Iranian Fallacies – Global Performance

Translated by Mahboube Khalvati
One of the most important criteria for measuring the quality of a piece of classical music is number of times the piece has been performance by different ensembles and orchestras in different eras. This belief has become so pervasive in some societies, such as Iranian society, that it is considered the only criterion for measuring the quality of a piece of classical music.
However, the question is what the shortcoming of this approach are? In this writing, some of its most significant shortcomings are reviewed:
Many valuable works of classical music are appreciated years after their production. Failure to attract attentions may be due to the fact that its creator is obscure, or maybe, the composer of that work does not have much desire to present himself and his works for any reason.

2- Failing to perceive the artistic quality:
In the history of classical music, there are countless works that have been ignored for years just because their real value has not been understood by the general public and musicians.

3- Failing to properly present a work:
Today, we know many famous classical music pieces which were not staged for years because their premier had been a failure.

4- Budget issue:
High costs of performing prominent classical music pieces are one of the reasons behind their failure. This is while there have been many weak pieces which were staged over and over because of sponsorship from the wealthy and governments.

5- Political issues:
Nowadays, the support of governments and private organizations for works that can somehow serve the promotion of a political, cultural, and economic and other groups has led to the elimination of some valuable works replacing them with low-value works. This issue has existed for a long time, and has caused disappointment among great composers of classical music.

6- Friendly Relationships:
In the music history of any country, there are many examples of performances of low-quality musical pieces by musicians and sometimes orchestras, solely because of the composer’s personal friendship with the orchestra’s musicians, singers, and conductors.
The mentioned examples can be identified not only in the field of classical music, but also in different branches of art, including cinema, painting and literature. As a result, it is better for art critics to be more cautious about judging a work that receives a recurring domestic or international performance.

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Maestro Hassan Nahid’s Role in Promoting the Ney

Maestro Hassan Nahid is one of the most prominent and distinctive artists who values high morals, discipline and hard work. His music activities include playing the Ney as both soloist and an accompaniment in the most important Iranian music orchestras and ensembles during the last fifty years, including the Orchestra of Iranian Instruments (Nusratullah Golpayegani), the Orchestra of National Instrumentalists of the Ministry of Culture and Arts (Payvar Orchestra), the Orchestra of Iranian Instruments (Morteza Hananeh) , Darvish Orchestra, Samaie Orchestra, Roudaki Orchestra, Maestros’ Ensemble, Aref Ensemble, as well as performances in various radio programs, many concerts in different countries, as well as a long teaching experience in the National Conservatory of Music, music universities and other music institutions to name but a few.

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From Past Days…

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Principles of Violin Playing (VII)

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Iranian pianist Layla Ramezan has always sought to create a connection between her Persian origin and the contemporary music which she encounters daily. Sound, phrasing, a particular sense of rhythm and a refined understanding of the “time of musical development” are the foremost qualities of her interpretations. Her musical and pianistic education began in Tehran at the age of 8 with Mostafa-Kamal Poortorab. Having moved to Paris and received a scholarship from Albert Roussel Foundation, she integrated the classes of Jean Micault and Devi Erlih at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris Alfred Cortot, where she received a Diplôme de Virtuosité in piano performance and chamber music.

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At the end of the Qajar era and as Iran entered the power transition period, known as the constitutional era, the Iranian music went through a lot of changes. These changes gained momentum as the students and followers of Ali Naqi Vaziri’s entered the musical scene. These changes greatly influenced designs of instruments, playing methods, singing, composing, etc.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (III)

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