The video is made of photos of the event, starting from the guests arriving at Tehran Airport to rehearsals and live performance.
H. Alizadeh (shurangiz),
Jivan Gasparyan (duduk, vocal),
Vazgen Markaryan (bass duduk),
Afsaneh Rasaee (vocal),
Hoorshid Biabani (vocal),
Armen Ghazaryan (duduk),
A. Boustan (shurangiz),
M. Ebrahimi (ud),
A. Samadpour (dammam, udu, vocal),
Behzad Mirzaee (daf, tombak)
If there were ever any rifts of sonic distinction between the classical traditions of Iran and Armenia, those walls have tumbled. H. Alizadeh, one of the most well known Persian instrumentalists in the world, performing on the shurangiz (a new Iranian plucked lute borrowing from the setar and tambur), sits aside Djivan Gasparyan, Armenia’s infamous duduk player (an ancient, nine-holed shawm-oboe made of apricot wood). Between the two, the accolades run deep: Alizadeh and his Grammy-nominated Masters of Persian Music, while Gasparyan has performed on soundtracks to The Last Temptation of Christ and Gladiator, as well as creating the excellent Black Rock with Canadian guitarist/producer Michael Brook. Both men have allowed minor variation and true innovation in their careers, though remaining committed to exploring their native folk music.
Furthermore they were heard in particularly august company and under extraordinary circumstances. In September, 2003, the two maestros, along with a hand-picked group of collaborators, gathered at Teheran’s Niavaran Palace. The personnel included Alizedeh’s own Hamavayan Ensemble, with Armen Ghazarian and Vazgen Markaryan on duduk and bass duduk, plus vocalists Afsaneh Rasaei, Hourshid Biabani, and A. Samadpour (performing on the koozeh — clay drum).
Alizedeh is a renowned composer and a foremost living exponent of the tar and other members of the Persian lute family. However, for this recital, he is heard on the six-stringed shurangiz, a relatively recent and notably resonant descendent of that clan. Gasparyan’s mature grace ignites Alizadeh’s impetuosity as the two men negotiate the highest peaks of passion and inspiration; both are captured at their best and that’s saying a lot. But aside from the musical brilliance on hand, the event also constituted a social breakthrough, in which a female singer performed live with an otherwise male roster and appeared before a mixed-sex audience.
This particular exploration reveals the subtle and intricate latticework formed by two men weaving one vision. Joined by a backing ensemble of nine musicians, there is no weakness throughout; if there are two masters, all others deserve major titles.
This comes across most clearly in the solo outings: Alizadeh on Shurangiz Improvisation, Gasparyan with Armenian Romances. This is where the soul of each shines forth, intimate meditations on the spiral. When the ensemble reconvenes, the circles continue, and within these cycles a sound ancient and familiar is born. As the final chimes of Tasnif Parvaneh Sho… conclude, you realize you’ve lived through an epic poem stretched over one hour of sheer brilliance.