World première of Khojaly 613 by Pierre Thilloy moves a Parisian audience
The concert was organised by the French office of The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) in order to commemorate the 613 civilians killed on 26 February 1992 in the Azerbaijani town of Khojaly, Nagorno-Karabakh, when it was forcibly occupied by Armenian armed forces, supported by the No. 366 Soviet Infantry Regiment. The evening featured the London-based Orion Orchestra under the baton of the leading conductor and composer Laurent Petitgirard, TEAS told APA.
The centrepiece of the evening was the world première of a moving new piece, Khojaly 613, composed by Pierre Thilloy, dedicated to the victims of the Khojaly tragedy. The work was written for violin, balaban, percussion and string orchestra. Featured was the evocative sound of the balaban, an Azerbaijani wind instrument, performed by the internationally-acclaimed virtuoso Shirzad Fataliyev. The violinist was Sabina Rakcheyeva, the first Azerbaijani graduate from the Juilliard School in New York and Cultural Advisor, TEAS.
This outstanding work ably captured the horror of the Khojaly Massacre, featuring Azerbaijani folk tunes, including Lachin and Sari Gelin, set against a rich orchestral backdrop of military march rhythms and the sounds of conflict. The violin and balaban – which has a plaintive quality, akin to the human voice – represented the soul of the Azerbaijani people that fateful night, with the violin solo section gradually reaching a furious tempo until coming to a sudden, unexpected halt.
Writing about the piece, the composer said: “The Khojaly Massacre ranks amongst one of the most vivid and nightmarish visions in the collective memory of the Azerbaijani people, stemming from the dark, insidious Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that continues to harm an entire people.
“There is a mechanism, commonly called ‘memory’, which, far from providing vulgar pathos, is a bulwark against oblivion, and operates as a timeless sentinel of dignity. ‘Memory’ has always been a creative banner for composers and artists, who, beyond any political or revolutionary context, are able to remind others of milestones, troubled moments, and dramas, which touch the very depths of their soul.”
Eliza Pieter, Head, TEAS France commented: “One has to forgive in order to be able to rebuild peace, but one should never forget. It is imperative to remember, without having the desire for revenge. This has been achieved by the people of France and Germany in order to restore peace. Surely music is the best way of remembering the Khojaly victims?”
The programme also included the Nizami Symphony by the Azerbaijani composer Fikret Amirov (1922–84), which was inspired by the work of the 12th century Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi. This piece demonstrated his synthesis of western classical techniques and glorious, passionate Azerbaijani mugham, known as ‘symphonic mugham’.
This emotional evening also included Sir Edward Elgar’s elegiac Introduction and Allegro for Strings, a multilayered symphonic poem, featuring polyphonic interwoven themes and a fragment of a Welsh traditional song. As an encore, the string orchestra performed a piece of meditative music by Laurent Petitgirard, written for a section of the film Ecrire contre l'oubli (Lest We Forget).
This beautiful music and evocative setting had an undeniable impact on all those in attendance, making them aware of the terrible events of 21 years ago, and of the ongoing plight of the Azerbaijanis who remain unable to return to their homes and lands.
Related news releases
- 21.10.2016US making efforts to help settle Karabakh conflict: ambassador
- 21.10.2016Azerbaijani MFA: Nalbandian’s statement – evidence of impossibility of peaceful coexistence with fascist-minded people
- 21.10.2016OSCE MG co-chairs to visit Azerbaijan
- 21.10.2016Bayram Safarov: Soso Pavliashvili can visit Azerbaijan only after he apologizes
- 21.10.2016Azerbaijani defense minister attends int’l conference in Prague
- 21.10.2016‘Syrian Armenians to flee Karabakh at earliest opportunity’
- 21.10.2016OSCE MG co-chairs expected to meet with reps of Azerbaijani community of Nagorno-Karabakh
- 21.10.2016France changes its OSCE MG co-chair – embassy - UPDATED
- 20.10.2016Armenia continues to violate int’l humanitarian law: Azerbaijani deputy FM
- 20.10.2016Russia hails Turkey’s role in Karabakh conflict settlement
- 20.10.2016Kasprzyk: Work underway on implementation of presidential agreements on expanding PR CiO Office
- 20.10.2016Satellite images show exploitation of natural resources in occupied Azerbaijani territories: minister
- 20.10.2016Israeli researcher: Karabakh conflict is not frozen, there’s always something happening there
- 19.10.2016OIC adopts resolutions condemning Armenian aggression against Azerbaijan
- 18.10.2016Igor Popov: OSCE MG co-chairs will clarify military situation in Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone - INTERVIEW
- 18.10.2016Ilham Aliyev: Kerry’s statement reveals why Karabakh conflict remains unsettled
- 18.10.2016Novruz Mammadov: “The frozen state of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could at any moment lead to a hot war”
- 17.10.2016Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijan capable of destroying any enemy target
- 17.10.2016OSCE MG co-chairs to visit region this week
- 16.10.2016Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 11 times
- 15.10.2016Azerbaijani deputy PM comments on Russian presidential aide’s Karabakh statement
- 15.10.2016Horror of Khojaly comes to bastion of neutrality – Geneva
- 14.10.2016CSTO states support Vienna and St. Petersburg agreements on Karabakh conflict resolution
- 14.10.2016Ilham Aliyev: Decades-old UN resolutions on Karabakh conflict remain unfulfilled
- 14.10.2016Russian FM: Turkey can play positive role in Karabakh conflict settlement
- 14.10.2016Azerbaijan says Ushakov’s statement on Karabakh conflict surprising
- 14.10.2016Armenia launches military exercises in occupied Azerbaijani territories
- 13.10.2016Putin’s aide: Moscow not optimistic about Karabakh settlement
- 12.10.2016Azerbaijani parl't vice-speaker: Psychologically vulnerable people living along contact line need assistance
- 12.10.2016FM: Turkey supports any solution that meets Azerbaijan’s interests
- 11.10.2016Azerbaijani FM reveals conditions for progress in Karabakh conflict settlement
- 11.10.2016Armenian serviceman dies in occupied Azerbaijani territories
- 11.10.2016OSCE MG co-chairs to visit occupied Azerbaijani territories
- 10.10.2016FM: Karabakh conflict must be settled within Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity
- 10.10.2016PACE president: All conflicts must be solved in line with territorial integrity principle
- 10.10.2016Russian singers’ names removed from ‘black list’ of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry
- 09.10.2016Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 24 times
- 08.10.2016Azerbaijani FM: Shavarsh Kocharyan - comic far from diplomacy
- 07.10.2016Ilham Aliyev: Blaming Azerbaijan for unwillingness to settle Karabakh conflict would be injustice
- 07.10.2016US ambassador holds numerous discussions with top Azerbaijani officials on Kerry’s statement
- 22.02.2013Azerbaijani Deputy PM: “OSCE and the other international organizations, which have issued positive opinion on the Armenian presidential elections, should be ashamed”
- 22.02.2013Four soldiers of Armenian army rendered harmless over last three days
- 23.02.2013Member of the Board of Directors of USAN: “White House has been responding to all petitions”
- 22.02.2013Offered to officially record monument to Khojaly genocide victims
- 22.02.2013The official representative of the U.S. State Department commented elections in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
- 21.02.2013Senator Nathalie Goulet: “The policy of resettling Syrian Armenians in the occupied Azerbaijani territories must be condemned”