Karayev: Seven Beauties [Dmitry Yablonsky, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra] [Naxos: 8.573122]
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Born in Baku, Kara Karayev was one of Dmitry Shostakovich's most distinguished pupils. Karayev absorbed his teacher's influence, binding it to his own distinctive use of native Azerbaijani folk melodies and harmonies to produce music in an eclectic range of genres. The Seven Beauties
is the first full-length Azerbaijani ballet, and the suite heard here brims with an exotic array of appealing rhythms and melodies. The Path of Thunder
uses elements of African and Afro-American music in its exploration of the theme of forbidden love in apartheid era South Africa. Karayev's Symphony No. 3
and other orchestral works can be heard on 8.570720.