Tone poem 'Khojaly 613' to be performed in Brazil

12 April 2017 14:23 (UTC+04:00)

By Laman Ismayilova

Tone poem 'Khojaly 613' by French composer Pierre Thilloy will be performed at Theatro Da Paz in Belem, Brazil, on April 13.

The tone poem commemorates the lives of the 613 victims of the Khojaly Massacre, committed by Armenians in February 25–26 in 1992, Azertac reported.

The music piece is written for violin, balaban, percussion and string orchestra. The composer used folk Azerbaijani music "Lachin" and "Sari Gelin" (Yellow Bride). This harnessed the power of violin, clarinet and string quartet to evoke the sounds of marching, screams, machine-gun fire and folk music themes to devastating effect.

The world premiere took place in 2013 as part of the event organized by French mission of The European Azerbaijan Society to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the Khojaly massacre. The concert was attended by around 350 people, including senators, members of the National Assembly and ambassadors.

The concert featured performances by young Azerbaijani violinist Sabina Rakcheyeva and London-based Orion Symphonic Orchestra.

Late into the night of February 25, 1992, Khojaly came under intensive fire from the towns of Khankendi and Askeran already occupied by Armenian armed forces. The Armenian forces, supported by the ex-Soviet 366th regiment, completed the surrounding of the town already isolated due to ethnic cleansing of the Azerbaijani population of the neighboring regions. The joint forces occupied the town, which was ruined by heavy artillery shelling.

Thousands of fleeing civilians were ambushed by the Armenian forces. Punitive teams of the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh defense army reached the unprotected civilians to slaughter them, mutilating and scalping some of the bodies.

613 people were killed, including 106 women, 70 elderly and 83 children. A total of 1,000 civilians were disabled. Eight families were exterminated, and 25 children lost both parents, while 130 children lost one parent. Moreover, 1,275 innocent people were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 remains unknown.

When Thomas de Waal, a senior associate at Washington DC-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, interviewed Sargsyan back in 2000, the then-Armenian Defense Minister Sargsyan confessed that the Armenian army had indeed carried out some ethnic cleansing in the Nagorno-Karabakh region in order to achieve its goals.


Laman Ismayilova  is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova

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