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Aram Khachaturian

June 6, 1903 - May 1, 1978
born in Tiflis, Russia, composed during the Modern period
Although he was indicted (along with Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and a number of other prominent Soviet musicians) for "formalism," in the infamous Zhdanov decree of 1948, Aram Khachaturian was, for most of his long career, one of the Soviet musical establishment's most prized representatives. Born into an Armenian family, in Tbilisi, in 1903, Khachaturian's musical identity formed slowly, and, although a tuba player in his school band and a self-taught pianist, he wanted to be a biologist, and did not study music formally until entering Moscow's Gnesin Music Academy (as a cellist) in 1922. His considerable musical talents soon manifested themselves, and by 1925 he was studying composition privately with Gnesin himself. In 1929, Khachaturian joined Miaskovsky's composition class at the Moscow Conservatory. Khachaturian graduated in 1934, and before the completion, in 1937, of his postgraduate studies, the successful premieres of such works as the Symphony No. 2 in A Minor "With a Bell" (1935) and, especially, the Piano Concerto in D flat Major (1936) established Khachaturian as the leading Soviet composer of his generation. During the vicious government-sponsored attacks, in 1948, on the Soviet Composers' Union (in which Khachaturian, an active member since 1937, also held an administrative function) Khachaturian took a great deal of criticism. However, although he was officially censured for employing modernistic, politically incorrect musical techniques which fostered an "anti-people art," Khachaturian's music contained few, if any, of the objectionable traits found in the music of some of his more adventuresome colleagues. In retrospect, it was most likely Khachaturian's administrative role in the Union, perceived by the government as a bastion of politically incorrect music, and not his music as such, which earned him a place on the black list of 1948. Nevertheless, Khachaturian made a very full and humble apology for his artistic "errors" following the Zhdanov decree; his musical style, however, underwent no changes. Khachaturian joined the composition faculty of the Moscow Conservatory and the Gnesin Academy in 1950, and that same year he made his debut as a conductor. During the years until his death in 1978 Khachaturian made frequent European conducting appearances, and in January of 1968 he made a culturally significant trip to Washington, D.C., conducting the National Symphony Orchestra in a program of his own works. Khachaturian's characteristic musical style draws on the melodic and rhythmic vitality of Armenian folk music. Although not adverse to sharp dissonance, Khachaturian never strayed from a basically diatonic musical language. The Piano Concerto and the Violin Concerto in D Minor are truly Romantic works, virtuosic, clear, and unaffectedly expressive, remaining therefore popular and frequently performed composition. Of course, many neither of these works matches the popularity of the famous "Sabre Dance" from the ballet Gayane, which made Khachaturian a household name during World War II. His other works include film scores, songs, piano pieces, and chamber music. The degree of Khachaturian's success as a Soviet composer can be measured by his many honors, which include the 1941 Lenin Prize, for the Violin Concerto, the 1959 Stalin Prize, for the ballet Spartacus, and the title, awarded in 1954, of People's Artist. ~ Blair Johnston, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Aram Khachaturian: The Battle Of Stalingrad & Othello Suites

Title: The Battle Of Stalingrad, Suite From The Film Score (From The Film By Vladimir Petrov)

1. The Battle Of Stalingrad, Suite From The Film Score (From The Film By Vladimir Petrov): I. City On The Volga - Invasion

2. The Battle Of Stalingrad, Suite From The Film Score (From The Film By Vladimir Petrov): II. Stalingrad On Fire: Lento Sostenuto

3. The Battle Of Stalingrad, Suite From The Film Score (From The Film By Vladimir Petrov): III. The Enemy Is Doomed

4. The Battle Of Stalingrad, Suite From The Film Score (From The Film By Vladimir Petrov): IV. For Our Motherland; To The Attack! - Eternal Glory To The Heroes

5. The Battle Of Stalingrad, Suite From The Film Score (From The Film By Vladimir Petrov): V. Forward Into Victory - There is a cliff on the volga

Title: Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano)

6. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): I. Prologue And Introduction

7. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): II. Desdemona's Arioso

8. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): III. Vineyards

9. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): IV. Venice (Nocturne)

10. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): V. Nocturnal Murder (Roderigo's Death)

11. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): VI. Othello's Despair

12. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): VII. A Fit Of Jealousy

13. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): VIII. Othello's Arrival

14. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): IX. The Striking Of Desdemona (The Slap)

15. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): X. Othello's Farewell From The Camp

16. Othello, Film Score & Suite For Orchestra (Or Piano): XI. Finale

x

Track List: Khachaturian Orchestral Music

Title: Symphony No.2 In A Minor ("Symphony With Bells")

1. Symphony No.2 In A Minor ("Symphony With Bells"): I. Andante Maestoso

2. Symphony No.2 In A Minor ("Symphony With Bells"): II. Allegro Risoluto

3. Symphony No.2 In A Minor ("Symphony With Bells"): III. Andante Sostenuto

4. Symphony No.2 In A Minor ("Symphony With Bells"): IV. Andante Mosso - Allegro Sostenuto, Maestoso

Title: Spartacus, Ballet

5. Spartacus, Ballet: Adagio Of Spartacus And Phrygia

6. Spartacus, Ballet: Variation Of Aegina And Bacchanalia

7. Spartacus, Ballet: Scene & Dance With Crotala

8. Spartacus, Ballet: Dance Of The Gaditanian Maidens

9. Spartacus, Ballet: Dance Of The Gaditanae - Victory Of Spartacus

x

Track List: Khachaturian Violin Concerto

Disc 1
Title: Piano Concerto In D Flat Major (also Arranged For 2 Pianos)

1. Piano Concerto In D Flat Major (also Arranged For 2 Pianos): I. Allegro Ma Non Troppo E Maestoso

2. Piano Concerto In D Flat Major (also Arranged For 2 Pianos): II. Andante Con Anima

3. Piano Concerto In D Flat Major (also Arranged For 2 Pianos): III. Allegro Brilliante

Title: Violin Concerto In D Minor (also Arranged For Violin & Piano)

4. Violin Concerto In D Minor (also Arranged For Violin & Piano): I. Allegro Con Fermezza

5. Violin Concerto In D Minor (also Arranged For Violin & Piano): II. Andante Sostenuto

6. Violin Concerto In D Minor (also Arranged For Violin & Piano): III. Allegro Vivace

Disc 2
Title: Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano)

1. Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano): I. Waltz

2. Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano): II. Nocturne

3. Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano): III. Mazurka

4. Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano): IV. Romance

5. Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano): V. Galop

Title: Symphony No.2 In A Minor ("Symphony With Bells")

6. Symphony No.2 In A Minor ("Symphony With Bells"): I. Andante Maestoso

7. Symphony No.2 In A Minor ("Symphony With Bells"): II. Allegro Risoluto

8. Symphony No.2 In A Minor ("Symphony With Bells"): III. Andante Sostenuto

9. Symphony No.2 In A Minor ("Symphony With Bells"): IV. Andante Mosso - Allegro Sostenuto, Maestoso

x

Track List: Khachaturian: Gayanne Suites Nos. 1-3

Title: Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 1

1. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 1: Introduction

2. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 1: Gayanne And Giko

3. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 1: Armen's Solo

4. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 1: Matsak And Armen

5. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 1: Gayane's Solo

Title: Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 2

6. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 2: Harvest Holiday

7. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 2: Dance Of The Girls

8. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 2: Dance Of The Boys

9. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 2: Choosing The Bride

10. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 2: Lullaby

11. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 2: Sabre Dance

Title: Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 3

12. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: The Hunt / Andante

13. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: Dance Of The Comrades

14. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: Matsak's Solo

15. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: Gayane's Adagio

16. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: Solo / Love Duet

17. Gayane Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: Finale

x

Track List: Khachaturian: Gayne (Complete Ballet); Selections from Spartacus; Masquerade Suite

Disc 1
Title: Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts
Disc 2
Title: Spartacus, Ballet
Title: Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano)
Title: Russian Fantasy, For Orchestra
x

Track List: Khachaturian: Spartacus (Suites Nos. 1-3)

Title: Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 1

1. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 1: I. Introduction And Dance Of Nymphs

2. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 1: II. Introduction, Adagio Of Aegina Dn Harmodius

3. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 1: III. Variations Of Aegina And Bacchanalia

4. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 1: IV. Scene And Dance With Crotalums

5. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 1: V. Dance Of The Gaditanian Maidens And Victory Of Spartacus

Title: Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 2

6. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 2: I. Adagio Of Spartacus And Phrygia

7. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 2: II. Entrance Of The Merchants, Dance Of A Roman Courtesan, General Dance

8. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 2: III. Entrance Of Spartacus, Quarrel

9. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 2: IV. Dance Of The Pirates

Title: Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 3

10. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: I. The Market

11. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: II. Dance Of A Greek Slave

12. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: III. Dance Of An Egyptian Girl

13. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: IV. Dance Of Phrygia And The Parting Scene

14. Spartacus Suite, For Orchestra No. 3: V. Sword Dance Of The Young Thracians

x

Track List: Khachaturian: Suites - Spartacus/Gayaneh/Masquerade

Title: Spartacus, Ballet

1. Spartacus, Ballet: Variation Of Aegina And Bacchanalia

2. Spartacus, Ballet: Adagio Of Spartacus And Phrygia

3. Spartacus, Ballet: Dance Of The Gaditanae - Victory Of Spartacus

Title: Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano)

4. Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano): I. Waltz

5. Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano): II. Nocturne

6. Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano): III. Mazurka

7. Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano): IV. Romance

8. Masquerada, Suite From The Incidental Music For Orchestra (Or Piano): V. Galop

Title: Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts

9. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Sabre Dance

10. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Ayshe's Awakening And Dance

11. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Dance Of The Rose Maidens

12. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Lullaby

13. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Lezghinka

x

Track List: Khatchaturian: Spartacus & Gayaneh

Title: Spartacus, Ballet

1. Spartacus, Ballet: Introduction- Dance Of The Nymphs (Spartacus- Excerpts)

2. Spartacus, Ballet: Adagio Of Aegina And Harmodius

3. Spartacus, Ballet: Variation Of Aegina And Bacchanalia

4. Spartacus, Ballet: Scene & Dance With Crotala

5. Spartacus, Ballet: Adagio Of Spartacus And Phrygia

6. Spartacus, Ballet: Dance Of The Gaditanian Maidens

Title: Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts

7. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Dance Of Friends (Gayaneh- Excerpts)

8. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Embroidering Of The Carpets

9. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Lezghinka

10. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Uzundara

11. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Dance Of The Girls

12. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Scene And Dance

13. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Aysha And Gayane

14. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Aysha's Monologue

15. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Mountaineers' Dance

16. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Sword Dance

17. Gayane, Ballet In 4 Acts: Hopak

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Dross2838 's comment echoes my sense of K's works. Works of tragic power, supremely beautiful.
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Reading the bio, he made apologies for his music, but did not change his art. That's commendable.
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His music is considered Russian, but to me there is a definite difference, somewhat melancholy, which may reflect the Armenian ethos with all it's tragic history. This characterist i c is most clearly heard in his Lullaby However, I love his music for that difference.. . ....
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Thrilling-on e of my favorite composers. Exultant!!!
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benjamincask e y 0 2
I like his violin in d major the best
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sjck228
DONT READ THIS. YOU WILL HE KISSED ON THE NEAREST FRIDAY BY THE LOVE OF YOUR LIFE . Tomorrow you will have the best day ever . If you ignore you will have bad luck. Post on 15 songs in 143 minutes.Afte r your done press space and your crushes name will appear in big letters on your screen . Its crazy because it works.
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lianeirene
hearing the music of Spartacus ballet makes me appreciate Khachaturian all the more.
this ballet of
spartacus and his wife is the most beautiful pieces of music I have heard!
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mikekingston 1 1 1 1
Like shostakovich
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Such a loved genius. .3.
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Breathtaking ❤️❤️❤️
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A lifetime favorite!
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Delightful! Perfect for starting a morning's work.
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First loved his music used in Kubricks 2001! Two geniuses!!
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kreativeoliv e
Totally Sabrina.mess e n g e r
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You are right sabrina.
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I love masquerade
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Beautiful music.
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richardadick s o n
Solid and strong Russian sound- nice!
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I love Masquarade
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I was lucky to have been in Erevan and marvel at his statue in front of the Opera House. Great musician who lived in trying times for everyone , especially for those living on the east side of the Iron Curtain-I was one of them, I know!
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Beautiful
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Best of Aram Khachatrian is violin concerto in D Minor.
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He's a genius, I just love his music!
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lianeirene
I like Carl Orffs Carmina Burano.It also gives me goose bumps. Pacific Northwest Ballet of Carmina Barona is a must see.. I have seen it 5 times and will see it again this next season.
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lianeirene
Spartacus is my favorite piece of music. I get goose bumps when I listen to the adagio Spartacus and Phrygius
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His armenian :)
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His music has brought a warm, comforting serenity to my life for nearly 60 years. What a gift.
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chopin
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a true masterpiece!
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lulu3065
Such beautiful work
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ilana1998
One of my favorite pieces of classical music. I can't get enough of it; it's so deep. Haha.
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amesrobi
favorite song
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Every time it comes on I can't stop admiring its phases of excitement of passion and also misery. I don't know why I love this song so much it really just sinks in my skin and makes me feel love yet despised. Truly beautiful.
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When I hear this piece of music, I can definitely visualize a waltz between two people are adversarial towards each other....but yet are still strangely attracted to one another.
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Some Horrid comments..To l s t o y Anna K .was tragic ..im not paranoid and tragic ,for i love unconditiona l l y ..So many Anna's must of been his Rosebud...li k e Cane...
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edsheds
I picture a ballroom scene as well - one of a tortured waltz between Vronsky and Anna from Anna Karenina :)
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Well said rebos707!
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rebos707
I'm picturing a dramatic, elegant, ballroom dance between foes. Whispering in each others ear, their plans to conquer their partner.
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meshagl
Wow! What a beautiful music!!!
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edoisa6
Armenian genius!
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bob52351
Wonderful. Such listening enjoyment.
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His music tears at my soul with haunting beauty that leaves me speechless.
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lkgrebnel
The 1948 gang of thugs wanted music they understood; i.e., lets march to the factory, the cabbage fields and so forth.
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FYI: he was born in Tiflis, Georgia. Not Russia.
Thank you.
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lukeff
Absolutely stirring music!
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Masquerada is a soviet industrial ballet...
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Absolutely beautiful music! I'm always completely enchanted with the great emotional and all encompassing beauty of Khachaturian ' s music. -Felicia
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wow...
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1012790612
we did a ballet dance on this song for the sebastopol ballet show. com see the next show in june i will be in it!
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naddys143
Beautiful!
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