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ClassicsOnline Home » FAIROUZ, M.: Symphony No. 3, "Poems and Prayers" / Tahrir (S. Cooke, D. Kravitz, Krakauer, UCLA Performing Groups, Stulberg)
Another important release from this talented young composer!
The more I hear of Mohammed Fairouz and his music, the more impressed I am. It is emotionally direct, uses styles from a number of different sources and tends to appeal to a wide audience. For example, his brash, theatrical and culturally meaningful "Tahrir" for clarinet and orchestra relies heavily on the particular skills of the always incredible David Krakauer. The piece is infused with Middle Eastern sound and a sensitivity to the events in Tahrir Square, Cairo when the Egyptian people overthrew the Mubarek government ("Tahrir" in fact being Arabic for 'Freedom'). In fact, some of the opening bars are not even particularly "ethnic" so much as cinematic.
Fairouz's music even seems to channel Philip Glass in places and is wholly entertaining. The clarinet part is quite difficult and requires someone who can pitch a lot and has a fat, "eastern" tone. As a clarinetist, I worry sometimes about pieces that are tailored so very much to one particular performer; but "Tahrir" is wildly entertaining and fun to listen to.
As for Fairouz's Symphony No. 3 - "Poems and Prayers", this is an equally impressive large scale work but one which is quite a bit more serious in its tone. This is a sprawling and impressive work for soloists, chorus and orchestra. The work is, essentially, a plea for peace in the Middle East with its texts alternating between Jewish and Palestinian origin. Some of the texts are of very modern vintage too, such as the 2002 poem "State of Siege" by Mahmoud Darwish; written during the height of the siege of Rahmallah.
This all adds to the sense of contemporary relevance and Fairouz is to be complimented for writing music that is often beautiful and occasionally frightening in its intensity; but which never falls into a cliche of sorts. This is a very impressive disc and the two disc format (CD and Bluray audio) gives some very nice and very impressive listening options. They are both quite good - but the Bluray is more expansive. Highly recommended!more....
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FAIROUZ, M.: Symphony No. 3, "Poems and Prayers" /...