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Ode To Gravity:
Ode to Ben Amirkhanian: In honor of his 74th birthday, July 17, 1989

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 58 min
Event Type: Other Finds Program Origin: KPFA

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Charles Amirkhanian with a special surprise program in honor of famous Armenian-American Army Majors born on July 17, 1915, (a.k.a. his father Benjamin). Benjamin Amirkhanian is an Armenian American who served during World War II, although he apparently had just enough time to marry and help conceive a child. Heard on this program are some of Benjamin’s favorite pieces of music, including “At the River” by Aaron Copland with lyrics by Robert Lowry, as well as other gems of American music by Charles Ives, Stephen Foster, and Duke Ellington. Fortunately for us this is the type of birthday celebration that anyone can enjoy.

Musical Selections:  Sonata No. 4 for Violin and Piano [excerpt] (ca. 1914-16) / Charles Ives -- Washington’s Birthday [excerpt from “The Holiday Symphony”] (1909-1913) / Charles Ives -- At the River [lyrics by Robert Lowry] (1954) / Aaron Copland -- I Got It Bad (and That Ain't Good) [lyrics by Paul F. Webster] (1941) / Duke Ellington -- Roussier (not Rouffier) (1973) / Charles Amirkhanian -- Nothing but a plain old soldier (1863) / Stephen Collins Foster -- Are You Washed in the Blood of the Lamb? -- At the River [lyrics by Robert Lowry] (1954) / Aaron Copland
Performers:  Rafael Druian, violin (Sonata)
John Simms, piano (Sonata)
Columbia Symphony Orchestra (River)
Aaron Copland, conductor (River)
William Warfield, vocals (River)
Billie Holiday, vocals (Got it Bad)
Genres:  20th Century Classical; Popular Music
Subject:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Amirkhanian, Benjamin; Amirkhanian, Eleanor; 20th century classical; Sonatas (Violin and piano); Orchestral music; Armenian American families; City and town life; Hymns, English; Armenian massacres, 1915-1923; World War, 1939-1945; Jazz; Sound poetry; Text-sound compositions; Songs with instrumental ensemble
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Ives, Charles, 1874-1954; Druian, Rafael; Simms, John, 1918-1992; Amirkhanian, Benjamin; Amirkhanian, Eleanor; Lowry, Robert, 1826-1899; Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990; Warfield, William; Webster, Paul Francis; Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974; Holiday, Billie, 1915-1959; Foster, Stephen Collins, 1826-1864
Recording Date:  7/17/1989
First Broadcast Date:  7/17/1989
 
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