Reza Vali’s Longing presents the listener with a tantalizing puzzle to decode. As the title suggests, themes of love and desire are intricately threaded throughout a shifting kaleidoscope of forms and aesthetics, framed by the austerity of Vali’s ongoing investigation into the traditions of his Persian musical heritage. The assembled works on this recording create a poly-stylistic tapestry that is on the whole unabashedly honest and exhibits Vali’s commitment to expressing his native culture within a Western framework. Equally inspired by some of the great European masters whom he admires and the profound and ancient traditions and figures of his native Iran, Vali has been termed “the Iranian Bartók” due to his penchant for collecting folksongs and synthesizing as a result his own very distinct and personal musical style, built upon this foundation.
Longing: Chamber Music of Reza Vali
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