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
Composer Reza Vali will mark retirement with a pair of Persian music concerts at Carnegie Mellon
by JEREMY REYNOLDS
Nov 2, 2022
The rhythms of Persian traditional music defy Western music notation. They’re intricate and complex and give the music a fluid sense of motion.
Persian music is also mostly improvised, or made up on the spot, according to stylistic rules.
“In a way it comes closest to jazz,” said Reza Vali, an Iranian-American composer who writes traditional and cross-cultural music for chamber ensembles and orchestras like the Pittsburgh Symphony. He has also been recorded widely, most recently at the Smithsonian Museum, and has also published books on Persian traditional music.