Sergey Smbatyan conducts Terterian and Khachaturian

Khachaturian International Festival

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Program notes

Experience Armenia's formidable classical tradition in this concert from capital city Yerevan, where Sergey Smbatyan conducts his Armenian State Symphony Orchestra in two monumental symphonies by countrymen Avet Terterian and Aram Khachaturian!

Composed in the wake of his brother's untimely death, Terterian’s Third Symphony is unlike any other. Moody and mysterious, bombastic and bellicose, the work plays with dynamic extremes and unconventional microtones not traditionally found in Western music, heavily featuring the duduk and zurna, Armenian wind instruments with distinctive timbres.

Khachaturian’s poignant Symphony No. 2, written 25 years after the Russian Revolution and at the height of the Soviet Union’s struggle to fend off the Nazi invasion, was described by the composer as “a requiem of wrath, a requiem of protest against war and violence.” Often called the “Bell Symphony” for the motif that begins and ends the work, it is one of Khachaturian’s best-known compositions and one of the greatest works of the Soviet era, a statement of undeniable conviction and pathos that resounds long after its final notes.

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