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MusicWeb International, February 2012

under leading Azerbaijani conductor Rauf Abdullayev, the Moscow Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra…gives strong, persuasive performances of Azerbaijani composer Kara Karayev’s entertaining ballet music…this is music of grand emotional sweep, cinematographic in that 1950s Hollywood way. There is little subtlety or profundity as such, yet Garayev was, like Arnold and Rimsky-Korsakov, a master orchestrator, and for anyone interested in orchestral colour and drama—not to mention lots of pleasing melody, catchy rhythms and easy-going tonal harmony—from a neglected musical figure straddling two continents, this CD is worthy of consideration. © 2012 MusicWeb International Read complete review, November 2011

Far less known than Shostakovich, but a significant musician of the Soviet era nevertheless, Kara Karayev (more often written Gara Garayev) was a prominent Azerbaijani composer—and Shostakovich was his mentor, teaching him composition from 1942 to 1946. Shostakovich praised Karayev’s skill in polyphony and instrumentation, and the latter is much in evidence in a new recording of suites from the ballets Seven Beauties (1952) and In the Path of Thunder (1957). …he is quite as capable of creating character dances (“Indian Dance,” “Khorezm Dance,” “Slavonic Dance,” “Magrib Dance” and “Chinese Dance” in Seven Beauties) as he is of writing the tender “Lullaby” and intensely demonstrative concluding “In the Path of Thunder” march in his later ballet. Read complete review

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