24 February 2006

Endless Vision (CD Review)

Hossein Alizadeh & Djivan Gasparyan: Endless Vision
(World Village)

Subtitled "Persian and Armenian Songs," this album might better be called "How to Play the Duduk Without Sounding Like aa Tortured Waterfowl." We're told that the apricot-wood oboe cousin is notoriously ill-tempered, though here it is played beautifully, accompanied by the shurangiz, a six-stringed Iranian lute. Recorded live at an outdoor concert in Niavaran Palace in Tehran before an audience of 12,000, the intricate beauty of these songs should give pause to anyone convinced that Iran consists solely of beauty-hating clerics who deserve the pointy ends of Western bayonets.

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