Ippolitov-Ivanov – Caucasian Sketches (1984)

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Ippolitov-Ivanov – Caucasian Sketches (1984)

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1. In A Mountain Pass/In The Village/In The Mosque/Procession Of The Sardar - Christopher Lyndon Gee
2. Introduction/Lamentation Of Princess Ketevana/Berceuse/Lesghinka/Caucasian War March - Christopher Lyndon Gee
3. Caucasian Sketches, Ste No.1, Op10: In the Mosque
4. Caucasian Sketches, Ste No.1, Op10: Procession of the Sardar
5. Caucasian Sketches, Ste No.2, Op.42 'Iveria': Intro-Lamentation of Princess Ketevana
6. Caucasian Sketches, Ste No.2, Op.42 'Iveria': Berceuse
7. Caucasian Sketches, Ste No.2, Op.42 'Iveria': Lesghinka
8. Caucasian Sketches, Ste No.2, Op.42 'Iveria': Caucasian War March

Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Lyndon Gee – conductor


Ippolitov-Ivanov is far from being the only composer in musical history to remembered almost entirely on the basis of just one of his many works. Nevertheless, on those very few occasions that Ippolitov-Ivanov's name is mentioned at all, it is almost invariably in connection with his Caucasian Sketches (1894); even then, a lone movement, the glittering festive tableau "Procession of the Sardar," is often singled out.

A student of Rimsky-Korsakov, whose distinctive flair for exotic orchestration he inherited, Ippolitov-Ivanov graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory in 1882, quickly securing the directorship of the orchestra and conservatory of Tbilisi (Tiflis), the Georgian capital. During the seven years he spent in this remote mountainous region, Ippolitov-Ivanov undertook a detailed study of indigenous Georgian folk music, whose distinctive melodies and sonorities, now decked out in extravagant orchestral colors, are a central presence in Caucasian Sketches. The four movements -- "In a Mountain Pass," "In a Village," "In a Mosque," and "Procession of the Sardar" -- require little explanation, and Rimsky-Korsakov himself would hardly have disapproved their decorous orchestration. Although it is virtually unknown and almost never heard in the concert hall, Ippolitov-Ivanov further explored Georgian themes in a second Caucasian suite, subtitled "Iveria," published in 1896. This work was completed after the composer had returned to Moscow; though entirely characteristic, it lacks the populist feel of the Caucasian Sketches. ---Rovi

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