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ARAM KHACHATURIAN  PIANO CONCERTO
in D major, Op 38 (1936)



The Khachaturian piano concerto is a masterpiece of the concerto literature.  I've loved it all my life but have never heard it performed in concert.  It was composed for Lev Oborin, a member of a glorious piano trio of the Soviet era and is the work that made the composer famous in the west.  Khachaturian also wrote concerti for David Oistrakh (in 1940) and Sviatoslav Knushevitsky (in 1946), the violinist and cellist of the celebrated trio.

There are several excellent performances here. The world premier recording by William Kapell accompanied by Koussevitsky is phenomenal and is probably my favorite (now removed, alas).  I also adore Oscar Levant's reading and Jakov Flier's.  And the one by Moura Lympany who premiered the work in Great Britain has long been a favorite of mine.

Please also note the extraordinary performance by Pnina Salzman, the slow movement of which is the most deliciously and languidly seductive of any I have heard.

My latest discoveries are two recordings by the Lebanese-born, Eastman trained pianist Dora Serviarian Kuhn whose phrasing, most especially in the 2014 recording with an Armenian orchestra equal to the task, reveals details of the Khachaturian piano concerto, a great and under appreciated  chef-d'oeuvre.



OSCAR LEVANT
American pianist (1906 - 1972)
Dimitri Mitropoulos conducting the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra

i Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso
14:59ii Andante con anima
25:49iii Allegro brillante

recorded in 1950




LEV OBORIN
Soviet pianist (1907 - 1974)
Aram Khachaturian conducting the Moscow Radio Orchestra


ia
Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso (beginning)




ib Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso (conclusion)



ii Andante con anima



iii Allegro brillante




LEV OBORIN
Soviet pianist (1907 - 1974)

Yevgeny Mravinsky conducting the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

i Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso
12:22ii Andante con anima
21:49iii Allegro brillante

recorded live in 1946




JAKOV FLIER
Russian pianist (1912 - 1977)
Kirill Kondrashin conducting the Moscow Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra

recorded in 1963




DAME MOURA LYMPANY
British pianist (1916 - 2005)
Anatole Fistoulari conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra


ia Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso (beginning)



ib Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso (conclusion)



iia Andante con anima (beginning)



iib Andante con anima (conclusion)



iii Allegro brillante


 


WILLIAM KAPELL
American pianist (1922 - 1953)
Eugene Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra

i Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso
13:34ii Andante con anima
21:10iii Allegro brillante

recorded in 1944




PNINA SALZMAN
Israeli pianist (1922 - 2006)
Anatole Fistoulari conducting the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra




GEORGE HADJINIKOS
Greek pianist (b 1923)
Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt conducting the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra


ia Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso (beginning)



ib Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso (conclusion)



iia Andante con anima (beginning)



iib Andante con anima (conclusion)



iiia Allegro brillante (beginning)



iiib Allegro brillante (conclusion)




ALICIA de LARROCHA
Spanish-Catalan pianist (1923 - 2009)
Erich Kunzel conducting the Boston Symphony Orchestra

i Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso
15:01 ➢ ii Andante con anima
26:13 ➢ iii Allegro brillante

recorded live in 1971 or 72




ALICIA de LARROCHA
Spanish-Catalan pianist (1923 - 2009)

Rafael Frückbeck de Burgos conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra

recorded in 1972



MINDRU KATZ
Romanian-Israeli pianist (1927 - 1978)
Sir Adrain Boult conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra

i Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso
15:37 ➢ ii Andante con anima
27:36 ➢ iii Allegro brillante




MIRKA POKORNÁ
Czech pianist (b 1930)
Vladimir Valek conducting the Prague Symphony Orchestra

recorded in 1965




OXANA YABLONSKAYA
Russian pianist
(b 1938)
Dmitry Yablonsky conducting the Moscow Symphony Orchestra




JAMES DICK
contemporary American pianist
Charles Olivieri-Munroe conducting the Texas Festival Orchestra

recorded live in 2012




SVETLANA NAVASARDYAN
contemporary Armenian pianist
Rafael Mangarsian conducting the Armenian State Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra


i Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso



ii Andante con anima



iii Allegro brillante




MARC-ANDRÉ HAMELIN
Canadian pianist (b 1961)
Osmo Vanska conducting the London Philharmonic Orchestra




JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET
French pianist (b 1961)
Osmo Vänskä conducting the Minnesota Orchestra

i Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso
14:10ii Andante con anima
25:16iii Allegro brillante

recorded in 2002


 


DORA SERVIARIAN KUHN
contemporary Lebanese-born pianist


Yang Yang conducting the China Philharmonic Orchestra

video recorded in 2005



Edouard Topchian conducting the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra

video recorded in 2014




BORIS BERZOVSKY
Russian pianist (b 1969)
Dmitri Liss conducting the Ural Academic Philharmonic Orchestra




BORIS BERZOVSKY
Russian pianist (b 1969)
Fabio Mastrangelo conducting the Moscow City Symphony/Russian Philharmonic Orchestras

recorded live in 2014


i Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso



ii Andante con anima
iii Allegro brillante




ARAM AVETYAN
contemporary Armenian pianist
Eduard Topchjan conducting the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra


i Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso



ii Andante con anima



iii Allegro brillante




NAREH ARGHAMANYAN
Armenian pianist
(b 1989)
Eduard Topchyan conducting the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra

recorded in 2012


i Allegro ma non troppo e maestoso



ii Andante con anima



iii Allegro brillante
(encore: Khachaturian  Sabre Dance)










For those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, here is my first with a strong musical polemic as background

Murder in the House of the Muse

which is also available as an audiobook.



And this is the more recently published second mystery in the series:

Murder Follows the Muse



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