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Terterjans 8th Symphony in Hannover

The Niederschsische Staatstheater Hannover is going to perform the 8th symphony of the Armenian composer Awet Terterjan (1929-1994) on 25th April 2004. The conductor is Johannes Harneit. Terterjans last symphony first opened in 1989 and completes the grand epos of Terterjans symphonic work. His eight symphonies were written between 1969 and 1989 and show strong autobiographic, sometimes even prophetic character.

Together with the 7th , Terterjans 8th symphony forms a doublesided unity reflecting upon the events just before and after the big earthquake of 1988 on the one hand, and on the other hand describing the grief and cruelties of the still enduring Caucasian war.

The 8th symphony might well be the most tragic of them all. It opens with the cataclysmic climax which transpones emotions of utter hopelessness. Straight after a folkloristic grievance song begins which symbolizes a permanent and irreversible paralysis and silence in spite of its introduction of a sequence of light harmonics. Silence is something that is absolute, and music aspires silence. It is filled with eternity and depth just like the universe that does not know space nor borders. In his compositions Terterjan always asks the eternal question about the sense of being.

Terterjans symphonies are coined by the references to folkloristic songs of his home country without his actually copying any of them. His contemplative method of combination and association rather portrays a typical Armenian view of the world. Terterjan holds out great liberties for the interpreters of his work. Each performance of a symphony can differ greatly from the next in length and soundquality. It will be interesting to see how the Niederschsische Staatsorchester and their conductor Johannes Harneit will interpret this particular work.