NYT about Sergey Khachatryan: personal and soaringly expressive

Posted: May 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm

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May 25, 2012 - 18:03 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - In New York, where audiences are treated to regular performances by star musicians, there is excellent music-making in abundance. Yet for all the virtuoso playing - however enjoyable it may be - it is still rare to hear an artist communicate with the level of searing intensity that Sergey Khachatryan achieved in his sublime interpretation of Bachs Partita for Solo Violin No. 2 at Alice Tully Hall on Wednesday, May 23 evening, Vivien Schweitzer says in a music review on the New York Times.

A performance of a Bach partita or sonata for unaccompanied violin also presents a rare opportunity to see a violinist completely alone onstage, in this case without even a piano or music stand in the background, Ms. Schweitzer says.

Khachatryan has recently recorded the sonatas and partitas; the cover of the disc features him shrouded in darkness, eyes raised piously and hands pressed together above his instrument. This was certainly a deeply spiritual performance, personal and soaringly expressive. As soon as Khachatryan began the opening Allemande, you could sense how intently the audience began listening, as he achieved the all-too-uncommon feat of seducing a rustling, coughing crowd into silence.

The concluding Chaconne - the approximately 15-minute movement that consists of a series of 64 variations on a stately four-bar, triple-meter dance theme - has entranced listeners for centuries.

Ms. Schweitzer reminds that in a letter to Clara Schumann, Brahms wrote: On one staff, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind.

There were moments of plaintive beauty when Mr. Khachatryan played the monumental Chaconne, and equally heart-wrenching moments during the Sarabande. His sweet-toned approach is not the Baroque purists aesthetic, but not a note or phrase seemed ill advised, she says.

The performance after intermission proved equally intense. Khachatryan was joined by his sister Lusine Khachatryan, a gifted pianist, for an exciting rendition of Beethovens Kreutzer Sonata, whose tumultuous dialogue and seething drama inspired Tolstoys novella of the same name. Such a sense of danger pervaded this fiery interpretation that you could easily imagine the jealous husband of Tolstoys story reacting in fury after hearing his wife performing this passionate music with another man. The drama continued with the encore, the soulful, turbulent Introduction and for violin and piano (1957) by the Armenian composer Edvard Mirzoyan.

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NYT about Sergey Khachatryan: personal and soaringly expressive

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May 25th, 2012 at 2:23 pm