Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978)

Sierra Club


I have repeatedly been abroad, met with the people of many countries, conversed with the greatest composers, musical critics, performers, participated in discussions about the problems of modern musical art. In a live exchange of experiences mutual interests were revealed, a sincere desire to look deeply into the roots of modern creativity, to find out the inner reasons generating these or those art phenomena in our country and worldwide…


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A Soviet composer of Armenian origin, Khachaturian first studied at the Moscow Conservatoire with teachers such as Shebalin and Miaskovsky. He later assumed an important place in the Union of Soviet Composers and implemented one aspect of official cultural policy in his use of regional Armenian subjects. Although he did not turn to composition until late, he was a prolific writer and his vigorous music reflects the influence of the folk songs he heard as a child. The 1942 ballet Gayne contains the most popular of all Khachaturian's works, the Sabre Dance. The ballet Spartacus of 1954 contains a well known Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia; there are concert suites from both ballets. Khachaturian's Violin Concerto, written in 1940, is a characteristic work and has been transcribed for solo flute by the French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal. The composer wrote a Piano Concerto in 1936 and ten years later an effective Cello Concerto. [Adapted from Karadar]

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