" Hejrani" / Nostalgia
Solo improvisation on "TAR" by Hossein Alizadeh
The Persian tar used to have five strings. The sixth string was added to the tar by Darvish Khan. This string is today's fifth string of the Iranian tar.
Tar is one of the most important classical Persian musical instruments. The formation, compilation, edition, and inheritance of the most authentic and most comprehensive versions of radif are all worked on tar. The general trends of Persian classical music have been deeply influenced by tar players.
The tar appeared in its present form in the middle of the eighteenth century. The body is a double-bowl shape carved from mulberry wood, with a thin membrane of stretched lamb-skin covering the top. The long fingerboard has twenty-six to twenty-eight adjustable gut frets, and there are three double courses of strings. Its range is about two and one-half octaves, and is played with a small brass plectrum.
Hossein Alizadeh was born in Tehran in 1950. He is considered as one of the most important figures in contemporary Persian music, exemplifying excellence in traditional Persian music today. He studied the classical Persian composition system, the Radif, under various masters, including Houshang Zarif, Ali Akbar Shahnazi, NurAli Borumand, Mahmood Karimi, Abdollah Davami, Yousef Foroutan, and Saied Hormozi. He later recorded the entire body of the Radif based on the interpretations of Mirza Abdullah for Tar and Setar.
Alizadeh received a BA in Music Composition and Performance from the University of Tehran, and then studied Composition and Musicology at Berlin University. He has taught at University of Tehran and Tehran Music Conservatory.
He has performed, as a solo artist, in Iran, North America, Europe and Asia. He was the conductor and soloist in The Iranian National Orchestra of Radio and Television. He established the acclaimed Aref Ensemble and has often worked with the Shayda Ensemble. His first professional experience in Europe was performing with the famous Bejart Ballet Company’s orchestra for Maurice Bejart's ballet, Gulistan.
Some of Alizadeh's most noted works are The Nava Improvisations (1976), Riders of the Plains of Hope (1977), Hesar (1977), Revolt (1983), Ney Nava (1983), Dream (1986), Torkaman (1986), Raz-O-Niaz (1986), Delshodegan (1987), Song of Compassion (1991), New Secret (1996), A Time for Drunken Horses (2000), Turtles can Fly (2004), Endless Vision (2004), Nive Mang (2006), Under the Razor (2007) and Ode to Flowers (2007). Endless Vision has been nominated for the Best World Music Album of the Year 2006 in the 49th Edition of the Grammy Awards.
Alizadeh established the Hamavayan Ensemble in 1989 as a venue for advancing traditional Iranian choral singing. Composed of some of the best known performers of Iranian instruments and vocalists, this ensemble has produced many of Alizadeh's compositions including New Secret, Gabbeh, Songs of Compassion, Endless Vision and Ode to Flowers.