Art And Culture

Fajr Music Fest Opens

Fajr Music Fest OpensFajr Music Fest Opens

The Tehran Symphony Orchestra (TSO) opened the 31stFajr International Music Festival at Vahdat Hall on Wednesday (Feb. 10).

Conducted by Ali Rahbari, a 1983 piece by Iranian composer and radif-preserver, Hossein Alizadeh, titled ‘Ney-Nava’ (literally the sound of ‘ney’, an end-blown flute) was performed by the orchestra after the composer sent his acknowledgement message to the audience through a video clip, Honaronline reported.

Radif is a collection of old melodic figures preserved through several generations by oral tradition. The Radif of Iranian music is the traditional repertoire of the classical music of Iran that forms the essence of Persian musical culture.

A fusion of East and West, ‘Ney-Nava’ is a musical composition of the ‘ney’ and string orchestra and one of Alizadeh’s most popular compositions, which most Iranians are familiar with.

The piece is composed in the ‘nava’ (literally the sound of music) musical modal system (‘Dastgah’ in Persian). Siamak Jahangiri and Hossein Khosh-Chehreh performed with ‘ney’, accompanied by Maziar Zahireddini’s stunning violin rendition.

‘Violin Concert No.1’ by German Romantic-era composer and conductor, Max Christian Friedrich Bruch, was the next piece by the orchestra, co-performed with the skilled Slovakian violist, Dalibor Karvay, mesmerizing the audiences.

Karvay, who arrived in Iran several months before the festival opening, “presented his great sonority and technique in the concerto which was so tough to perform,” said Rahbari. Responding to the enthusiastic applause and encore from the audience, the skilled musician performed another piece, ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ by renowned Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Hector Berlioz, French Romantic composer’s ‘Fantastic,’ was performed in the second half of the program. The complex and long piece is among the less-performed ones, last staged in Iran over four decades ago.

In contrast to the traditional standards of symphony composition, ‘Fantastic’ includes five movements. The TSO performed the first movement with a high tempo, yet the next parts were presented in a fix melody framework.

On the opening day, Iranian vocalist Hengameh Akhavan, the first Iranian female singer, also sang the songs of famous local classic singers.

 Second and Third Days

On the second day of the festival (Feb. 11), Karvay presented ‘Sonata for Violin and Piano in A Major’ by French composer César Franck. The young Azeri vocalist Arzu Aliyeva  sang local Azerbaijani songs.

Pars Orchestra, the only performer in the children and young adults section, conducted by Naser Nazar, and ‘Asaye Sefid’ (literary white cane) choir of the visually impaired, directed by Hamid Ordukhani, were other local groups who performed.

Friday, the third day of the festival, saw five performances by local bands, including Evan and Daal music bands, ‘Khorshid’ (literally sun) group, Vaziri band, directed by veteran Iranian musician, Keyvan Saket and the Comment Rock Group.

An Armenian band also performed a trilogy classical piece in the international section of the day’s program.

Founded in 1986, the 10-day festival is held annually from February 10 to 20, to commemorate the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran. It hosts domestic and foreign artists performing different pieces in various categories, including international and folk music, classical music and youth and women music.