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Azerbaijani Piano Concertos / Badalbeyli, Adigezalzade, Yablonsky

Amirov / Badalbeyli / Rpo
Release Date: 10/25/2011 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8572666   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Fikret AmirovVasif AdigezalovTofig GuliyevFarhad Badalbeyli
Performer:  Farhad BadalbeyliMurad AdigezalzadeJoan Rodgers
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is fun. Amirov and Nazirova’s concerto is based on Arabic themes, and while it has its share of “snake charmer” music, it makes a worthy successor to, say, Saint-Saëns’ “Egyptian” Concerto. Elmira Nazirova, who worked with the composer on the piano part, is the same woman that Shostakovich allegedly encoded in the horn theme in the third movement of his Tenth Symphony. Adigezalov’s Fourth Piano Concerto might be thought of as a sort of Azerbaijani answer to the concertos of Khachaturian. The pace is moderate, the ethnic color heavily underlined, the form is dodgy, but the melodies are often captivating. The remainder of the disc consists of a brief dance for piano and orchestra (by Guliyev) and two works by pianist Farhad Read more Badalbeyli, one a tone poem (“The Sea”) for piano and orchestra, the other a wordless vocalise for soprano and orchestra. What this latter is doing on a disc of piano concertos is anyone’s guess, but both works are very pretty in a cinematic sort of way. Certainly the performances show the music in a very positive light. Nationalist music such as this may take us back to the late 19th century, and perhaps to a more innocent age, musically speaking—but so what? As I said, this is fun.

-- David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.co

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Long ago won over to exotica - at least as filtered through the western cultutre - I find this disc irresistible.

I am a sucker for Rimsky's Capriccio Espagnol, Ippolitov-Ivanov's Mtsyry and Caucasian Sketches, Farwell's Gods of the Mountains, Parker's and Freitas Branco's Vathek and Biarent’s Contes d'Orient along with swathes of similarly minded Herrmann and Rozsa.

The present collection's Arabian rose-petal fragrance is a winner. Take the Amirov Arabian Concerto. It seamlessly and delightfully blends the populist manner of the Kabalevsky piano concertos and Shostakovich 2 with a middle eastern ambience - both sultry and sinister. It's not without romantic grandstanding in a pretty clear echo of Rachmaninov. The Adigezalov is likewise in three movements and also picks up on the Eastern voice. This time it's more in the manner of Khachaturian. This feels a shade more profound than the Amirov. It too has that dapper attack and rhythmic ‘hook’. The Andante is coolly romantic and the final Allegro pounds with euphoria. Guliyev's Gaytagi is flashy with the machine-gun gambolling delivery of a Liszt or Godowsky. It's an affable piece of light music redolent a little of the Litolff Scherzo. Then two pieces by Badalbeyi. The Sea is high calorie stuff with starry sugar-glitter and sentimentality. Shusha is a vocalise to go with those of Rachmaninov and Medtner.

This disc makes a fine companion to Naxos's other two Azerbaijani discs: Amirov's orchestral works on 8.572170 and Karayev's symphony 3 and Leyla and Mejnun on 8.579720. See if you can also track down the long-deleted two Olympias of Amirov's other orchestral music.


-- Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1.
Concerto for PIano after Arabian Themes by Fikret Amirov
Performer:  Farhad Badalbeyli (Piano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Elmira Nazirova. 
2.
Concerto for Piano no 4 by Vasif Adigezalov
Performer:  Murad Adigezalzade (Piano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
3.
Gaytagi by Tofig Guliyev
Performer:  Farhad Badalbeyli (Piano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
4.
The Sea by Farhad Badalbeyli
Performer:  Farhad Badalbeyli (Piano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
5.
Shusha by Farhad Badalbeyli
Performer:  Joan Rodgers (Soprano)
Conductor:  Dmitry Yablonsky
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Sound Samples

Piano Concerto after Arabian Themes: I. Allegro
Piano Concerto after Arabian Themes: II. Andante sostenuto
Piano Concerto after Arabian Themes: III. Allegro giusto
Piano Concerto No. 4: I. Allegro non troppo
Piano Concerto No. 4: II. Andante
Piano Concerto No. 4: III. Allegro non troppo
Gaytagi (version for piano and orchestra)
The Sea
Shusha

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Great Fun--not great art! July 12, 2012 By John Wood (Saxtons River, VT) See All My Reviews "No more needs to be said." Report Abuse
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