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The symphonic and concertante works of Aram Il’ich Khachaturian: a contextual and analytical study

SCHULTZ, JOSEPH (2017) The symphonic and concertante works of Aram Il’ich Khachaturian: a contextual and analytical study. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Despite his prominent position in the history of Soviet music, Aram Il’ich Khachaturian remains a neglected figure in Western scholarship. There are a number of reasons for this state of affairs (one such being the prevailing view, originating from ideologically dubious Soviet publications, that the composer aimed to write in a style designed to appease the authorities), and these have resulted in a general lack of academic interest in Khachaturian’s music. Nevertheless, an examination of many of the works reveals that the composer’s musical language is distinctive and meticulously organised, and consequently merits extensive reappraisal. This thesis offers the first detailed analytical assessment of Khachaturian’s symphonic and concertante works (three symphonies, three concertos, and three concerto-rhapsodies), which stand among the composer’s most important contributions to the Soviet musical canon. These substantial investigations consider issues of formal, harmonic, and motivic construction, and follow the chronological progression of such musical parameters as a means of drawing conclusions of Khachaturian’s changing perception of symphonic and concertante composition. In order to provide a framework for these extensive analyses, Khachaturian’s contemporary standing is assessed in the first chapter, and the composer’s works are contextualised within the history of their genres in the second.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Khachaturian, analysis, symphony, concerto, concerto-rhapsody, Soviet Union, Socialist Realism
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2017
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 May 2017 15:03

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