13 October 2010

The October surprise is here! The October surprise is here!

But first, who said this: "The social situation has changed and now the youth are after simple things. They have not learned to listen to classical music in their childhood or even at schools. Classical pieces are like classic literature and not many people have the time to read and comprehend literature. I believe if the public sector or other sponsors do not take action, we will not perform any of these kinds of works in the near future."?

Those are the words of Armenian-Iranian composer and conductor Loris Tjeknavorian, interviewed on the occasion of his being awarded the "Austrian Presidential Gold Medal of Merit" in 2008. Apparently youth are going to hell in a handbasket all over the globe.

Tjeknavorian (he hasn't answered my emails)'s opera Rostam & Sohrab is based on a tragic episode from the Shâhnameh, the 1000-year-old Persian national epic, where the hero Rostam kills his long-lost son on the battlefield. "The battle has been fought and the son has been vanquished by his father.... When the Iranians finally discovered the grief-stricken Rostam, he tried to kill himself but they restrained him." Well, what did you expect, a happy ending?

The motion picture Half Moon could be subtitled Road to Iraqi Kurdistan, with the Dorothy Lamour part taken by... well, the regime doesn't permit women to sing in public.

Set #1 - 8:00am - 9:30am

1. Loris Tjeknavorian: Rostam & Sohrab
Text from the Shâhnameh by Ferdowsi (late 10th-early 11th century)
Loris Tjeknavorian - conductor, Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra & Choir, Konstantin Simonyan - Rostam, Sarkis Torsyan - Sohrab, Gayane Grigoryan - Tahmineh, Arnold Kocharyan - King of Samangan & Afrasaib, Surik Zurabyan - narrator
Hermes Records, HER-003

Set #2 - 9:30am - 11:00am

2. Hossein Alizadeh: Half Moon/Nive Mang (2007)
Hamavayan Ensemble: Parvin Namazi - voice; Mostafa Mohammadi - voice; Reza Askarzadeh - duduk [double reed]; Ali Boustan - oud; Nima Alizadeh - robab [short-necked lute]; Saba Alizadeh - kamancheh [spike fiddle] & qeychak [bowed string instrument]; Ali Rahimi - daf [frame drum] & percussion; Hossein Alizadeh - diwan [?]
Half Moon/Nive Mang Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Bâ Music Records, BACD7

3. Loris Tjeknavorian: Danses fantastiques (1961)
Loris Tjeknavorian - conductor, Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra

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