Iran News ...


6/5/05

Historical Event in Persian Polyphonic Music: Persian String Quartets at Niavaran Cultural Center

By Pejman Akbarzadeh, Member of Artists Without Frontiers

(TAVOOS ONLINE) -- Persian (Iranian) composers who have been active in polyphonic music have not been very fortunate in the performance and publication of their works. Their chamber works have seldom been performed, let alone their symphonic works which are far more complicated. The expenses and necessary facilities for performance, recording and publication of scores naturally require government support, but in circumstances in which there is no sign of such support. Persian musicians, inside and outside their country, have rarely demonstrated any interest in performing their fellow composers' works in their programs.

The masterpieces of Persian symphonic music, such as "Persian Pictures" by Heshmat Sanjari and "Provincial Suite" by Samin Baghtcheban, were recorded approximately forty years after being composed, and even these works were recorded in the 1990s, with the efforts of Manuchehr Sahbai, without government support. Among other dispersed recordings, one can name the three LPs entitled, "Symphonische Dichtungen aus Persien" [Symphonic Poems from Persia] performed by the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ali Rahbari, a recording which was done with the support of the [former] Ministry of Culture and Art in 1978.

The publication of scores is even worse. Although the history of Persian Symphonic music dates back to the 1920s and 30s, the first score, "Sabokbal," composed by Hossein Dehlavi, was published in 1974 through his own efforts. In recent years, a few scores by Ahmad Pejman, Kambiz Roshan-Ravan, etc., have been published. Compared to the totality of works composed by Persian (Iranian) composers, this is an insignificant number. Not only does the non-publication of the works dishearten composers, it also prevents researchers and music students from gaining access to the works. If in the future the possibility arises for the performance and recording of the works, the lack of access to these scores will create difficulty.

It may be said that, in May 2005, the Niavaran Artistic Creations Foundation (NACF) was host to a historical event in Persian polyphonic music. Ani String Quartet from Armenia performed eleven string quartets from three generations of Persian contemporary composers: Hormoz Farhat, Alireza Mashayekhi, Loris Cheknavorian (Tjeknavorian), Mehran Rouhani, Shahin Farhat, Reza Vali, Behzad Ranjbaran, Ramin Heidarbegi, Kiavash Saheb-Nassagh, Amir-Mahyar Tafreshipour and Ali Gorji - composers who for various reasons are not well-known in the Persian [Iranian] society.

The organizer of this concert Kiavash Saheb-Nassagh, 36, is based in Graz, Austria. On his motives for organizing this concert, he said, "This concert was an opportunity for music audiences to become familiar with pieces which have been composed by Persian composers in the past three decades for string quartet."

The performances of the three nights will be released in CD and book form by the Music Department of NACF.

The last concert in which string works by Persian contemporary composers were performed was in 1976: the National Iranian Radio and Television [NIRT] Chamber Orchestra, conducted by the Persian-Armenian Ruben (Rubik) Gregorian at the Tehran Niavaran Palace.

... Payvand News - 6/5/05 ... --



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