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 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