Program 75
"Catchy Khachaturian, Part 2"

MUSIC: Khachaturian: excerpt from the adagio from Spartacus performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov [EMI CDC 7 47348 2, track 2] [under the following]

Welcome to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide Fred Flaxman, and I'm calling the theme for this hour "Catchy Khachaturian, Part 2." The reason for this title is that Khachaturian wrote so many wonderful melodies that it was not possible for me to get to all my favorites in one hour.

I hope you didn't miss Part 1, in which I played Khachaturian's Masquerade Suite and his Violin Concerto. In any case, you're on time for Part 2, which will include excerpts from the ballet Spartacus and the suite from the ballet Gayne, which includes the composer's most famous piece, the "Sabre Dance."

MUSIC: fades out

But first a very quick summary of this great tunesmith's life. Khachaturian was born in a suburb of the capital of Georgia in 1903. And I'm not talking about Atlanta. He died in Moscow in 1978. And I'm not talking Idaho here.

In between, in addition to the pieces I just mentioned, Khachaturian also wrote a piano concerto, symphonies, piano pieces, concert rhapsodies, and about 25 film scores. These pieces were marked by Khachaturian's rhythmic vitality, rich orchestration, and intoxicating melody, all influenced by Armenian folk music.

Khachaturian's ballet Spartacus is based on the historical revolt of slaves captured by the Romans, which began in 73 BC under the leadership of Spartacus, a Thracian warrior. They seized Mount Vesuvius, but the revolt was finally put down two years later, and some six thousand surviving rebels were crucified along the Appian Way. Spartacus was the last to die.

We hear excerpts from Spartacus now as performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov [YOU-ree teh-meer-KAH-noff]. Those of you who saw the British TV series called The Onedin Line many years ago will recognize the theme from the second excerpt.

MUSIC: Khachaturian: excerpts from Spartacus performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov [EMI CDC 747348 2, tracks 1, 2, 3 and 4]

Excerpts from the ballet Spartacus by Aram Khachaturian. Yuri Temirkanov [YOU-ree teh-meer-KAH-noff] conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on an EMI compact disc.

You are listening to Compact Discoveries. I'm your guide, Fred Flaxman, and I am devoting this hour to "Catchy Khachaturian, Part 2."

[optional 1-minute cutaway not included in the 57:00 total timing]

When Khachaturian died in 1978 at the age of 74 he was ranked with Prokofiev and Shostakovich as the leading composers of their generation in Soviet Russia. Yet this son of an Armenian bookbinder was 19 before he started any serious study of music. Nevertheless, he went on to graduate from the Moscow Conservatory in 1934, and two years later gained an international reputation for his piano concerto, a piece I'll have to save for "Catchy Khachaturian, Part 3," if this program continues long enough.

Khachaturian's ballet Gayne [GY-nuh] or Gayaneh [gah-yah-NEH] underwent changes of musical and dramatic structure after its first performance in 1942, but its colorful, folk-music style has been successful from its very first performance.

The name comes from the heroine, a cotton-picker on an Armenian collective farm. But I'd really rather play the music for you than try to summarize the story. So here it is. Once again we hear the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov [YOU-ree teh-meer-KAH-noff] from the same EMI recording which started this hour with Spartacus. The familiar "Sabre Dance" appears as the second movement of this suite from the ballet Gayne [GY-nuh] .

MUSIC: Khachaturian: ballet suite from Gayne/Gayaneh performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov [EMI CDC 747348 2, tracks 5 - 13]

The suite from Aram Khachaturian's ballet Gayne. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by Yuri Temirkanov [YOU-ree teh-meer-KAH-noff].

That brings us to the end of this second hour of music which I have devoted to the works of Khachaturian and which I'm calling "Catchy Khachaturian, Part 2."

MUSIC: Khachaturian: excerpt from the adagio from Spartacus performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yuri Temirkanov [EMI CDC 7 47348 2, track 2] [under the following]

I hope you enjoyed this music and that you'll let me hear from you about this program and the Compact Discoveries series as a whole. And if you have an idea for a theme for a future Compact Discoveries program, please share it with me. You can contact me, Fred Flaxman, through the Compact Discoveries website: www.compactdiscoveries.com.

The website has short descriptions and complete scripts for each Compact Discoveries program, including information on every CD used in the program. There are also articles, a list of stations carrying the program, and a section for listener response. The website address again is www.compactdiscov-eries.com.

One more thing. Compact Discoveries is looking for an underwriter or underwriters to pay the costs of continuing to produce and distribute these programs. Information on underwriting is also available at www.compactdiscoveries.com. Compact Discoveries is a registered trademark and production of Compact Discoveries, Inc. This program is made possible in part by the members of WXEL-FM, West Palm Beach, Florida.

MUSIC: fades out and program ends at 57:00

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