Suite No. 2 from the ballet Spartacus (1954)
Aram Khachaturian (1903 – 1978)
- Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia
- Entrance of Merchants, Dance of a Roman Courtesan, General Dance
- Entrance of Spartacus, Quarrel, Treachery by Harmodius
- Dance of the Pirates
Khachaturian was born in Armenia in the shadow of the Caucasus mountains and worked all his life in the Soviet Union. His lively music pays homage to the ancient folk music of this oft contested part of the world. The ballet Spartacus is based on the uprising of the slaves in ancient Greece around 70 BC. Spartacus is a rebel slave who leads a revolt against his Roman captors, only to be betrayed. This is one of three suites prepared by Khachaturian from the ballet. The lengthy opening Adagio features the famous theme (used in the Onedin Line) in which his lover mourns Spartacus’ death. Energetic dances alternate with more sensual interludes featuring the clarinet, before the suite concludes with the frenetic Dance of the Pirates.
Performed: May/June 2016