Spendiarov, Alexander (Afanasii)

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Spendiarov, Alexander (Afanasii)

Spendiarov, Alexander (Afanasii), significant Armenian composer; b. Kakhovka, Crimea, Nov. 1, 1871; d. Yerevan, May 7, 1928. He studied violin as a child; in 1896 he went to St. Petersburg and took private lessons with Rimsky-Korsakov. In his works, he cultivated a type of Russian orientalism in which the elements of folk songs of the peripheral regions of the old Russian Empire are adroitly arranged in the colorful harmonies of the Russian national school. His best work in this manner was an opera, Almast, the composition of which he undertook a decade before his death. It was completed and orchestrated by Maximilian Steinberg, and performed posthumously in Moscow on June 23, 1930. Other works were The 3 Palm Trees, symphonic tableau (1905), Crimean Sketches for Orch. (1903–12), 2 Songs of the Crimean Tatars for Voice and Orch. (1915; Moscow, Dec. 25, 1927), and Études d’Eriwan, on Armenian melodies (1925). A complete ed. of his works was publ. in Yerevan (1943–71).


A. Shaverdian, A. S. (Moscow, 1929); G. Tigranov, A. S. (Yerevan, 1953); idem, A. S. (Moscow, 1959; second ed., 1971); R. Atadjan, A. S. (Yerevan, 1971).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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Spendiarov, Alexander (Afanasii)

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