Much of the music of Armenian composer-conductor Ayam Khachaturian (1903-1978) seems to me noisy and bombastic, and some of it even at its best, as in the ballets Gayaneh and Spartacus, can be a little tiring. But his Cello Concerto of 1946 was so out of line with the traditional guidelines of the Communist Party that they ousted him from the Composers' Union over it (among other things). I must admit I have never been too fond of the piece myself, although the present recording goes a fair way toward helping to change that opinion.
If the Cello Concerto can sound somewhat harsh and off-putting to some listeners, the composer's Concerto-Rhapsody from 1963 is more approachable. It is more flowing, more harmonic, more poetic, and more impassioned. Both pieces are well played, and the Naxos sound is clear and well balanced.
John J. Puccio