Khachaturian – Spartacus

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Russian ballets as if they are Hollywood productions. Khachaturian pulls out all the stops to create a big stage with lots of drama. The adagio on this record is famous, and used in many films and series. The sabre dance from Gayaneh is maybe Khachaturians best known piece.

So why am I not listening to this more? It is actually worth it, and a good recording to boot. It might have to do with reputation. Khachaturian was the president of the Union of Sovjet Composers for a very long time, and as such can be held responsible for the bad times that befell composers like Stravinsky and Shostakovich. So he got a bit neglected and underperformed in the west. He was considered too much of a yes-man, bending too easy to the will of the Party.

And yet, his music is worth listening to. Performed by the composer himself, with no less than the Vienna Philharmonic.

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