NEW YORK — The Stern Auditorium of Carnegie Hall came to Armenian life on November 15, as hundreds of music lovers crowded into most of its 2,300 seats to see and hear the glorious sounds of the Armenian National Philharmonic Orchestra. The long-awaited event was presented by Classic Music TV.
This highly acclaimed professional ensemble is currently on a world tour in support of Artsakh. As the hundreds of enthusiastic Armenians filled the hall almost to capacity, and the members of the huge orchestra filled the stage, the anticipation was palpable.
The program in honor of the anniversaries of Aram Khachaturian (120th), and Sergei Rachmaninoff (150th), presented their legendary, timeless and captivating artistry, and was conducted by the celebrated Eduard Topchjan, with the ultra-brilliant violinist Sergey Khachatryan.
As Topchjan strode onto the stage and shook the first violinist’s hand, a traditional gesture, the crowd erupted in long and deafening applause which he graciously acknowledged.
Excerpts from Khachaturian’s ballet, “Spartacus,” which was composed in 1954 and received the Lenin Prize, were performed, including the rhythmically melodious Variations of Aegina and Bacchanalia, and the majestic Dance of Gaditanian Maidens and Victory of Spartacus. However, it was the mellow and heartfelt Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia which gorgeously captured their soulful love affair.
Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in D Minor, composed in 1940, is a masterpiece of lively melodies filled with melancholy, but with a hopeful conclusion. This composition featured Khachtryan, with several solo interludes, playing with exquisite precision and powerful emotion.