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Em Marshall-Luck
MusicWeb International, May 2020

Rahbari combines the employment of traditional Western instruments with Iranian modes and scales, rhythms and melodies, and even features the inclusion of motifs from Arabian hymns and intimations of Arabian folk music. It is all tremendously effective and makes for thrilling listening this is exciting, edge-of-the-seat music, and beautifully delivered by all concerned. © 2020 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Allen Gimbel
American Record Guide, March 2020

Iranian Alexander Rahbari (b. 1948) has composed eight symphonic poems on transformations of Persian materials. The title piece is called My Mother Persia and is filled with Persian folk melodies and rhythms and occasional vocal outburst of song (not translated). The vocal music is described in the notes. Rahbari is primarily a conductor, so these pieces are well orchestrated and occasionally thrilling. This will appeal to listeners who can’t get enough of Middle Eastern exotica. Performances are adequate, at best. These are concert performances with a tubercular audience. For more of the cycle, see November/December 2019 (Newest). © 2020 American Record Guide



James H. North
Fanfare, March 2020

Rahbari is of course a most experienced orchestra leader, so one supposes the composer is getting what he wants from the conductor.

Recommended as a worthwhile exploration of an exotic, foreign culture, and for Motamedi’s high-tension vocalism. © 2020 Fanfare Read complete review



Records International, November 2019

The second volume of My Mother Persia, eight symphonic poems by the distinguished Iranian-born composer and conductor (Vol. 1-08V010). Three of the works here set some of the finest Iranian poetry and are cast for the tenor voice employing traditional sung forms. Rahbari’s music utilizes the lavish sound world of the symphony orchestra but contains many of the essential elements—scales, rhythms, and colors—of Iranian music. Sung in Farsi; English translations. © 2019 Records International



Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, October 2019

…One of the things I found most interesting in Rahbari’s writing was its constantly shifting sounds, themes and rhythms; nothing gets bogged down because it keeps on moving and morphing.

Rahbari is clearly a good composer who works in a very different aesthetic from that of most Western composers, and he clearly has a fine ear for development as well as rhythm and orchestral detail. © 2019 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review



David Denton
David's Review Corner, October 2019

In July of this year I reviewed the first three of Alexander Rahbari’s Symphonic Poems, and at that time I gave a survey of the career of the Iranian-born composer.

In summary he was musically educated in Vienna, having begun composing at the age of twelve, his prize-winning score, from eleven years later, sending him on the path of a large portfolio of works in many genres. But it was to be as a conductor that his name became famous on the international stage, including a number of recordings on Naxos, and finding time for composing has become more difficult. So it has been within the last decade that he has returned to that medium in the series he calls ‘My Mother Persia’. Freedom from many modernisms, he has created his own specific expressionistic voice seated within tonality. Somewhat different to the first three, this group is conceived each in one movement and in many ways charts his life opening in a World without War, a title that does not reflect the very dramatic writing that owes something to others, particularly Benjamin Britten. Completed in 2017 at the same time as In Love With the World, where—to Western ears—the declamatory nature of the vocal part belies its name. There follows three quite short poems in much the same musical world. The soloist, in all but the Eighth, is the traditional Persian folk voice of the tenor Mohammad Motamedi. Throughout the playing of the Antalya Symphony, conducted by Rahbari, meets the many challenges the music demands. Do please start with the previous disc (Naxos 8.574064) to become attuned to the style of music. Good high impact sound recording. © 2019 David’s Review Corner





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