“Othello” Ballet based on Shakespeare’s Drama.
Composed in 1983, Othello was commissioned by Robert de Warren (Artistic director of Northern Ballet Company in Manchester, England) who also wrote the scenario. The full-length ballet is in two acts and the orchestral suite consists of fifty movements. In 1984 Northern Ballet toured the production throughout the major cities in the UK, including London, where it was performed in the presence of Princess Anne. The ballet suite was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra (conducted by the composer) in 1984. The American premiere was given by Sarasota Ballet in Florida in 1997 (Directed by Robert de Warren).
“Rostam & Sohrab Suite” for orchestra
The epic and tragic story of the opera "Rostam & Sohrab" is taken from the Shahname, 'The Book of Kings', a Persian literary classic written in the 10th century by the poet Ferdowsi. The opera itself took many years to complete, and Tjeknavorian was provided with the encouragement and financial help of the late Carl Orff, composer of the famous Carmina Burana, to complete his composition in Salzburg, Austria. The opera tells the story of the young hero Sohrab, who seeks to find his father, the famous Persian warrior Rostam, whom he has never seen before. Father and son meet on the battle field, and unaware of each others identity, Rostam kills his own son after a tremendous fight. As Sohrab dies, both come to realize the truth. With a fittingly epic and vibrantly orchestrated symphonic sound, the score is inspired by traditional forms of Iranian music, such as the dastgahs (the melodic modes of classical Persian music) and the melodies and rhythms of the Zourkhane (the ancient ritual sport of wrestling), as well as other forms of Iranian religious music.
In 1983 Tjeknavorian extracted this seven-movement suite from his opera ‘Rostam & Sohrab’. The selection of the suite was first performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, in 1984. Since then it has received many performances with some of the world’s leading orchestras, including the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the State Symphony Orchestra of Mexico, etc. It was recorded by the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra in 1998.