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Khachaturian: Film Music

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 15, 1997
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Pepo: Ov
  2. Pepo: Pepo's Song
  3. Undying Flame: Intro (Ov)
  4. Undying Flame: Bruno's Return To His Homeland
  5. Undying Flame: Rebels Capture Bruno In The Forest
  6. Undying Flame: Bruno At The Consistory Court
  7. Undying Flame: Banishment And Wanderings
  8. Undying Flame: Dance Before The Queen
  9. Undying Flame: The Battle And Christ
  10. Undying Flame: Finale
  11. Secret Mission: Ov
  12. Secret Mission: The Pilot
  13. Secret Mission: The Ardennes
  14. Secret Mission: Surrender
  15. Secret Mission: Armaments-Finale
  16. Admiral Ushakov: Ov
  17. Admiral Ushakov: Battle
  18. Admiral Ushakov: Funeral
  19. Admiral Ushakov: Russian Sailors In Naples (The Review Of The Fleet)
  20. Admiral Ushakov: Finale
  21. Prisoner No.217: Ov
  22. Prisoner No.217: Murder
  23. Prisoner No.217: In The Prison
  24. Prisoner No.217: Work-Recapulation-Finale


Product Details

  • Orchestra: Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Loris Tjeknavorian
  • Composer: Aram Khachaturian
  • Audio CD (July 15, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ASV
  • Run Time: 67.00 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000030WM
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #449,944 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Caleb Boyd on December 26, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Khachaturian (1903-1978) was an Armenian composer who came under scrutiny during the reign of Stalin for adhering more to "antipopular" musical styles. His style is similar to Prokofiev's and Shostakovich's; sometimes, his music seems like a blend of the two composers' styles. More modern comparisons to Khachaturian include Basil Poledouris ('Robocop,' 'Hunt for Red October,' 'Conan the Barbarian') and Danny Elfman ('Beetlejuice,' 'Edward Scissorhands'). The Finale of 'Prisoner No.217,' at times, harmonically resembles 'Conan the Barbarian.' I do not recommend this CD as an introduction to Khachaturian's music, rather try a recording of his ballet 'Spartacus.'

The Overture to 'Pepo,' the first track on the album, is perhaps the most beautiful of all the tracks.

'Undying Flame' is a suite of eight small pieces -- the longest, the Finale, being only three and a half minutes in length. 'The battle and Christ' is quite exciting with high woodwind flurries and charging snares and timpani. The Finale begins like an organ chorale with thumping bass and homophonic texture. It builds to a climax of sorts but it isn't very exciting. The final chord features the high woodwinds with horn and string bass. The harp plucks an augmented fourth above the tonic, leaving the final chord very dissonant but still beautiful.

'Secret Mission' is six pieces also of short length. Percussion shines through again, especially in "Surrender." Triplet figures in the trumpets and woodblock provide a galloping-horse effect; nevermind that 'Secret Mission' was a WWII flick. "The pilot" is a wonderful march with syncopation, piccolo and xylophone melody, and a cute brass riff. This suite also has another exciting Finale.
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Very imaginative; deeply felt, and pictorial music. The only problem is that these gems weren't long enough. Maybe a good talent can come along and complete the job. Otherwise, not a dud in the lot. While not lengthy, they definitely make for prime "film music".
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Well, I guess we ought to thank ASV for their generally very fine series of Khachaturian's music, and I guess this one had to be included for the sake of completeness. But that is, on the other hand, really the only positive thing to be said about this issue; the music here is dull and unimaginative and hardly worth a listen for anyone but the most ardent fan of the composer. There is nothing of the invention, color or memorable twists of the best Shostakovich or Prokofiev scores, but merely generic background music for movies that hardly sound like they would be worth watching either. The music isn't, in general, even atmospheric, not even in the slightly bland manner you expect well-crafted film music to be - despite the titles of the different numbers everything sounds more or less the same in terms of moods and colors - that is, the same, bland, slightly banal, clanging modestly folk music inspired sequences of sound where melodic invention is consistently absent.

The movie Pepo has the distinction of being the first film made in the Armenian language, and the Overture is perhaps best characterized as Gayaneh and water - lots of water; and Pepo's song - apparently a local hit in its time - is a banal, four-square tune, indifferently scored. Secret Mission consists of a series of brief, eminently forgettable numbers, whereas the Funeral March from Admiral Ushakov at least features a modestly interesting Funeral sequence (but nothing more). Undying Flame, however, is desperately dull and forgettable throughout. Prisoner no. 217 contains more non-distinctive music, and does at least feature a couple of appealing tunes and orchestral touches, but isn't on the whole anything I'd ever want to listen to again.
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