Moscow Symphony Orchestra

Fikret Amirov: Shur & Kürd Ovshari, Mugams

Do you like Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, or the verve of Aram Khachaturian’s “Gayne” ballet? Do you savor a touch of Eastern scales and exotic melodies deftly scored? Then don’t miss these delightful orchestral dances by Fikret Amirov (1922-1984) known as “Azerbaijan mugams.” Leopold Stokowski, always alert for new delights, recorded these pieces in the 1950s under their general title of “Mugams,” but here, on this stereo recording of an orchestra led by the late Antonio de Almeida, their actual titles are listed as “Kürd Ovshari” and “Shur”; they are suites of mugams. Known to people throughout the Middle East by many related names, mugams are more than just alluring tunes; they are a way of making music, of expressing moods—an aesthetic of life. Bring home some curry dishes, light some incense and enjoy!