Masquerade was written in by Aram Khachaturian as incidental music for a production of the play of the same name by Russian poet and playwright Mikhail Lermontov. Khachaturian was asked to write music for a production of Masquerade being produced by the director Ruben Simonov. His former teacher, Nikolai Myaskovsky , attempted to help Khachaturian by giving him a collection of romances and waltzes from Lermontov's time; though these did not give immediate inspiration, Khachaturian admitted that "had it not been for the strenuous search" for the appropriate style and melodic inspiration, he would not have discovered the second theme of his waltz which acted "like a magic link, allowing me to pull out the whole chain. The rest of the waltz came to me easily, with no trouble at all. Masquerade was the last production staged by the theatre before the invasion of the USSR by Germany , and the production run was cut short.
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Back in December remember December? Do you know Khachaturian? Aram Khachaturian was born in in present-day Georgia to an Armenian family. Khachaturian was also regularly praised by the Soviet government, and he held the position of the Secretary of the Union of Soviet Composers until his death in Victor Symphony Orchestra in No Bernstein?
No, shut up. This is one of the best recordings of this suite. So, sorry, anyway: the Masquerade Suite was written to correspond with a play by the same name by Mikhail Lermontov , which, for lack of a better metaphor, is basically like the Russian version of Othello. A rebellious spirit in high society who winds up murdering his wife for a bad reason. What we do get, in fact, is something that does waffle between sorrow and joy.
Its following movement, Nocturne , dips into the serene, featuring a prominent violin solo. This is an all-around beautiful piece of music: wistful and pristine, with a clear and rich melody. Listen around the mark when the French horn backs the violin providing colorful support to the core theme. A mazurka is a Polish folk dance in a triple meter with strong accents placed either on the second or third beats.
What the hell? The Romance feels as if though it has a bit higher stakes to this movement than, say, the Nocturne , peaceful and slow.
He kills his wife in the play, remember? Is this??? I was like, oh, of course this guy wrote Sabre Dance. Everything of his has that tinge of madness clearly present in Sabre Dance. A rodeo clown. So deliberately funny and wild. Imagine some clapping emojis here: listen to those crash cymbals. I love it! And then midway through, it all disappears as the clarinet and then the flute creep through for one final refrain before the melody bursts back in again.
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Aram Khachaturian: Masquerade Suite
Khachaturian's 'Masquerade Suite' Will Drive You Insane (In A Good Way)