Tar of Ostad Ali-Akbar Shahnazi (2)

Tar: Ostad Ali-Akbar Shahnazi
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 Tar: Ostad Ali-Akbar Shahnazi

 (Ali-Akbar Shahnazi) 1897-1985 began his first lessons in music with his father, Mirza Hoseyn-Qoli, when he was 8 years old. The young Ali-Akbar soon showed such a great musical talent and brilliance that at the age of 14 he became a superb musician. At the same year, when he was 14, there were made two gramophone recordings of his performances on the tar accompanying Jenab-e Damavandi, a prestigious vocalist. After his father's death, the young Ali-Akbar kept teaching his classes to continue the path of his father. According to Ruhollah Khaleqi, Ali Akbar Shahnazi was regarded as the most eminent tar-player in 1920s, so that in all circles of artists and musicians he gained a high respect, while he was just 24. In this period he began composing music in various genres such as pishdaramad, reng and tasnif, which are available through recordings of his own performances. His developing a friendship with Eqbal Azar, a prestigious vocalist, resulted in a number of excellent performances and recordings made in various dastgahs. These performances well demonstrate Shahnazi's virtuosity in terms of an unrivaled strength, clear and brilliant plucking techniques as well as an amazing speed in performance. Shahnazi's style of playing the tar is very different from his predecessors and displays a new musical expression of his own. His use of all technical possibilities of the instrument, quick shifts along the fingerboard, special and complicated performance techniques and peculiar elaborations result in a unique aesthetic quality that cannot be observed in any other performance style. This is quite noteworthy that his melodic renderings are quite innovative, yet within the original frameworks of the art of Persian classical music, and do not deviate from the bases of the radif. This feature shows his creativity and dexterity as well as his deep insight into the tradition of Persian classical music. In particular, his own version of the radif, as created and composed by himself, demonstrates his deep insight and shows that it is possible to make innovations acceptable to the tradition when one well grasps the essence of his musical culture and finds its language, since the basis of the original works of art is to find that contextual, temporal and spatial, language. Ostad Shahnazi in his works showed that he enjoyed and took over such an attitude and language. There are a considerable number of recordings available of his performances including the radif of Mirza Hoseyn-Qoli, recorded in 1962, and the present collection, recorded in 1977. ...

Published [29/02/2008]