Aram Khachaturian Concert Films
Runtime: 1 hr 23 minThis multi-part documentary is based on the memoirs of Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian (1903-1978). Rare archival materials have been gathered from Russian archives in Moscow and Armenia, family members have been interviewed on camera, and research is underway for a film that will be the first in the West to document the life and music of one of the world's most loved composers.
Khachaturian was the President of the powerful Composer's Union of the Soviet Union, and as a communist party functionary wielded great influence over the course of Russian music. However, he was also a comrade and personal friend to the dissident composers of the time - Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and others.
This film is about the fine line a man had to tread between being a loyal party functionary on the one hand, and a fighter for artistic freedom on the other.
Aram Khachaturian Top Tracks
Symphony No. 4 in G-Dur - The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (2010)
Runtime: 1 hr 7 minBernard Haitink is one of the most sought-after Mahler conductors of our day. In this concert of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, recorded live at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, he conducts the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. The American Maria Ewing fascinates with her interpreation of the soprano solo featured in the work’s finale.
Bernard Haitink first conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1956.
Beginning in 1963, Haitink was chief conductor for 25 years, during which time the orchestra developed significantly. Particularly Haitink’s interpretations of Mahler and Bruckner made a worldwide impression. The Concertgebouw Orchestra was founded in 1888. On the occasion of its 100th anniversary in 1988, the orchestra officially received the appellation ‘Royal’.
Un Ballo in Maschera Act II
Runtime: 1 hr 25 minThe outstanding production of Verdi’s Masked Ball at the Salzburg Festivals 1989 and 1990 was Herbert von Karajan’s legacy to the Festival. Supported by a cast of superlative actor-singers in opulent scenery, Sir George Solti agreed to conduct the opera at short notice after Karajan’s unexpected death in 1989. The production had been expected to be a highlight in Karajan’s series of Verdi operas at Salzburg. Karajan’s celebrated ability to unite a cultivated sound with dramatic effects was known to create extraordinary and highly acclaimed opera events. For Un ballo in maschera Karajan planned something unusual: He would not set the opera in colonial Massachusetts, as the censors had forced Verdi to do when he was composing the work, but in Stockholm in the 1790s at the court of King Gustav III of Sweden, as Verdi had originally conceived his work. Together with the film director John Schlesinger and his stage team, Karajan developed a concept that promised theatrical splendour equal to the musical excellence that the conductor and the handpicked cast of singers would surely provide in collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. But this was not to be: stage rehearsals had already begun for the opening performance of the 1989 festival when Karajan died on 16 July. Therefore it was extraordinarily lucky that a conductor of Sir Georg Solti’s standing, was prepared to undertake the task just a week before the premiere, and with the whole world watching. He and the staging by Hollywood film director John Schlesinger was acclaimed by audience and press alike.
Discovering Masterpieces of Classical Music - Ravel - Bolero
Runtime: 25 minThe “Bolero”, originally composed as a ballet, is Maurice Ravel's most successful work at all. The world famous melody of the “Bolero” has been featured in popular music, motion pictures and even video games. Pianist and writer Paul Roberts vividly explains the music and its structure and also lets the audience know why Ravel was a stringent critic of his own work.