|Birth: ||Aug. 12, 1906|
|Death: ||Jan. 15, 1976|
Russian composer, best known as the wife of Aram Khachaturian, but she was a composer in her own right; indeed, her symphony (1938) is an excellent work, which I would rate higher than any of her husband's symphonies. Stylistically it is a conservative work that resembles the symphonies of her teacher Nikolai Myaskovsky more than the symphonies of her husband. It is nevertheless a substantial work, full of good themes and exuberant spirits, finely constructed and scored, and overall packing a real punch. No, it is not as profound as anything Shostakovich, say, wrote at the same time but if you have even a slight interest in Soviet twentieth century music you cannot afford to overlook this superb and engaging work (the finale, Allegro Energico, is particularly compelling - true, it never escapes the strictures of social realist dogma, and does perhaps not even entirely avoid banality, but is as good as anything composed under those regulations). The performances by the USSR State Symphony Orchestra (no, I have not tried to figure out the complex constellations among Soviet orchestras or whether this is one that is featured in different recordings under different names) are surehanded, spirited and energetic under the direction of Olaf Koch, and Boris Petrushansky makes a decent if slightly workmanlike effort in the solo part of Levina's concerto. Although I may not return to said concerto that often, this is still a firmly recommended release for Makarova's deeply compelling symphony.
Aram Khachaturian (1903 - 1978)
Moscow Federal City, Russia
Created by: julia&keld
Record added: Nov 04, 2012
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