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KHACHATURIAN, Aram Il'yich (1903-1978)


  • Karine Poghosyan, piano

Although Khachaturian is today renowned for his great ballet scores, his piano works have been relatively neglected. Performed by the award-winning Armenian pianist Kariné Poghosyan, this programme features arrangements of excerpts from two of Khachaturian’s most popular works, Spartacus and Masquerade, alongside the technically demanding Toccata and Poem from the earlier part of his career and the impressive 1961 Piano Sonata, one of the most formally classical of the composer’s larger works.


Toccata (1932) (00:04:37)
Waltz-Caprice and Dance (1926) (00:04:00 )
No. 1. Waltz-Caprice (00:02:23)
No. 2. Dance (00:01:39)
Spartacus: Adagio (arr. M. Cameron for piano) (1954) * (00:09:07)
Poem (1926) (1926) (00:07:00)
Piano Sonata (1961) (00:22:00 )
I. Allegro vivace (00:07:29)
II. Andante tranquillo (00:10:35)
III. Allegro assai (00:08:06)
Masquerade Suite (arr. A. Dolukhanian for piano) (1941) (00:16:00 )
II. Nocturne * (00:03:27)
IV. Romance * (00:03:27)
I. Waltz * (00:04:12)
* World Première Recording
Total Time: 01:02:02

The Artist

The Armenian pianist Kariné Poghosyan made her orchestral début at fourteen playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, and her solo Carnegie Hall début at 23, and has since gone on to win numerous awards as well as performing in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls. Her music studies began in her native Yerevan in Armenia. After moving to the United States in 1998, and receiving her BM, summa cum laude, from California State University in Northridge, she received her MM and D.M.A. degrees under Arkady Aronov at the Manhattan School of Music, where she now teaches.

The Composer

Aram Khachaturian was one of the most popular composers of the Soviet period of Russian history, successfully managing to combine the folk music of his native Armenia with the more formal Russian musical tradition as represented by Rimsky-Korsakov. Born in 1903, he showed early signs of a love of music, but his formal training did not begin until 1922, when he was admitted to the famous Gnessin Institute in Moscow (his family having moved there the previous year) and continued at the Moscow Conservatory with the eminent composer Myaskovsky. The first major work of Khachaturian to be performed was his Symphony No. 1 (1934). International acclaim greeted his rambunctious Piano Concerto of 1936, the success of which was quickly duplicated with the Violin Concerto of 1940, and throughout the 1940s Khachaturian composed many successful works, such as the ballet Gayaneh with its famous “Sabre Dance” (1942), his Symphony No. 2 (1943) and Cello Concerto (1946).

© Naxos Rights International Ltd. — David Patmore (A–Z of Conductors, Naxos 8.558087–90).



“At ease in the most turbulent passages as well as when it comes to moving tenderness, Kariné Poghosyan’s is a great performer of this seldom heard, flamboyantly romantic repertoire. ” – Pizzicato

“For Armenian pianist Kariné Poghosyan this music is a veritable home match. And she tackles it with devoted bravura.” – Piano News

Fono Forum

“That these compositions, which often sound like movie soundtracks, come over so convincingly is to a good deal due to the pianist. ” – Fono Forum