If you're going to record the fiendishly difficult and vibrant violin and cello concertos of Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian, magnificently clean, virtuosic, and sensitive performances are absolutely essential for soloists and orchestra alike. Fortunately, that is precisely what is achieved on this recording featuring violinist Arabella Steinbacher, cellist Daniel Muller-Schott, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Arshak II is the first Armenian classical opera, written by Dikran Tchouhadjian and T. Terzian in 1868. Its libretto, a lyrical tragedy in Armenian and Italian, is based on historical reports about King Arsaces II (Arshak II), written by Movses Khorenatsi and Pavstos Buzand.
"Arshak II" is the first “Armenian grand opera” with choruses and ballets. It was partially staged in 1873, assembled on November 29, 1945 at the Armenian Opera Theater in Yerevan and was awarded by the USSR State Prize in 1946. Arshak II is a "gem" of Armenian musical culture. In 2001, it was staged at the San Francisco Opera. Pavel Lisitsian, Mihran Yerkat, Tigran Levonyan were among the performers of Arshak's role.
A unique complete collection released for the first time in Los Angeles, California, the Hamazkayin Music Committee is proud to present the works of Aram Khachaturian who was the first composer to place Armenian music on the international podium. By blending his individual creativity with distinctive features common to West European art forms, the style of medieval monophony, Armenian folkloric traditions, the art of ashughs, and the purism of artistic expression of the great Komitas, Khachaturian created a new aesthetic dimension in the art of music…
This recording represents an historic and unique synthesis of the ancient and the contemporary featuring a world premiere recording in the spectacular ambience of the Geghard Monastery in Armenia.
The Orchestra’s Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, American-Armenian conductor Aram Gharabekian, has brought the NCOA into a new era of artistic triumphs and international acclaim since his appointment in 1997. For their outstanding achievements in Armenia and in other parts of the world, Maestro Gharabekian and NCOA have been duly recognized in a proclamation by the United States Congress and televised features on CNN Special and Russian Kultura TV Channel.
The St Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1967 by Nikolai Rabinovich, Karl Eliasberg and Edward Grikurov and until 1985 was known as the Orchestra of Ancient and Modern Music. Renowned soloists and conductors, including Yuri Temirkanov, Mariss Jansons, Svyatoslav Richter, and many others, have performed with the orchestra. In 1985 the orchestra was enlarged, developing as the Leningrad State Orchestra under Ravil Martynov and undertaking concert tours of China, Japan, Germany, Austria, Mexico, Spain, Finland, Norway, Sweden, France and Belgium. From 2004 until 2007 the orchestra was headed by Martynov’s pupil Vasily Petrenko. The orchestra’s artistic director and chief conductor from 2007 to 2013 was Alexander Titov, who has recorded significant Russian compositions from the period of the Second World War.