Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ippolitov-Ivanov - Symphony No. 1 - Turkish Fragments Turkish March - Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Choo Hoey (Marco Polo 1989)

Ippolitov-Ivanov's Symphony No. 1 (there is an unfinished second symphony, "Karelia" that initially started out as material for a Suite; how nice it would be to have a recording of that unfinished work!) is a hugely appealing combination of the drama and pathos of Tchaikovsky and the energetic, exotic flavor of Borodin (especially in the Scherzo) not to mention Rimsky-Korsakov. Still the sounds are 
purely Ippolitov-Ivanov; his original voice always evident in the rich colors and a kind of signature "quietness"- that is, while plenty of Russian composers (esp. Nationalist) displayed their musical "fireworks" frquently, Ippolitov-Ivanov often made his argument in a gentler, yet equally exciting way, and imo even more intriguing.

The movements of the "Turkish Fragments" and the "Turkish March" seem to me as if they could
easily have been made into a "Caucasian Sketches" Suite No. 3. Certainly these two works would
be better known, anyhow. They are both highly enjoyable, 100% Russian colored pieces that simply aim to please and do so swimmingly. I consider this disc a gem and hope you all do too. Enjoy!

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