiems.




7. PRAYER - mezzo-soprano, choir and boy soprano


Der Asdvadz mer, voro paroghootyunud ankunin eh yev parkud anhasaneli voro voghormootyunud anchap eh, yev kuhtootyoonud anpav, doo ust arad martasirutyanud koom nayatz ee jhoghovoortus ko yev ee dajarus ays soorp. Yev ara unt mez yev unt aghotagitzus mer aradabes zoghormutyoon ko yev uzkututyoon.


(O Lord our God, whose power is unsearchable and the glory inscrutable, whose mercy is immeasurable and compassion inexhaustible, do Thou according to thy abundant love of man, look down upon this thy people and this holy temple and make abundant thy mercy and with thy pity unto us and unto them that pray with us.)








Where is the Grave of my father?












Laurel Ann Maurer


Lauded by The New York Times as “a secure technician and an assured, communicative interpreter,” Laurel Ann Maurer has attained critical acclaim throughout her international career. Julius Baker, her principal teacher deemed Maurer as, “one of our outstanding and gifted flutists.”


She has concertized in many cities across the United States, including performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Maurer has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic, Armenian National Opera Orchestra, Salt Lake Symphony and other orchestras.


Maurer actively commissions and performs works by America's outstanding composers, which include Ellen Taffe Zwilich, Joan Tower, Meyer Kupferman, Augusta Reed Thomas, Marie Barker Nelson, Jennifer Higdon and Jeff Manookian. Maurer has recorded for Albany Records, CRI, Soundspells and 4-Tay recording labels. She performs exclusively on Miyazawa flutes and is a Miyzawa Artist.


Narine Ananikian


A graduate of the Komitas Music Conservatory in Armenia studying with Alexander Sarajeva, Narine Ananikian's repertoire includes a myriad of operatic and oratorio roles. She has been a winner of the Isahakyan Vocal Competition. Currently, Ananikian is a resident soloist with the Armenian National Opera. In addition to her vocal successes, this mezzo-soprano is an accomplished pianist.


Vahan Harutiunian


Born in Yerevan in 1988, Vahan Harutiunian was the First-Prize winner of the Yerevan '97 Music Competition and a winner of the Black Sea International Festival. He has sung with the Armenian National Opera and in important concerts throughout Armenia. He attends Yerevan's Vocal and Choral Singing School and currently studies with Donnara Karagiozian.


Karen Durgarian


Presently the music director of the Armenian National Opera and Orchestra, Karen Durgarian's musical studies were at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and the Komitas Music Conservatory. Durgarian has served as the associate conductor of the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra and resident conductor of the Yerevan Symphony Orchestra. He garnered much public acclaim with his conducting at the Aldeburgh Festival in Great Britain and the Beiteddine Festival in Lebanon.








This recording project was made possible through the generous financial support


of the following:


an Anonymous Donor, B.W. Bastian Foundation, Harry Goldhagen, Naomi Feigal, Alexander Katz, Citrix Systems Inc., S. Kent and Beverly J. Ikeda, Mitchell Miller, Trisha Wrigley, Mel K. Melcomian, Nicola Beglarian, Linda B. Schweikardt, Kay Foss, Jay Dee and Coleen Clark, John Herzog and Milton Voight.


Special thanks to the following: Nika Babaian, Gary Barnett, Doris Brunatti, Susana Cabezas, Nona and Ryan Durham, Zachary Forsberg, Naomi Feigal, Karen Hakobyan, Richard Horak, Deuane Kuenzi, Morris Lee, Laurel Ann Maurer, Iain McKay, Arlin and Beatrice Nelson, Oratorio Society of Utah, Larry Panek, Mitchell Prettyman, Loris Tjeknavorian, Blaine and Jessie Lou Robbins, Salt Lake Symphonic Choir, Narine Sarkissian, Linda Schweikardt, Joseph Siegel, Evan Shinners, Yasmine Simonian, George Welch, and Phillip and Lizzy.




Symphony of Tears and Flute Concerto are published by Windsor Editions.


Art Direction: Bates Miyamoto Design


Graphic Designer:Neela Janardhanan












Armenian National Opera Orchestra and Chorus


Laurel Ann Maurer, flute


Narine Ananikian, mezzo-soprano


Vahan Harutunian, boy soprano


Karen Durgarian, conductor


Jeff Manookian, conductor






Concerto for Flute and Orchestra


1 I. Moderato semplice (12:05)


2 II. Andantino con fantasia (10:15)


3 III. Precipitato (5:45)


Laurel Ann Maurer, flute


Jeff Manookian, conductor


Armenian National Opera Orchestra


Symphony of Tears


4 I. Prologue (5:37)


5 II. Praise (4:35)


6 III. Lament (8:35)


7 IV. “1915” (8:12)


8 V. Lullaby (4:06)


9 VI. Elegy (12:06)


10 VII. Prayer (5:41)


Narine Ananikian, mezzo-soprano


Vahan Harutiunian, boy soprano


Armenian National Opera Orchestra & Chorus Karen Durgarian, conductor


Total Time = 77:43


Recorded on September 25-28, 2001 in


Aram Khachaturian Concert Hall; Yerevan, Armenia.


Producer: Jeff Manookian


Editors: Joseph Siegel and Harry Goldhagen


© 2002 by Windsor Editions