Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Khachaturian, Armenian Phil, Tjeknavorian|
3 Concert Arias: Ode to Joy / Ode to Stalin
Genres: Pop, Soundtracks, Classical
Listen to Samples
Guilty Pleasures Again?
Thomas F. Bertonneau | Oswego, NY United States | 11/07/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This new ASV disc partly duplicates an earlier issue on Citadel, which included the "Poem to Stalin" and the "Three Concert Arias." The Citadel disc employed Byelorussian forces. The ASV disc is part of a Khachaturyan series under Tjeknavorian and his Armenian orchestra. All of the works on the ASV program reflect the political pressures put on composers by Stalin and the Bolsheviks. The words are repugnant considering the character of the regime, but the music can be separated by a mental act from the texts. The "Poem to Stalin" comes from 1938, just after "the Man of Steel" had used the show-trials to complete the slaughter of his old revolutionary comrades, along with several thousand other citizens of the Socialist Republics whom the Leader and Teacher's judicial henchmen had accused of "sabotage," "wrecking," and "counter-revolutionary activity." (Prokofiev's "Zhdravitsa"  emerged in the same grisly aftermath.) The "Poem" shows the same general pattern as the purely orchestral "Triumphal Poem" (1957) of twenty years later: A chain of singable, folk-inflected melodies leading up to a brassy apotheosis of the Leader and Teacher. The tunes boast the exotic flavor that we expect from this Russian-Georgian-Armenian composer, and as long as one pays no heed to the words, it is exciting in a cinematic way. The "Three Concert Arias" constitute a "concerto for high voice" to join the other solo-with-orchestra scores that carry Khachaturyan's name. While the three texts have nothing to do with each other (but at least none mentions Stalin!), the melodies (as always) exert considerable appeal. The "Ode of Joy" and "The Ballad of the Motherland" are more of the same: Armenian-Georgian dance-rhythms and brassy orchestration. Both the sound and the performances are better than on a similar program put out by Citadel."
Orchestral odes and arias from the late 30s to early 60s.
Demantius | Nuneaton, UK | 06/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"ASV have produced almost a dozen CDs of Tjeknavorian recording Armenia's most famous muscial son Khachaturian so are to be congratulated for a worthy enterprise. However I don't know, forgive me, a great deal about Armenian music so the 4-star rating is simply based on comparing the more familiar 1956 Ode of Joy (sung in Russian) with the recording by Orbelian on Delos, or rather comparing mezzo-soprano Vardouhi Khachatrian with Marina Domashenko. I have to say I preferred the Russian performance which seemed more in keeping with the Khachaturian we know from Spartacus, and Delos won a star for providing the Russian text. The other pieces on the CD, which I'd never heard before so have nothing to compare them with, are all sung in Armenian. At least I think so, since  appears to be an Armenian translation of an Azerbaijani poem...