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Karayev's beautiful, exotic ballet music has broad sweep and dimension, along with poignant emotional content and lively Azerbaijani folk elements. A leading figure among post WWII Russian composers, Karayev is a master orchestrator, whose music shows influences of Prokofiev and Shostakovich.
In these stunning ballets, Karayev is writing about the stuff of legend, with a Middle Eastern flavor in the epic Seven Beauties.
Both ballets are large designs, telling stories of legendary figures — powerful stories with deep human emotions.
"The plot of Seven Beauties deals with the conflict between oppressed people, symbolized by the lovely Aisha, and corrupt rulers, the Shah Bakhram and his Vizier," says musicologist Yuriy Gabay. "The fantastic, lyrical and psychological images are fused and intermingled with folk dance scenes in impetuous and colorful movement."
In the Path of Thunder is set in South Africa, and tells the story of interracial lovers, their tender and deep love, and their tragic end. African folk music and rhythms are woven into the powerful score. Musicologist E. Mnatsakanova says "We are reminded that Lanny's and Sarie's love was a daring challenge to the forces of evil; and their tragic death in the name of love is a call to struggle for human rights."
Beautiful, colorful ballet suites that will be a discovery for many.
Russian passion fused with exotic modalities and folk rhythms.
Accessible music, not widely available in the West.
Kara Karayev: 7 Krasavits (7 Beauties)
III. Dance of Merriment
V. Indian Dance
VI. Khorezm Dance
VII. Slavonic Dance
VIII. Magrib Dance
IX. Chinese Dance
X. The Most Beautiful of all Beauties
Kara Karayev: Tropoyu groma (In the Path of Thunder)
I. General Dance
II. Dance of the Girls with Guitars
III. Night in Stilleveld
IV. Scene and Duet
VI. In the Path Of Thunder
Click on any of the works listed above for alternative recordings.