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Mansurjan's String Quartet No. 1 (1983-84) takes us 'on the long road of simplicity, on a wonderful journey during which the question whether this music is new or old can be answered very soon: It is timeless in a delightful manner, but not nostalgic in a negative sense, often almost classical in its polyphonic part-writing but not outdated.' Characteristic of Armenian music in general and Mansurjan's later works in particular is the sparing use of all means of expression, a certain unity in tone colour and tonal onset. This style is recognizable here for large part but is broken by surges of emotion and contrasts in dynamics and articulation.

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