Kara Karayev: Seven Beauties Suite; Leyla and Mejnun; Don Quixote; Lullaby from

Kara Karayev: Seven Beauties Suite; Leyla and Mejnun; Don Quixote; Lullaby from "The Path of Thunder"

by Kirill Karabits

SACD(Super Audio CD - SACD Hybrid)

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The stream of conductors from Russia and Eastern Europe taking roles in British musical life has led to a high standard of orchestral performances and to the rediscovery of some composers who were popular in the Soviet Union and its satellites but much less so in the West. Such is the Azerbaijani Kara Karayev (also known as Gara Garayev), whom Shostakovich admired but who started taking home prizes after Shostakovich got on Stalin's dreaded bad side. Some of his music is socialist-realist (he wrote a ballet, "The Path of Thunder," about South African apartheid, one segment of which is included here). But "The Seven Beauties," composed in the late 1940s, is nothing less than a work in the grand Russian ballet tradition, owing more to Tchaikovsky than anyone else, and if you're looking for something in that vein it will certainly fill the bill. The scenario is based on a Persian erotic poem of the year 1197, with little sketches of the titular beauties at its musical center. Their nationalities (Indian, Byzantine, Khorezmian, Slavonic, Maghrebian, Chinese, and the ethnicity-transcending "Most Beautiful of the Beauties") are only lightly depicted musically; sample "The Chinese Beauty," for an idea of what you're getting into here. But the work is full of genuinely memorable tunes and (this is probably what attracted Shostakovich) imaginative orchestration. Most of the rest of the album is devoted to symphonic program music, including a strong 15-minute symphonic poem, "Leyla and Mejnun," based on a different Middle Eastern love poem from about the same period. The Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra plays at top-level quality, and is backed by shimmering sound from Chandos' engineers. Highly crowd-pleasing stuff; recommended.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/20/2017
Label: Chandos
UPC: 0095115520321
catalogNumber: 5203
Rank: 260490

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