Hola a todos. At least with thinking people, I think this performance of the Rachmaninov Second (Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor) by the excellent Tehran Symphony Orchestra and its excellent guest piano soloist whose name is not listed, although one or two commenters said his name is Amir Mahyar Moradi, but I can’t confirm that. Nevertheless, this should put to rest the myth that “only Russians can play Rachmaninov.” I’m always annoyed when I read that outdated rubbish in YT comments. But there are some fossils living among us who still hold to that “Dark Ages” nationalistic thinking. The fact is: Music is the international language and crosses all people-made geographic borders. Where one was born or lives has little to do with how well one performs a piece of music. Instead, it has to do with many other factors, such as talent — which cannot be taught — being one of them. Cultural differences do play a part, and the example I often use of that is how Rachmaninov was heavily influenced by Russian Orthodox Church bells, so much so that he wrote a symphonic choral work called (English translation): The Bells. The Russian School of Piano Playing does have this (undeserved?) reputation for producing “banging” pianists. Well that is a generalisation, because I’ve heard many Russian pianists. Some “bang” at times where others don’t, and it can also depend upon what they’re playing. And “banging” is not limited to Russian pianists. The best performance, in my opinion, of the Rachmaninov Third is not by a Russian pianist but by a Braziliana: Cristina Ortiz who was born in Brazil but has lived most of her life en Londres/in London and who won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1969 plays a very musical, unique — she plays parts of both cadenzas — and non-banging Rachmaninov Third. Recently, I heard a well-known Russian pianist “bang” his way through the third movement of the Rachmaninov Third. I thought he was going to break some strings. He was even lifting his hands so high above where the music rack would be if he were using his score slapping the keys. Needless theatrics.
By the way, Iran is pronounced “E-rahn,” and not “I ran” the way many culturally-ignorant people in the US pronounce it. I think they learned it wrong from the US corporate media who thoroughly enjoy mispronouncing words of international languages. They seem quite proud and find it funny when they mangle any world language that is not their precious US-English and the only language they speak or often slur through in some cases. The same goes for most US politicians, and other people before network cameras. I remember when Whoopi Goldberg seemed to find it funny when she mangled the pronunciation of Univisión, the major español language network. The woman couldn’t pronounce it. It was obvious she hadn’t prepared and found humour in that. The typical embarrassing USian. They find humour in their willful-ignorance. One of the major complaints that I’ve read repeatedly from los Latinos/Hispanos about the English language corporate media in Los Ángeles, for example, is how those networks enjoy and seem to take great pride in mangling español language words, which deeply disrespects their large Latino, Hispano, mexicano, Chicano (et al) audience.
Iran’s capital city, Tehran, is a beautiful, very modern city with a population of about 9 million people in the City of Tehran and 16 million people in the greater Tehran Metropolitan Area. Related: Tehran, the biggest city in the Middle East with a metro population of around 16 Million, also one of the biggest cities in the world.
Los Ángeles came to my mind while watching the tour of the Tehran video below. Tehran has a very nice and modern Metro (subway system), nicer than some Metros here in the US (it’s nicer than San Francisco’s, although we have received some new and very nice Metro cars lately to replace the ageing cars). Modern Life: 65 New Passenger cars added to Tehran subway system. And Mayor of Belgrade visit Tehran’s modern Metro system. Also: Modern Life (Home Page). Lovely, friendly people live there. I don’t see any homeless people in Tehran so apparently they take care of their people, unlike the US which chooses to treat homeless people like basura while the US pretends to be “A Christian Nation” — yet another myth — because its international policies as the world bully and world police force are the exact opposite of what we know about the life and teachings of Jesus from learned historians.
I enjoyed this performance from the Tehran Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. In 2015, they performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (“Choral”), just to give one example of their repertoire. I didn’t hear it, but I have heard part of their performances of the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor and also part of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
The TSO was founded in 1933 and many notable musicians, such as Yehudi Menuhin and Isaac Stern played with the Orchestra in their day.
In the first video below, pianist Amir Mahyar Moradi (presumably) is playing the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor with the Tehran Symphony Orchestra (TSO) in this excerpt of his performance below.
The TSO use the Bösendorfer piano, considered by many to be the finest pianos en el mundo/in the world and even better than the Steinway & Sons pianos (New York or Hamburg). Their Bösendorfer has a beautiful sound. They’re very expensive pianos — handcrafted in Austria — they sell for between US$256,000 and $560,000. For this performance the TSO uses the European seating arrangement with the violins seated on both sides of the orchestra and cellos seated inside the Orchestra.*
I read an article from a tourist from US now living in Tehran who has spent 3 years there. He loves Tehran and spoke about the anti-Tehran lies, disinformation and propaganda constantly fed to the US and world public about Tehran. He said that Tehran is a very safe city without exceptions and the people are very friendly. There’s also very few Western tourists there. He said there’s probably approximately five in the entire country.
Also assisting for their performance (below) of the final chorus from Carl Orff’s symphonic choral cantata, Carmina Burana, was the Tehran Symphony Chorus. They’re quite good. The Orff is in Latin, so the Chorus Director must have brought in a language coach — as Orchestra Chorus Directors usually do — for the training of the text/diction. Their diction was clear. The languages of Iran are:
Persian: 53% of the population
Azerbaijani and other Turkic dialects: 18%
Gilaki and Mazandarani: 7%
Other languages: comprise 1%, and they include Tati, Talysh, Georgian, Armenian, Circassian, Assyrian, Hebrew, and others.
Yet many people born in the US struggle to speak just one language (US-English) correctly. Pathetic really, while they hallucinate about their supposed “greatest country” myth and other US-nationalistic ugliness promoted by corporate parasitic politicians from both partisan cults, dutifully supported in lockstep by their partisan-brainwashed disciples.
I used the title for this article because I wanted to credit the Tehran Symphony Chorus, even though they don’t perform in the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2 in c minor, of course. Chau.—el barrio rosa
Asked to ban female musicians, Tehran Symphony Orchestra cancels performance:
“The authorities had pointed out that the female performers were not wearing appropriate hijab (head covering)…The women musicians were going to perform the country’s national anthem. Why shouldn’t they? I have said many times that I was born in this country and I know very well where the red lines are. As long as I’m the director of this orchestra, I will not allow this kind of treatment,” he [the orchestra's artistic director Ali Rahbari] added.
Iran defends the execution of
LGBT queer people. (The same goes for the US ally sacrosanct Saudi Arabia by the way).
Gay & Lesbian Travellers to Iran
“Barbaric laws aside, there is no reason why gay and lesbian travellers shouldn’t visit Iran. There are no questions of sexuality on visa application forms. Do, however, refrain from overt acts of affection.”
Here’s the Tehran Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the final movement of the Orff:
In this video, notice the modern traffic signals that let motorists know how many seconds remain before the light changes, for both red and green lights. We don’t have that in San Francisco and I’ve not seen that anywhere in the US, the so-called “greatest country.” (LOL, oh how we do so love to pump ourselves up to try to make ourselves feel superior to other genuinely great countries around the world).
I enjoyed this video recorded on their Metro (their Metro is well used which is good to see), although I would have preferred different music more authentic to the region:
A nice segment about the Metro and about the Persian food in this video. Someone was having jugo de zanahoria/carrot juice, like I make most days. Now that’s real food as opposed to coffee — nothing nutritious about that — that the typical USian would likely be ordering. Those stuffed bell peppers look good to me. Are they vegetarian?
Assuming Amir Mahyar Moradi is the pianist in the first video above, he has performed the Rachmaninov Second with the TSO more than once as you can see in these videos: