Woo! I love these pieces! It's a shame that hardly anybody performs these anymore, because they really are something awesome. Ippolitov Ivanov takes after Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (who he studied under for a time), in that his music is pre-occupied with the East, and is very colorful and rich.
Turkish Fragments is really in four parts. Caravan, At Rest, The Night, and Festivities. We played the first two in our most recent concert though, so I feel like these first two have a special place with me. XD I'll get around to listening to the others someday, for sure.
Caravan is a really cool piece, and it is tremendously successful in suggesting through music, the slow, lumbering journey of a caravan across the desert. It's also very tranquil sounding. It's like, we know where we're going, and we're having a good time getting there!
At Rest begins with a slow, beautiful melody that has great chord structure. Then it halts, making way for a very energetic middle section that involves some really cool percussion techniques. There is also a REALLY neato piccolo part! It's not really a solo, because the flutes are playing it too, but this excited tune has some crazy fingering acrobatics, and sparkles with electric energy! I was sitting piccolo for this one, and let me tell you, it's hard to make it sound so good. You have to practice it a LOT, and if you leave it for a few days then you're going to start losing it. The last part of this movement is a lot more mellowed out (like it ran out of energy! XD), and features a lovely Trumpet solo that showcases the instrument's higher range. At last, the movement settles down into a lovely little woodwind bit. The bassoon takes a motif and passes it to the clarinets, who pass it to the flutes, who pass it to the piccolo, and it sounds like the stars coming out... :)
Next Up!: Entr'acte/Waltz from Eugene Onegin by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky