"…it is a crazy quilt, but it is a lot of fun. In addition to [the] very tasty…main courses, Naxos gives us not one, not two, but three desserts. A really first-class orchestra helps to put these scores across, and conductor Dmitry Yablonsky…is a sympathetic and energetic leader. The pianists, both of them native Azerbaijanis, are very much up to their respective tasks, playing with sparkle and with an obvious affinity for the folk idioms. In Shusha , soprano Joan Rodgers is most soulful. Excellent engineering is another point in this disc’s favor. This might not be the most important CD I’ve reviewed in 2011, but it is one of the most enjoyable, even adorable. As such, it is highly recommended!..."
Raymond Tuttle - Fanfare - March 2012
Best Find for 2011
"Mr. Badalbeyli is ... our soloist for the Amirov/Nazirova and Guliyev selections, as well as his own The Sea, giving us technically accomplished, heartfelt performances of these rarities. The same can be said for pianist Murad Adigezalzade and soprano Joan Rodgers in the other two works. The support provided by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) under Dmitry Yablonsky is committed and enthusiastic, ensuring a memorable listening experience when you spin this disc..."
Bob McQuiston - Classical Lost and Found - December 2011
"This is a delightful CD of piano and orchestra exotica, beautifully recorded, expertly performed. Thanks, Naxos, once again..."
ClassicalCDReview.com - November 2011
"The Naxos label has made a good move in devoting several series of CDs to contemporary national schools, presenting compositions largely unknown outside their home countries. Enjoyable for anyone and well recorded in London’s Cadogan Hall with the Royal Philharmonic under the indefatigable Dmitry Yablonsky, this release stimulates curiosity about the other releases in Naxos’ Azerbaijani series..."
James manheim - Allmusic.com - November 2011
"...Long ago won over to exotica - at least as filtered through the western cultutre - I find this disc irresistible.
Rob Barnett - www.musicweb-international.com - January 2012
"...The playing by both pianists on the disc is faultless and the orchestra’s contribution shows that it has got inside the sound world as if “to the manner born”. This disc is a brilliant introduction to the classical music of Azerbaijan and anyone interested in exploring this little known corner of our musical world should hear it and they will find some romantic treasures that reward repeated listening and at the famously keen Naxos price represents no risk at all. I loved it."
Steve Arloff - www.musicwebinternational.com - 13 December 2011
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