Khachaturian Centennial Album
FUNERAL ODE IN MEMORY OF VLADIMIR ILYICH LENIN / 8:35
ODE OF JOY / 11:39
I believe that every composer writes a work during his career that represents his own life, and even his own death. I wanted to include the Funeral Ode in Memory of Lenin on this CD not because of its connection with Lenin, but because I hear it as an Ode in Memory of Khachaturian, as Khachaturian's funeral dirge for himself. If one were to watch film footage of Khachaturian's funeral (as I did recently in Peter Rosen's moving new documentary about Khachaturian's life), one would see masses of people gathering around the Moscow Conservatory, weeping, feeling the loss of something great and irreplaceable. This is what happened in Moscow. Armenia received the devastating news of Khachaturian's death with even more sorrow; literally tens of thousands of people were there to pay their respects to this favorite son of the Armenian people.
The music of Spartacus is so full of life and the elation of achieving ultimate victory that I couldn't pass up an opportunity to bring my personal ideas of interpreting this music to fruition. Khachaturian wrote this ballet after what must have been the most difficult years of his life. He was devastated by the soviet hierarchy's 1948 public denouncement of Prokofiev, Shostakovich and himself. The idea of writing about an uprising of slaves in ancient times was the only subject that captured his imagination and brought him out of a musical depression. It inspired him to new heights and gave him the strength to compose his greatest and most popular depictions of love,sorrow, life and death. This work a favorite not only of ballet lovers but of the concert going public as well.
Finally, I chose the Ode of Joy to close this CD because of its luminosity, happiness and grandeur. The USSR did have a hugeness to it that most people these days cannot fathom. The Ode of Joy is filled with this grand Soviet idea: the large picture of a multinational country without borders. This work embraces all of it and praises the people, along with the sun, wind, rivers and lakes, of a great nation.
DE3328 / To purchase this CD, visit www.delosmusic.com.
© 2004 Moscow Chamber Orchestra.