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Azerbaijani Piano Concertos

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Audio CD, October 25, 2011
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$8.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

All of the composers here combine elements of ancient Azerbaijani tradition with Western forms, colorful orchestration and vivid musical storytelling. This is epitomized in Vasif Adigezalov' symphonically proportioned Fourth Piano Concerto, while Amirov a
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Product Details

  • Performer: Badalbeyli, Adigezalzade, Rogers
  • Orchestra: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Conductor: Yablonsky
  • Composer: Amirov, Nazirova, Adigezalov, Guliyev, Badalbeyli
  • Audio CD (October 25, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN: B005KNOE1S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,681 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on October 26, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
What a happy, delightful surprise! Prejudicial skepticism and dread of bland, empty Soviet-style folkloric classical works are quickly put aside, as these highly dramatic, rich, enthralling piano pieces are in the tradition of Rimsky-Korsokov and especially Khachaturian, influenced by Prokofiev and Shoshtokovich with a touch of virtuosic Rachmaninov. The first piece, Amirov's 1957 concerto after Arabian themes opens with vigorous orchestration with repetition and variations of phrases suggestive of mugam (maqam) modes with Caucasian and Arabic melodies, and follows with a serious andante, somewhat religious of sonorous Asian harmonies and crisp but driving melodies. The concerto closes with an allegro conversation of piano and orchestra that brightly and rapidly summarizes the work. Adigezalov's 1994 concerto, his fourth, has modern sensitivity, a jazzy tempo, and interplay, yet lushly lyrical and chorded, percussive piano work. The first allegro is cinematic and an exciting dance. The andante is led by an oboe; the orchestral development is both pastoral and romantic. The final allegro is jagged, powerful, and energetic. Its luxuriant palette of orchestral color and flurry of phrases, however, strikes me as overblown. The remaining tracks of this 69-minute album are miniatures: Guliyev's 1958 fast dance; Badalbeyli's 1977 majestic poem of the sea with oscillating arpeggios; and his 2003 vocalise lament and homage to the cultural city of Shusah. These composers are esteeemed in their nation and have produced a plethora of ballets, operas, symphonies, concertos, film scores, and chamber works. Conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is Dmitry Yablonsky, but kudos especially go to the pianists, Farhad Badalbeyli, who performs Amirov's and his own works, and Murad Adigelzade, who plays the Adgezalov concerto. Thus, I highly recommend this remarkable, edifying album for those who enjoy the energy and exotic themes of Khatchaturian concerti and ballets.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By argyle4087 on November 26, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am just a classical music lover, not a musician. I have been seeking lesser known works, and this CD fits the bill. The music is quite traditional, steeped in romanticism, and that is fine for me. A touch of exotica and very listenable music. I wish there was more of this to supplement the overplayed masterpieces.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G.D. VINE VOICE on June 27, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is fun. Azerbaijan is one of few predominantly Muslim countries with a rich classical music tradition, instigated by Uzeir Hajibeyov (Gadzhibekov) and developed by people such as Fikret Amirov and Kara Karayev during the Soviet period, who attempted (rather successfully) to integrate elements of Azerbaijani folk music with Western art music forms. Of course, much of the music composed during the twentieth century, and most of the music on this disc of Azerbaijani piano concertos, is rather conservative (Karayev being an obvious exception), often unashamedly romantic, but the music here is enjoyable, well-crafted and often inspired.

Fikret Amirov (1922-1984) is the most familiar name here, though the Piano Concerto after Arabian Themes written with Elmira Nazirova (b. 1928) in 1957 (the division of labor is unclear) does not sound particularly typical. As some critics have pointed out it is hard not to hear this work as a version of Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain with Arabian themes; it is not a copy or a rip-off – indeed, the work rather ingeniously employs musical formats of traditional Azerbaijani music – but the inspiration seems rather clear. Still, this is an enjoyable affair; lushly colored, romantic, picturesque, atmospheric but with more than a bit of bite in the propulsive faster parts.

Vasif Adigezalov (1935-2006) is probably unknown to most potential listeners, though Melodiya recorded his third symphony back in the days (oh, how one wishes that someone would make the vast number of recordings Melodiya made of currently forgotten Soviet and Eastern European composers available), and some of his music, including the second symphony and second and third piano concertos have been recorded by Azerbaijan International.
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