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All Listed Works Edition Silvertrust
Arno Babadjanian

Arno Babadjanian (1921-1983)

Nationality: Armenian | Soviet
Born: January 22, 1921, Yerevan Died: November 11, 1983, Yerevan (age 62)

String Quartet No. 3, In Memory of Dmitri Shostakovich

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
Duration: 17 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1976 (age 54-55)
1 recordings, 1 videos
17:25
Camertone Chamber Music Ensemble
From Edition Silvertrust

Arno Babajanian's String Quartet No.3 (Nos.1 and 2 were never published), subtitled In Memory of Dmitri Shostakovich, was composed in 1976, shortly after his friend's death. It was his last major work. In it, once can hear his use of Shostakovich's famous D, Es (E flat), C, H motiv as a tribute. It is in one movement of several sections. Though extremely modern sounding, Babajanian does use some elements of Armenian folk music, such as traditional funereal harmonies and the Voxber, a kind of cry out.

If Arno Babajanian (1921-1983) is an unfamiliar name in the West, he is a national hero in his native Armenia and quite well known in Russia. Babajanian was born in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. By age 5, Babajanian’s extraordinary musical talent was clearly apparent, and the composer Aram Khachaturian suggested that the boy be given proper music training. Two years later, in 1928 at the age of 7, Babajanian entered the Yerevan Conservatory. In 1938, he continued his studies in Moscow with Vissarion Shebalin. He later returned to Yerevan, where from 1950-1956 he taught at the conservatory. In 1971, he was named a People’s Artist of the Soviet Union. As a composer, Babajanian was active in most genres and even wrote many popular songs in collaboration with the leading poets such as Yevgeni Yevtushenko and Robert Rozhdestvensky among others. Much of Babajanian’s music is rooted in Armenian folk music and folklore. But generally, the way in which he uses uses Armenian folk music is in the virtuosic style of Rachmaninov and Khachaturian. His later works were influenced by Prokofiev and Bartók.

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