Mikhail Simonyan

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Album: Mikhail Simonyan, Two Souls: Khachaturian/Barber

Andy Gill

Independent Friday 20 January 2012 UK

Mikhail Simonyan was born in Russia, of Russian/Armenian extraction, but has lived in America for several years -- hence the Two Souls reflected in these performances of violin concertos by Khachaturian and Barber. Recorded with the LSO under Kristjan Järvi, Simonyan's intention was to bring out the qualities that embody the cultural roots of each composer: thus, he commissioned a new cadenza for Khachaturian's concerto by Artur Avanesov, to emphasise the Armenian flavour, and treated the dashing final movement of Barber's concerto in a looser manner than usual, suggestive of rustic American fiddling.

The first movement of the Khachaturian is especially impressive.

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