ARAM KHACHATURIAN'S LETTERS
To Sergei Prokofiev
Dear Sergey Sergeevich,
Nina and I have just come back from the 100th presentation of ďCinderellaĒ. It was an enormous pleasure.
Allow me, dear Sergey, to congratulate you on this occasion and say that you are a wonderful composer. How dreamy is the music from ďCinderellaĒ, how many pages from the ballet shimmering with talent.
Itís difficult to express with words the pleasure (spiritual cleansing) one gets when listening to the music of ďCinderellaĒ, when watching Ulanovaís marvelous portrayal and Wiliamsí staging.
The Adagio in the second act, Cinderellaís searches, the watch and many other parts, how wonderful is all of it. And the valse. I have a lot to say, but itís difficult to express through paper.
Say hello to Mira Aleksandrovna,
Aram Khachaturian and Nina Makarova.
April 11, 1950, Moscow
To Dmitri Shostakovich
Iím writing this letter with great excitement and joy. Iím writing not only to say happy birthday, but to express some of my thoughts about you.
Iím grateful to fate for being your friend and your contemporary. Iím grateful to your outstanding works for elevating the level of Soviet music to unreachable heights. We are all striving to keep in line with you, though itís impossible. You are our leader, and, want it or not, you are taking us after you. Your historical mission is inestimable. <...>
I am pleased there is a person, the extension of my respect and admiration to whom humbles me. I rarely bother you, though I often feel the need to talk to you. My dear and honorable friend, congratulations on your fiftieth anniversary, I wish you happiness, I wish you to create more compositions. Be as mighty as you have always been.
Youíre not very old, but you have lived a great life. <...>
Yours A. Khachaturian.
September 24, 1956, Moscow
To David Oistrakh
Life is interesting: people live next to each other, in the same town, even in the same house, but donít manage to tell each other what they really think. Your note is the proof of your modesty. In my opinion, have you not liked my concerto, you wouldnít have written such a wonderful cadence to it. I consider your cadence better than mine. Your cadence is a fantasy on my themes and is convincing in its form. Giving the elements and the rhythm of the first theme, you perfectly prepare the audience for perception of the reprise.
I consider you an epochal violinist and artist. Your creative personality reflects our Soviet Era and leads our school of violin performers. Thatís why it is an honor for me to have provoked your creative imagination.
Yours, Aram Khachaturian.
First Day of Tchaikovsky competition,
Big Hall of the Moscow Conservatory.
Dear Dodik, I continue taking ownership of your cadence. When I die, they will start announcing that the cadence is Oistrakhís Ė a weak relief! <...>
March 24, 1958, Moscow
To Leonid Kogan
Once again, congratulations on brilliant graduation from the Conservatory. Donít worry about the only low grade you have received. It will not play a role in determination of your musical fate. <...>
With love, Aram Ilyich.
July 21, 1948, Zheleznovodsk
* * *
I am worried about our creative relationship. How will the rhapsody turn out? I already donít like it. I think itís conservative. You have to tell me everything you think about the rhapsody. I want the rhapsody dedicated to you to belong to the highest class of violin works of our times. <...>
Yours A. Khachaturian
July 23, 1960, Yalta
* * *
On your birthday, Iíve decided to give you something thatís very precious to me. Itís the first manuscript of our Rhapsody. When I started writing it, I was thinking of you. I have devoted the rhapsody to you with great joy and worthily: to you Ė the great violinist and artist of our times.
All the best!
With love, Aram Khachaturian.
November 14, 1962