What a happy, delightful surprise! Prejudicial skepticism and dread of bland, empty Soviet-style folkloric classical works are quickly put aside, as these highly dramatic, rich, enthralling piano pieces are in the tradition of Rimsky-Korsokov and especially Khachaturian, influenced by Prokofiev and Shoshtokovich with a touch of virtuosic Rachmaninov. The first piece, Amirov's 1957 concerto after Arabian themes opens with vigorous orchestration with repetition and variations of phrases suggestive of mugam (maqam) modes with Caucasian and Arabic melodies, and follows with a serious andante, somewhat religious of sonorous Asian harmonies and crisp but driving melodies. The concerto closes with an allegro conversation of piano and orchestra that brightly and rapidly summarizes the work. Adigezalov's 1994 concerto, his fourth, has modern sensitivity, a jazzy tempo, and interplay, yet lushly lyrical and chorded, percussive piano work. The first allegro is cinematic and an exciting dance. The andante is led by an oboe; the orchestral development is both pastoral and romantic. The final allegro is jagged, powerful, and energetic. Its luxuriant palette of orchestral color and flurry of phrases, however, strikes me as overblown. The remaining tracks of this 69-minute album are miniatures: Guliyev's 1958 fast dance; Badalbeyli's 1977 majestic poem of the sea with oscillating arpeggios; and his 2003 vocalise lament and homage to the cultural city of Shusah. These composers are esteeemed in their nation and have produced a plethora of ballets, operas, symphonies, concertos, film scores, and chamber works. Conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra is Dmitry Yablonsky, but kudos especially go to the pianists, Farhad Badalbeyli, who performs Amirov's and his own works, and Murad Adigelzade, who plays the Adgezalov concerto. Thus, I highly recommend this remarkable, edifying album for those who enjoy the energy and exotic themes of Khatchaturian concerti and ballets.