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Alizadeh at Lisner: Dissolving Borders

Saturday March 31, 2007

alizadeh_450.jpgThe Washington Post 3/31/07:  With relations between Tehran and Washington growing ever more fractious, the appearance of Iranian composer/virtuoso Hossein Alizadeh at Lisner Auditorium on Thursday couldn't have come at a better time. Sitting almost motionless on a cushion and wielding only a delicate, long-necked lute called a setar, Alizadeh summoned up a musical world of profound humanity, tenderness and spiritual grace -- a kind of cultural diplomacy the planet could use more of.

Alizadeh has been a prime force in modernizing Iranian music, but his roots in the classical tradition remain deep, as he showed in the riveting half-hour improvisation that opened the program. Building on traditional structures and modal motifs, Alizadeh (accompanied by Pejman Hadadi on the tombak drum) unleashed a river of music that flowed with utter spontaneity. Sometimes meditative and still, sometimes building to a transporting storm, it always rang with tremendous imagination and a deep, satisfying logic.

alizadeh_2.jpgAll six members of Alizadeh's Hamavayan Ensemble joined him after intermission for "Soroud-e Gol" ("Ode to Flowers"). It's a suite of 10 songs by Alizadeh, each unique, colorful and steeped in the rhythms of poetry -- a rich garden of new Iranian music. The fine singer Afsaneh Rasaei handled the densely ornamented melodies effortlessly, and Alizadeh himself played the lute-like shourangiz (similar to the setar but larger, with a richer tone). His son Saba turned in some remarkable solos on the kamancheh, an upright bowed fiddle with an almost human tone, while his other son, Nima, played the traditional robab lute with sensitivity and feeling.


Posted on Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 10:38AM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | Comments2 Comments

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Reader Comments (2)

do you know which site i can purchase this CD from? Soroud-e Gol” (Ode to Flowers).
July 19, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterrossana shokrian
Sorry -- wish I knew where to get that CD, but I haven't seen it anywhere.
July 24, 2007 | Registered CommenterStephen Brookes

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