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Reviews: Khachaturian: Orchestral Suites - RPO/Simonov

Reviews: 1

Review by raffells September 15, 2009 (4 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Aram K was born in Gerogia 1903 with Armenian roots , he clearly stated during his 75 years that this area was the source of his musical inspirations.Even though he studied and eventually died in Moscow he should not be considered Russian.
This disc which has relatively short measure from three ballet suites is performace wise nearer to his own later interpretations than any of his earlier versions.Its is fair to say the selected hit tunes are all very easy on the ears and some extremly well known theme tunes used for other purposes.
Whilst each of the original ballets are quite long and occasionaly repetitive they still could have culled another 20 minutes from each?.
I should add that his fairly vast output for the relativly short time he composed is variable in quality.One listen to some of the works including his 1st and 3rd symphony could be a major challenge.
Once described as "Having interest in inverted proportion to its volume which is indeed considerable".
This disc starts with a typical brisk Sabre Dance.These 6 hits from Gayane are all well played with emphasis on the beats rather than being a delicate balletic production and only the track 4 Lesghinka seems a trifle on the brisk side with the Russian conducter. The liner notes will inform you that some of this music was originally written for a ballet just later than 1919 called Happiness and was about an Armenian Collective Farm.
The Spartacus starts with the now famous Onedin Line theme, then the remaining three items are more energetic.I felt a bit more thought could have gone into the sequence they were placed.
The Masquerade suite gets very short shrift with just three tracks in total 13 minutes.
However the Romance, Nocturne and the Walz are musical gems and show the orchestras string playing at its best.The usual comments apply about minimal gaps between tracks but its mostly less of a concern here.Good but not exceptional playing from a large Orchestra..Original 48?/20 bit recordings IMO.Later remastered on a 32 bit machine in Cambridge. This information eventually became avaiable on an RPO website.

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