Cascade

COMPOSERS: Ostad Elahi
LABELS: Chant du Monde
PERFORMER: Ostad Elahi (tanbur)
CATALOGUE NO: 7741150

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Half a dozen releases have appeared to highlight the extraordinary Iranian philosopher and musician Ostad Elahi, who died 30 years ago. While inheriting the ancient traditions of Persian and Kurdish music, he chose to develop them on an instrument of his own design, the five-string tanbur lute. The results are austere and riveting.

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Cascade features a single suite of connected pieces, articulated with searing conviction and drawn together with fiery links and frantically strummed punctuation. It’s generally thought to be the best of his surviving recordings, but if you are hooked there’s an Ostad Elahi Foundation to guide you towards further delights.