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Thursday, May 22, 2008

KHACHATURIAN (2003)

Peter Rosen put out this unusually involving bio of the Soviet/Armenian classical composer whose folk-oriented compositional style didn’t keep him from charges of ‘formalism’ in Stalin’s post-WWII intellectual purge. Aram Khachaturian’s best known works (two major ballets and concerti for violin, piano & ‘cello) were popular from the start, but also derided for kitschy elements which may have stemmed from cheesy Soviet-realist production techniques rather than Khachaturian’s essentially conservative, colorful idiom. If only the flair seen in the film’s titles and some of those startling Lenin-era graphic designs had stayed in vogue, he might never have fallen out of fashion in the East or West.

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