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John J. Puccio
Classical Candor, November 2014

…I can’t think of how any other conductor or orchestra could play [these works] any better. Moreover…the Royal Philharmonic plays them with grace and precision, reminding us once again that they remain one of the world’s top orchestras. The two works…are entertaining, each in its own way…

The sound is among the best I’ve heard from Naxos in a long time. It has a realistic warmth and presence at a moderate distance, with fairly natural impact and dynamics, and a pleasantly mild bloom around the instruments. © 2014 Classical Candor Read complete review

David R Dunsmore
MusicWeb International, October 2014

This disc is a prime example of the splendid work that Naxos has done over the past twenty-plus years in giving listeners the opportunity to hear little known music, excellently played.

This disc of two impressive ballets is well worth its modest price and can be considered a great success for the splendid RPO and Dmitri Yablonsky…The orchestra and recording are splendid. Naxos continues to produce…quality performances. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review, October 2014

Dmitry Yablonsky conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on this recording in a suite that brims with exotically appealing rhythms and melodies. © 2014 Read complete review

Ronald E. Grames
Fanfare, July 2014

…I doubt that anyone will disagree on the excellence of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, or on Yablonsky’s pivotal contribution to the success of this release. The Mike Clements engineered sound is full and detailed. Let’s hope there will be more Karayev from these forces. Highly recommended. © 2014 Fanfare Read complete review

David Hurwitz, April 2014

This performance featuring the Royal Philharmonic under Dmitry Yablonsky is, not surprisingly, a bit more subtle and sophisticated than the rough-and-ready Melodiya competition, and it is very well recorded. Naxos has already devoted a disc to Karayev’s music (including his Third Symphony), and we badly need a systematic treatment of this very worthy contemporary of Shostakovich. Let’s hope that Naxos has more in the pipeline. © 2014 Read complete review

Paul Ballyk
Expedition Audio, April 2014

There is no reason whatsoever to shy away from this album if you avoid the acrid tonalities of much 20th century music; Karayev’s music is very easy to enjoy—saturated with exotic colors it can be hair-raisingly exciting or deliriously beautiful.

This program benefits from magnificent readings by the Royal Philharmonic under the direction Maestro Dmitry Yablonsky and superb sonics from Naxos. © 2014 Expedition Audio Read complete review

Andrew Achenbach
Gramophone, March 2014

…the RPO under Dmitry Yablonsky sound as if they enjoyed making this colourful repertoire’s acquaintance. Naxos’s Andrew Walton and Mike Clements have come up with top-quality sound. Well worth checking out at this price point. © 2014 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

Roger Knox
The WholeNote, February 2014

For listeners unfamiliar with Azerbaijani composer Kara Karayev…these ballet suites are an attractive introduction.

The passionate and idiomatic performances on this disc led by Dmitry Yablonsky make it a significant addition to the recorded repertoire. © 2014 The WholeNote Read complete review

Robert Cummings
Classical Net, February 2014

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays splendidly and spiritedly for Dmitry Yablonsky who seems to have the full measure of these scores. The sound reproduction from Naxos is excellent. If you’re interested in the lighter side of ballet music, this disc will likely be a pleasing addition to your collection. © 2014 Classical Net Read complete review

Daniel Jaffé
BBC Music Magazine, February 2014

Indebted to Khachaturian, Karayev’s The Seven Beauties, and The Path of Thunder, his atmospheric ballet on inter-racial love in South Africa, receive red-blooded performances. © 2014 BBC Music Magazine

Steve Arloff
MusicWeb International, January 2014

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Dmitri Yablonsky is in cracking form in music that will appeal to all who like their music uncomplicatedly straightforward yet full blooded. © 2014 MusicWeb International Read complete review, January 2014

Dmitry Yablonsky conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with enthusiasm and skill on this Naxos CD, bringing the dance rhythms to the fore and taking full advantage of the coloristic elements of Karayev’s approach to orchestration. © 2014 Read complete review

Steven A. Kennedy
Cinemusical, January 2014

Karayev is a native Azerbaijanian and his music does take folk and nationalist tendencies as one of its many components. He also managed to latch on to some of the harmonic ideas of his teacher coupled with unique approaches to orchestration. All of this is on display here in this new release of ballet music, the second disc featuring music by this composer from Naxos.

This modern RPO version allows for a new and budget-priced way to introduce oneself to this music. These works have that film-like scope that should make it equally attractive to many listeners. The RPO’s performances are committed and allow for some interesting detail to be heard. It shows off various sections of the orchestra quite well making it a great way to lift up the musicians of the orchestra. The sound is also quite good. © 2014 Cinemusical Read complete review

Grego Applegate Edwards
Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review, December 2013

The two suites here make for captivating listening for anyone with an ear for the symphonic unfolding of the past 200 years. Yablonsky gives the Royal Philharmonic plenty of inspiration and they respond with dramatic readings that bring the music to concrete life. Karayev in the end is no Shostakovich, and that is in his favor, really, since a carbon copy is not what we need. He is an excellent craftsman and the music has some moments of brilliance that spark an otherwise totally well-mapped and well-conceived series of suites.

It will most certainly appeal to the confirmed Russophile and those who seek to know more of the Azerbaijani contingent of Russian composers of the past century. It’s also just plain good listening. © 2013 Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, December 2013

The disc sleeve describes the Azerbaijani, Kara Karayev, as one of Dmitry Shostakovich’s most distinguished pupils who absorbed his teachers influences. The present disc of two ballet suites would point to Khachaturian and Kabalevsky as being equally important influences in his style of composition. They certainly prove highly attractive if you want music, with a hint of the late 20th century, to pass away your time. In The Seven Beauties he paints effective pictures of the Shah’s seven gorgeous women that have arrived from around the world to live in his harem of seven pavilions…The Path of Thunder followed five years later…One could certainly imagine a visually vibrant ballet, though it is the catchy melody that runs through The Dance of The Girls with Guitars, that captured my attention, though the whole score adds up to a pleasing experience. The Royal Philharmonic play with the self-assurance that convinces you that it is all part of their repertoire. Excellent high-impact and detailed sound. © 2013 David’s Review Corner

Brian Wilson
MusicWeb International, December 2013

…I greatly enjoyed [the] music, performance and recording. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review

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