During the eighties of the last century, I came under the spell of Armenian folk music. I collected sheet music and recordings and wrote down a number of songs and dances, mostly from old gramophone records. I was so impressed by this music that I `wanted to do something with it´. I started to write compositions strongly influenced by Armenian music, among which a series of Armenian Rhapsodies for wind orchestra.
Armenian Rhapsody Nr. 3 makes use of two folksong melodies, a dance tune and a song by an in Armenia famous wandering minstrel. It opens with a medieval lamenting melody, originally played on a duduk, a native woodwind instrument with a melancholy character. A few times the litany is interrupted by shreds of the themes that are to come. This is followed by a dance melody which I found on a French CD. The booklet text doesn´t provide any information whatsoever about it. I took the liberty to change the 6/8 metre in a 5/8 one. The last melody introduced is a song called Insh konim ekimi (I don´t need a doctor) by Sayat-Nova, an Armenian ashug or bard who lived in the 18th century. I combined the theme of this song with the main motive of a folk song called Unabi. Towards the end, the previous themes reoccur, culminating in an apotheosis featuring a glorious return of the medieval melody.