Here is a welcome companion to the acclaimed release of Reza Vali’s music for string quartet on TROY790. This time music for larger chamber ensembles is featured, with an emphasis on the Persian folk music Vali grew up with. Since 1988 he has been on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University, and has received numerous awards and commissions from the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the Kronos Quartet and many other ensembles. His early works indicated his interest in the avant-garde but in recent years he has composed works featuring strong influences from the music of his native Persia. The sets of Folk Songs and particularly the Calligraphy No. 4, with its use of the santoor (a Persian hammered dulcimer), derive almost entirely from Persian folk song. This is truly unique and highly original music.
Chant and Dance: Works for Chamber Ensemble
Western criticism considers Reza Vali as the “Persian Bartók”, given that he combines traditional work with modern compositional techniques, follows formal procedures and uses effective and enchanting rhythms.
Antonio Baldassarre and Tatjana Markovic, Music Cultures in Sounds, Word and Images