Ali Rahbari & Recording Iranian Symphonic Compositions

alexander-rahbari-ali

by: Sadjad Pourghanad & Mahboube Khalvai


In the few days prior to the New Iranian year (March 2015), the news of the revival of Tehran Symphony Orchestra under Ali (Alexander) Rahbari’s conductorship was announced. Ali Rahbari, who served as assistant to Herbert von Karajan in Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at a very young age, was also invited to conduct Tehran Symphony Orchestra in 2005; however, the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government put an end to his collaboration with this Orchestra. Recently, it was announced that Rahbari is invited to conduct an orchestra in the U.S.
Ali Rahbari is the most prolific Iranian conductor throughout the world. Writing about the activities of such a renowned Iranian musician on this international scale, tends to become redundant as much is written and said about him.
It does not go amiss to review his years at the National Conservatory of Music in Iran in order to contextualize his years as a young ambitious musician though. Ali Rahbari is a graduate of National Conservatory of Music where he also served as Principal (simultaneously with holding the same position at the Higher Conservatory of Music) during his years prior to immigration.
One of the major characteristics of musicians who have studied at the National Conservatory of Music while Hossein Dehlavi was the Principal is special attention to the Iranian music. Contrary to the Higher Conservatory of Music which solely focused on understanding and performing the Western Classical music with its extensive repertoire, the National Conservatory of Music directed close attention to the Iranian instrument and Iranian music.
Most of the graduates from the National Conservatory of Music are familiar with playing one or two Iranian instruments besides their main instrument. Ali Rahbari is not an exception; he plays tonbak and santour as well and has a comprehensive knowledge of the Iranian music.
In addition to engendering nationalist feelings, engagement with the Iranian music leads to bonding with the new repertoire of the classical music especially non-Western works; a qualification which some of the graduates of the Higher Conservatory of Music and those of many conservatories throughout the world lack. As a matter of fact, due to rehearsing and performing works by prominent classical musicians for too many hours, students make a fetish of them and consider composing as an unforgivable mistake and as disrespect for the great composers while they lack the ability to criticize and understand new realities of composing.
At the National Conservatory of Music and at the instruction of the Principal, Hossein Dehlavi, the students were encouraged and required to take courage and compose to the best of their capabilities. No carelessness in composing was accepted and works must have been defensible.
Ali Rahbari studied violin in the National Conservatory of Music but was attracted to conducting and composing very soon. As a result of this, he composed works, such as “Persian Blood on Sol”, a concerto (concertino) for violin “Noheh Khan”, Half Moon, Persian Ballet to name but a few, which are among the most valuable Iranian symphonic compositions.
During his many years of conducting various symphony orchestras all over the world, Ali Rahbari seldom stand the chance of conducting works by Iranian composers including him. The following, however, is the list of Iranian symphonic creations recorded under Ali Rahbari’s baton:
Persian Symphonic Manzoumeh (Symphonic Poems from Persia): the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra was commissioned by the pre-Revolution Iranian government to record this album. The album includes compositions by Hossein Dehlavi (1927), Ahmad Pejman (1937), Houshang Ostovar (1927), Mohammad Taghi Masoudieh (1927-1998), Aminoullah (André) Hossein (1905-1983) and Ali Rahbari.
* Manzoumeh: a long narrative poem
Bizhan and Manizheh for String Orchestra by Hossein Dehlavi: the album was recorded in Austria prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution and was produced in Iran along with another work, composed and conducted, by Dehlavi entitled “Shour Afarin.”
Mani and Mana Opera by Hossein Dehlavi: Ali Rahbari sponsored the recording of the musical parts by Slovak Symphony Orchestra in Bratislava; however, the vocal parts are still outstanding (due to the ban on solo performances by women vocalists in Iran); hence, the album still awaiting its release.
Iraneh Khanom by Peyman Soltani (1971): the album was recorded by Slovak Symphony Orchestra in Bratislava. It is currently being mixed.
Persian Mysticism around G by Ali Rahbari: the album, which was recorded prior to the 1979 Islamic Revolution, was recently issued in CD format (being originally produced in gramophone format). The CD version includes some new pieces.
Mirage by Ahmad Pejman: this piece which was part of “Taksavare Eshq” album is no longer available.

Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *
*
*
Your email is never shared.

Three singers in one larynx

Sima Bina (b. 1945) is a unique singer among the singers of Golha radio programmes which were broadcast on Iranian National Radio for 23 years from 1956 to 1979. She received her first lessons in music from her father who was a poet, a musician and the most important supporter of Sima’s cultural activities.

Avaye Naerika Percussion Orchestra

Avaye Naerika Percussion Orchestra is an Iranian percussion orchestra featuring 40 lady percussionists. The Orchestra was established as Iran’s largest all-female percussion orchestra in 2008 by Ms. Minoo Rezaei under the title Naerika Percussion Orchestra and changed its name to Avaye Naerika in 2017.

From Past Days…

arvin-sedaghatkish-motebasem-hamid-190

Simorgh Criticised

Simorgh (Simorq) Orchestra was founded by the renowned Iranian composer, Hamid Motebassem, in 2011. Simorgh Orchestra is the largest orchestra featuring Iranian national instruments. Although the orchestra established by Master Hossein Dehlavi, the great Iranian composer, in 1993 was larger than Simorgh Orchestra, it only featured the Iranian plucked string instruments unlike the latter one. The first album which was recorded by the Orchestra, conducted under Motebassem’s baton, was his Simorq based on Zal story from Shahnameh by Ferdowsi, the great Iranian poet.

baleshtak1904b

Principles of Violin Playing (I)

The present series of training articles, “Principles of Violin Playing”, seek to help students, to appropriately understand this field, by gradually introducing, categorizing, and teaching the myriad relevant points. One of the principles of playing violin, which must be always kept in mind, is that the selection of the most natural position for the body parts while playing is the best and most appropriate solution. As a matter of fact, any unnatural body part position which requires lots of energy or unusual stretching to maintain, is wrong.

s2

Principles of Playing Violin (VI)

B. applying force: the force needed for putting finger on finger board is applied through finger tips and using the rest of hand set especially wrist is not allowed. To practice this, it is possible to hold violin without the bow and throw the fingers on the finger board from 1-2cm distance; apply force only through finger tips.

mohsen-ghanebasiri

A year without Mohsen Ghanebasiri

The year 1396 (21 March 2017-20 March 2018) was the most sorrowful year for HarmonyTalk journal. One month after holding HarmonyTalk’s 13th establishment anniversary in Mohsen Ghanebasiri’s house in Tehran in April 2017, he untimely passed away. Mohsen Ghanebasiri was the prominent HarmonyTalk author.

haj-ghorban

Polyphony in Iranian Music (IV)

Two choirs alternatively perform Veŝ Tavaré Na avaz (Transcription 5). The second group starts the avaz before the first group finishes it; consequently, two different voices coincide (Transcription 5, staves 2 and 5).

lip1

New Technique for Playing Classical Guitar (I)

Joint application of the two techniques of “Lip” and “Nose” could be effectively applied for hearing and playing far-away intervals, by the Classical Guitar. Before this, a Classical Guitar player had to waive playing intervals not possible with the left hand, and had to replace or eliminate some notes, making it possible to play such intervals; specifically the capability of the left hand of the musician, was also a factor in such a selection. These methods are hereby illustrated by photographs and a video-file, in order to provide optimum comprehension of applying these methods, invented by the author; specifically the “Lip” technique, which is considered to be a more significant technique, emphasized by the author.

afsdghm

Illusion or Ingenuity?

Mohsen Renani in the preface of his book entitled “The Political Economy of nuclear conflict; an introduction to traversing the civilizations” writes:

mousighi-navahi

Quality Decline in Regional Music Festivals

Regional music festivals are organized to, firstly, introduce the music of different regions and, secondly, to support its performers. Regional music festivals are held in large cities for various reasons, including the availability of financial and executive facilities and the presence of an audience. However, the organization of these festivals has always been one of the challenging issues of ethnomusicology. The reason is that the presence of regional music performers in large cities places them in a context other than the context they would normally perform in their homes; consequently this change in situation leads to changes in the quality of their performance.

iqiqi

A note on “Illusion or Ingenuity” article

The author of the “Illusion or Ingenuity” article, who is apprehensive of the future of the Music in Iran, enumerates some symptoms of the music weakening in the country for example decreasing in the quality of the music as well as lack of the innovation in creating them, a gradual decline in the music public taste and the drop in the application of layered sound and polyphony in music. He explains that one reason for this gradual weakening might be our unawareness of the fact that we are not so intelligent nation. He believes that we, Iranians, have a comprehensive “Illusion of the high national intelligence “that make us ignorant of the unfavorable realities of our music and consequently no searching for the remedy is taking place. His point of view brings to the mind a patient who thinks he is healthy, therefore delays the treatment and finally is killed by the disease. The author also refers to the national difficulties which gradually will lower the national intelligence score such as the increased rate of the immigration and brain drain, low quality of the nutrition, incompetence of the education system and etc and predicts that the condition of the music of Iran might deteriorate in the future because of the mentioned illusion of its great status.

harmonytalk-auteur

HarmonyTalk Celebrates 11th Anniversary

April 6 marks the anniversary of launching HarmonyTalk.com. Back in 2004, HarmonyTalk was rather a blog dedicated to music. Gradually, however, it found its way to becoming a more sophisticated journal with an intensive but not exclusive concentration on classical music.