Choo Hoey / Singapore Symphony Orchestra

Ippolitov-Ivanov: Symphony No. 1; Turkish Fragments; Turkish March

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Best known in the west for Procession of the Sardar from his Caucasian Sketches, Mikhail Ippolitov-Ivanov is usually overlooked outside his native Russia, despite his substantial body of work. As a student of Rimsky-Korsakov, Ippolitov-Ivanov learned how to employ the orchestra's tone colors to great effect, and even though the exoticism of his colorful Turkish Fragments and the jaunty Turkish March seems quaint and even humorous today, he was a serious student of ethnic music, and he collected folk songs and dances from the peoples of Asia minor and the Soviet Union. In the case of the straightforward and academic Symphony No. 1 in E minor, the work is styled rather slavishly after Tchaikovsky's later symphonies, and there are no obvious signs of orientalism or scene painting. Choo Hoey and the Singapore Symphony Orchestra give skillful and precise performances, and the recorded sound is clear and vibrant, so this album is a fine introduction to this neglected composer.

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