Classical The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Wed, 29 Jun 2022 08:00:22 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Aram Khachaturian - Gayane Suites Nos. 1-3 (1994) Aram Khachaturian - Gayane Suites Nos. 1-3 (1994)

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Gayane Suite No. 1 

I. Introduction 00:01:31
II. Gayane and Giko 00:02:51
III. Armen's Solo 00:03:44
IV. Matsak and Armen 00:03:38
V. Gayane's Solo 00:03:35

Gayane Suite No. 2

I. Harvest Holiday 00:02:33
II. Dance of the Girls 00:02:31
III. Dance of the Boys 00:02:18
IV. Choosing the Bride 00:03:04
V. Lullaby 00:05:16
VI. Sabre Dance 00:02:26

Gayane Suite No. 3

I. The Hunt - Andante 00:05:01
II. Dance of the Comrades 00:01:50
III. Matsak's Solo 00:01:42
IV. Gayane's Adagio 00:04:56
V. Solo - Love Duet 00:04:49
VI. Finale 00:04:

St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra
Andre Anichanov – conductor


Aram Khachaturian's ballet Gayane, variously spelled "Gayne," "Gayaneh," and "Gayané," had its premiere at the Kirov Ballet on December 9, 1942, in wartime. The ballet's story concerned a young woman named Gayane living on a collective farm of which her father is the chairman. Gayane helps entrap a spy bent on stealing Soviet geological secrets. That clunker of a Communist plot may explain why recordings of the entire ballet have been hard to find in recent decades, even though Gayane spawned one of the last of the great orchestral warhorses, the Sabre Dance. Originally part of a suite of ethnic dances in the ballet's second act, the Sabre Dance is an irresistible piece of fun that's known and loved far beyond the confines of classical music fandom. Its appeal partly derives from its combination of a highly dissonant element, an alternation between major and minor sevenths with full-blown, hell-for-leather, stomp-your-feet forward motion.

The neglect of the rest of Khachaturian's music is a shame, for the ballet has many noteworthy moments of folkloric flavor beyond the Sabre Dance. The story resolves itself in praise for the friendship among the various peoples of the Soviet Union, a development that gave the Georgian-born and Armenian-begotten Khachaturian plenty of room to explore the rhythms and textures of Central Asian folk music. Two of the other dances in the Act II set evokes a group much in the news, the Kurds, and in general Gayane did much to inspire a folkloristic strain in postwar Soviet music even as its composer suffered condemnation at the hands of Stalinist cultural thugs. Gayane, whose music Khachaturian created for Russian ballerina Nina Anisimova, enjoyed several revivals in the years after its composition, and each time Khachaturian tinkered with the score. One indication of the music's riches and its popularity in its own day is that the composer extracted three orchestral suites from the music during and after the ballet's composition. ---James Manheim, Rovi

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]]> (bluesever) Khachaturian Aram Mon, 18 Jan 2010 20:56:04 +0000
Aram Khachaturian - Violin Concerto (Kogan) [1958] Aram Khachaturian - Violin Concerto (Kogan) [1958]

1. Allegro con fermezza
2. Andante sostenuto
3. Allegro vivace

Leonid Kogan -  violin
Boston Symphony Orchestra 
Pierre Monteux -  conductor


Aram Khachaturian's Violin Concerto in D minor was completed in 1940 and dedicated to the Russian violinist David Oistrakh, who premièred the concerto in Moscow on September 16, 1940. Oistrakh advised Khachaturian on the composition of the solo part and also wrote his own cadenza that markedly differs from the one originally composed by Khachaturian. The concerto was initially well received and awarded the Stalin Prize for arts in 1941. The work became a staple of the 20th century violin repertoire, and maintains its popularity into the 21st century.

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]]> (bluesever) Khachaturian Aram Thu, 23 Jan 2014 17:01:53 +0000
Aram Khachaturian - Violin Concerto (Oistrakh) [2006] Aram Khachaturian - Violin Concerto (Oistrakh) [2006]

1. Allegro con fermezza
2. Andante sostenuto
3. Allegro vivace

David Oistrakh, violin
Philharmonia Orchestra 
Aram Chaczaturian – conductor


The great Raymond Chandler once had his careworn knight errant Philip Marlowe describe Khachaturian as "imitating a tractor factory. He called it a violin concerto. I call it a broken fan belt." Anyone care to remind me which of the novels that came from. Given that I regard Chandler very highly I wish I could agree with Marlowe. As it is I think it is one of Marlowe’s less pungent and miscalculated witticisms – clever-ish but off the mark. At the time – mid-1940s wartime USA the concerto was playing with every major and minor state orchestra. The USA (stars and stripes) and USSR (stars and hammers and sickles) were for a few years locked in alliance and everything seemed possible.

The Khachaturian is an extremely attractive piece which taps into the Armenian’s usual exotically sinuous folk-roots in the Andante sostenuto. The outer movements are driven along on a blast of rhythmic energy and in the finale a hiccupping Russian dance – nothing ethnic about this dance.

This version which majors on the voluptuous was one of three works recorded at the Kingsway Hall in 1954 by the composer with the Philharmonia. This is a satisfying performance and far from being unvirtuosic but there are more hothouse performances including a fierily excellent one from Leonid Kogan on Russian Revelation if you can find it. --- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

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]]> (bluesever) Khachaturian Aram Fri, 23 Oct 2009 12:45:58 +0000
Aram Khachaturian – Piano & Violin Concerto (2008) Aram Khachaturian – Piano & Violin Concerto (2008)

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Piano Concerto
1. Allegro Maestoso (Piano Concerto)
2. Andante Con Anima (Piano Concerto)
3. Allegro Brillante (Piano Concerto)

Annette Servadei, piano
USSR Large Symphony Orchestra
Constantin Ivanov

Violin Concerto
4. Allegro Con Fermezza (Violin Concerto)
5. Andante Sostenuto (Violin Concerto)
6. Allegro Vivace (Violin Concerto)

Boris Gutnikov, violino
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Joseph Giunta


Here are Khachaturian's two most famous concertos conveniently and generously coupled. They remind us that this composer stands as a sort of spiritual ethnic descendant of Borodin – troubadour, celebrant, poet, accelerant and exhilarant. The analogue Gutnikov has not – so far as I can tell - previously seen the light of day on CD. The Servadei began life as a Hyperion project in which form it was issued as CDA66293. The Piano Concerto is here rather statuesque and measured. In the Prokofiev-bright finale things occasionally lumber although the quicker pages are rendered with engaging brilliance. Servadei makes much of the Andante with its ‘Nights in the Gardens of Yerevan’ fragrance - some lovely poetic touches. Also you can distinctly hear the famous flexatone part - not something that can be said of every recording.

Vitebsk-born Boris Gutnikov (1931-1986) is little heard of. What else did he record beyond the Britten, Brahms Double with Rostropovich and the Bach and Mozart violin concertos? He is no mean player. His conductor, the underrated Konstantin Ivanov died in the same year as Gutnikov. Here the two are almost equal partners with Khachaturian's many strands of lyric filigree - especially for the wind instruments - adding a delectable descant to the solo’s limelight. It's a neon-bright recording but glorious if occasionally dazzlingly bright. A few moments into the finale and it’s time for the aural 'shades'.

The notes are thorough and thoroughly good. Peter Avis and Regis are to be congratulated.

We have heard very little about Joseph Giunta. This American conductor currently holds the chief position with the Des Moines symphony. With that orchestra he has recorded the Beethoven nine symphonies (2003-4) as well as the Earl Wild Doo-Dah Variations and the Gershwin Piano Concerto. He also partnered Servadei in 1982 in a recording of the Britten piano concerto with the LPO.

As for Konstantin Ivanov (1907-1986) this must presumably have been among his last recordings. He should be best known for his elite recording of Miaskovsky's Symphony No. 5 - unmatched even by Svetlanov – indeed especially by Svetlanov. And yes I am curious to hear Ivanov's Glazunov. I think he recorded the Fifth Symphony. Let’s also have the chance to catch his promisingly titled tone poem Fiery Years.

Gutnikov’s reading of the Violin Concerto is worthy to stand alongside the Oistrakhs and Kogans. Servadei delivers a most poetic and reflective performance heard in exalted eloquence in the Andante.

Regis and its satellite labels have established not so much a Russian music niche as a whole deep set of shelves. We must hope that they will continue. ---Rob Barnett,

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]]> (bluesever) Khachaturian Aram Fri, 23 Oct 2009 12:44:44 +0000
Aram Khachaturian: Gayane – Spartacus - Masquerade (1990) Aram Khachaturian: Gayane – Spartacus - Masquerade (1990)

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Spartacus - Excerpts From The Ballet
1. Variation Of Aegina - Final Bacchanalian Scene	3:24
2. Adagio Of Spartacus And Phrygia	10:23	
3. Scene And Dance		4:20	
4. Dance Of The Gaditanian Maidens - The Victory Of Spartacus		6:34

Gayaneh - Suite From The Ballet
5. Gopak		3:01
6. Sabre Dance		2:24
7. Ayesh'a Dance	2:49
8. Dance Of The Rose-Maidens		2:21
9. Mountaineers' Dance	1:58
10. Lullaby		6:23
11. Dance Of The Young Kurds	2:49	
12. Armen's Variation	2:01	
13. Lezghinka		2:30

Philharmonic Orchestra
Yuri Temirkanov – conductor, 1986

Masquerade Suite
14. Waltz
15. Nocturne
16. Mazurka
17. Romance
18. Galop

London Symphony Orchestra
John Geogiadis - solo violin
Stanley Black - conductor, 1977


This is a very fine recording. The music is very exciting and the selections are paced very well. Mr. Aram Khachaturian is excelent at bringing the local curtural color into his compositions. In spite of Soviet restrictions on a composers "politicaly correctness" the genius shows through. If you like Prokofiev, you will find this one to be very much to your liking. --- Scott Marchington,

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]]> (bluesever) Khachaturian Aram Thu, 18 Feb 2010 21:50:46 +0000
Khachaturian - Piano Concerto • Gayaneh Ballet Suite • Masquerade Suite (1987) Khachaturian - Piano Concerto • Gayaneh Ballet Suite • Masquerade Suite (1987)

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1. Piano Concerto: I. Allegro maestoso	Constantine Orbelian	14:13	
2. Piano Concerto: II. Andante con anima	Constantine Orbelian	9:44
3. Piano Concerto: III. Allegro brillante	Constantine Orbelian	9:23	
4. Masquerade Suite: I. Waltz	Royal Scottish National Orchestra	3:57
5. Masquerade Suite: II. Nocturne	Royal Scottish National Orchestra	3:31	
6. Masquerade Suite: III. Mazurka	Royal Scottish National Orchestra	2:41	
7. Masquerade Suite: IV. Romance	Royal Scottish National Orchestra	3:08	
8. Masquerade Suite: V. Galop	Royal Scottish National Orchestra	3:01	
9. Gayane: I. Sabre Dance	Royal Scottish National Orchestra	2:33	
10. Gayane: III. Dance of the Rose Maidens	Royal Scottish National Orchestra  2:23	
11. Gayane: V. Lullaby	Royal Scottish National Orchestra	4:39	
12. Gayane: VIII. Lezghinka	Royal Scottish National Orchestra	2:45

Constantine Orbelian – piano
Scottish National Orchestra
Neeme Järvi – conductor


The Khachaturian Piano Concerto is a blast. One of the finest pieces of 20th century music ever written and brilliantly performed by Orbelian. I loved this concerto the first time I heard it and it remains one of my favorites. This is Soviet-era music at its best. Khachaturian loved powerful rhythms and many sections are evocative of locomotives and heavy machinery. Although there is some mild dissonance in the music, it is pleasing and does not detract from the beauty in any way. The concerto is an emotionally charged work with a distinctive Armenian flavor and the second movement is pure poetry.

In the Gayaneh Ballet and Masquerade Suite, the Scottish National Orchestra pulls out all the stops and is obviously having a rollicking good time playing these terrific pieces. In addition to his love of rhythm, Khachaturian had a remarkable harmonic sense and these pieces are replete with beautiful melodies and lush orchestration. Highly recommended. ---Steven M. Beresford,

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]]> (bluesever) Khachaturian Aram Tue, 18 May 2010 21:37:06 +0000
Khachaturian - Symphony No. 1 in E Minor (1978) Khachaturian - Symphony No. 1 in E Minor (1978)

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1  Andante maestoso passione - Allegro ma non troppo	18:24
2  Adagio sostenuto		11:00
3  Allegro risoluto		10:31

Palermo Symphony Orchestra
Errmanno Berladini - conductor


Written as his graduation piece at the Moscow Conservatory, Khachaturian’s brilliantly coloured and atmospheric First Symphony is an excellent demonstration of his orchestral mastery (further enhanced by revisions Khachaturian made in the 1960s following his first-hand experience of conducting the work around the world). Its Caucasian influence is evident in the work’s melodic arabesques and in the quasi-improvisatory style of its woodwind writing (most notably for the clarinets); yet there is an intensity and audacity in its spicy dissonances, together with a rhythmic and contrapuntal sophistication which makes one appreciate why Prokofieff thought Khachaturian such a promising talent.

The first movement in particular is eventful and full of striking contrasts, presenting a rich tapestry of instrumental colours, some of them ravishing, others strange and eerie such as the combination of celesta with high string harmonics, yet others more forthright and exhilarating. The second movement opens a harp and flute motif which seems to anticipate (possibly inspired?) "Moonlight" from Britten’s Sea Interludes, soon contrasted with a folk dance. The third movement contains music most readily recognizable as Khachaturian’s in style, particularly the impassioned string writing which anticipates that to be heard in the Second Symphony. ---Daniel Jaffé,

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]]> (bluesever) Khachaturian Aram Mon, 20 May 2019 15:15:38 +0000
Khachaturian - Symphony No.2, Gayaneh-Suite (1990) Khachaturian - Symphony No.2, Gayaneh-Suite (1990)

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01] Symphony No.2 - Andante maestoso
02] Symphony No.2 - Allegro risoluto
03] Symphony No.2 - Andante sostenuto
04] Symphony No.2 - Andante mosso-Allegro sostenuto, maestoso
05] Gayaneh-Suite - Sabre Dance
06] Gayaneh-Suite - Aysheh's awakening and dance
07] Gayaneh-Suite - Lezghinka
08] Gayaneh-Suite - Gayaneh's Adagio
09] Gayaneh-Suite – Gopak

Vienna Philharmonic
Aram Khachaturian – conductor


Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian (1903-78) composed his Symphony No. 2, subtitled "The Bell," during the second world war as a paean to the struggle of Soviet troops against the Germans. In four movements, the symphony has been compared to other great Soviet wartime symphonies including the Prokofiev Symphony No. 5 and the Shostakovich war symphonies Nos. 5-7. It has never caught on with audiences or symphonic programmers as have the others, even to this day. My little old Lansing (Mich.) Symphony Orchestra, under a vivid and outgoing new young conductor, put the Profokiev Fifth on the schedule last year and subscription concertgoers were excited. Imagine what would happen if the Khachaturian Second were given the same treatment, here or in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles, although it would have to surivive the spears of snooty big city critics calling it juvenile and second-rate (more on that later.)

This is the composer's first stereo recording of the symphony with the Vienna Philharmonic from 1962. It is out of print in this pressing and still available mated to Stanley Black's Spartacus suite and some middling performances of the piano and violin concertos in a famous London-Decca twofer Piano Concerto / Violin Concerto / Symphony 2. The composer also recorded this again in 1977 in Russia, a year before the end of his life Khachaturian: Symphony No 2 / Excerpts from Gayaneh (recorded in 1977) from a concert that included some excerpts from hius ballet Gayne. That recording is most useful in understanding the composer conducted his ballet faster than anyone else and that vulgarity is part of the formula for successfully interpreting his music. Either recording gives you an idea of the composer's ideas but this one is better recorded and the Vienna Philharmonic is the better band.

There's a lot of nonsense written by critics lambasting Khachaturian for suppoed inferior compositions and empty rhetoric. A famous Chicago critic once said, "He who steals Khachaturian steals trash." While his exciting Symphony No. 3 is pretty much an empty gesture intellectually Symphony 3 / Triumphal Poem, the music is a lot of fun and it benefits from continued listening. Along with "The Bell," it was a favorite of Leopold Stokowski, whose recording has come back to circulation in several packages that are variably in and out of printKhachaturian: Symphony No. 3 / Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter.

Good recordings going out of print is a problem for Khachaturian lovers. Many of the greatest recordings of Khachaturian have gone out of print including Fistoulari's fabulous Gayne ballet suite on Everest Gayne Ballet Suite. If you're willing to put out the money and the time, there is an excellet complete recording of the ballet Gayne: Complete Ballet by Armenian conductor Loris Tjeknavorian, who specializes in the music of his countryman and has made many fine recordings.

For any fan wanting to get to know this composer, try this recording in this package of with the concertos as well as the composer's Third Symphony and Khachaturian's own recording of his ballet suites from Spartacus and Gayne Khachaturian: Spartacus / Khachaturian, Vienna Philharmonic. Another one worth getting (it's cheap, too) is the greatest recording Russian conductor Kirill Kondrashin ever made that includes the suite to Khachaturian's Masquerade suite and Kabalevsky's The Comedians, another ballet reminiscent of the composer Khachaturian: Masquerade Suite; Kabalevsky: The Comedians; Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien; Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol / Kondrashin. ---Larry VanDeSande,

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]]> (bluesever) Khachaturian Aram Sat, 15 Jun 2013 15:48:10 +0000
Khachaturian conduct Khachaturian – Spartacus and Gayaneh Suite (2000) Khachaturian conduct Khachaturian – Spartacus and Gayaneh Suite (2000)

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1. Spartacus - Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia			9:10
2. Spartacus - Variation of Aegina & Bacchanalia		3:19
3. Spartacus - Scene & Dance with Crotalums		3:39	
4. Spartacus - Scene of the Gaditanae Maidens & Victory of Spartacus		6:55
5. Gayaneh - Sabre Dance		2:32	
6. Gayaneh - Ayesha's Dance		5:11
7. Gayaneh - Lezghinka		2:43
8. Gayaneh - Gayaneh's Adagio		4:17
9. Gayaneh - Gopak			2:57

Vienna Philharmonic
Aram Khachaturian – conductor


Khachaturian's popular ballet scores benefit from his vigorous leadership and the surprisingly idiomatic playing of the Vienna Philharmonic. All the favorite crowd-pleasers are here, including the Sabre Dance. This pairing of ballet suites was a demonstration disc back in LP days and the engineering is still impressive. For those not on Khachaturian's wave length (he does skate perilously close to kitschy vulgarism), the generous filler is a delight--Ansermet's dynamic account of Glazunov's ballet. Its four movements depict the four seasons in an idiom flavored by Tchaikovsky and Glazunov's teacher, Rimsky-Korsakov, and the music's all the more fetching for it. Ansermet sometimes could be a bit too sedate, and his orchestra was never a world-class group, but his conducting is nothing short of vivacious here, and the orchestra, captured in vivid sound, is with him all the way. ---Dan Davis,

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]]> (bluesever) Khachaturian Aram Wed, 28 Aug 2013 15:58:22 +0000