COMPOSERS: Traditional Persian song
LABELS: Accords Croises
WORKS: Ghorbani Ali Reza Les Chants Brules
PERFORMER: Ali Reza Ghorbani
CATALOGUE NO: AC 107
Classical Persian song – banned by Ayatollah Khomeini when he came to power, but now enjoying a limited revival – goes back to pre-Islamic times, and was codified in the 19th century. Its texts are mostly Sufi poems of ecstatic union with the divine; its music is the epitome of restrained expressiveness.
Ali Reza Ghorbani has a cleaner, sweeter tone than that of his famous exemplar Mohammad Reza Shajarian, and his preferred tessitura is high, with a liquid semi-yodel at those points when the religious sentiments reach their greatest intensity. Djamchid Chemirani’s ‘zarb’ drum provides a pumping rhythm, and Daryoush Talai’s ‘tar’ – a double-chested lute shaped like a figure 8 – follows the singer faithfully, plangently echoing phrase after phrase and periodically taking off on flights of its own. Michael Church