Mohammed Fairouz: Poems and Prayers

Mohammed Fairouz: Poems and Prayers

by David Kravitz

CD(with Blu-Ray Audio)

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Product Details

Release Date: 05/27/2014
Label: Sono Luminus
UPC: 0053479217721
catalogNumber: 92177
Rank: 260661


  1. Symphony No. 3 ("Poems and Prayers"), for mezzo-soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra
  2. Tahrir, for clarinet & orchestra
  3. Symphony No. 3 ("Poems and Prayers"), for mezzo-soprano, baritone, chorus & orchestra
  4. Tahrir, for clarinet & orchestra

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Mohammed Fairouz: Poems and Prayers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Matthew15 More than 1 year ago
Mohammed Fairouz (b. 1985) is one of the most frequently recorded and performed composers of his generation.  Fairouz studied with Ligeti, Schuller, and Danielpour, and their influence can be heard in his works.  He has received praise from the New York Times and BBC World News for his compositions and this disc, which highlights his third symphony, backs up that praise. Subtitled “Poems and Prayers”, his Symphony No. 3 (2010) is a response to the unrest in the Middle East, expressing loss, hope, and reconciliation.  The work features solo vocalists, mixed chorus, clarinet and orchestra. The disc begins with Tahrir (2011, named after Tahrir Square, the location of the Egyptian uprising), a work for clarinet and orchestra.  The word “Tahrir” is Arabic for “liberation”, and the piece contains modes often heard in the Arabic world.  The clarinet presents a Jewish klezmer counterpoint to the traditional Western sound of the orchestra, which makes for an engaging contrast. The symphony is in four movements, with the final movement (IV. Memorial Day for the War Dead) clocking in at nearly a half hour.  The texts are in Arabic, Hebrew, and Aramaic, and the choir on this disc sings their tragically beautiful lines very well.  The symphony ends solemnly, offering a positive message of peace.  These are works that are very approachable and significant for these times of war and dissent.   This set consists of a CD and a Blu-ray audio disc.  The pieces were recorded at 24-bit, 192kHz in 7.1 surround sound, and the Blu-ray disc can be used to play all the tracks in 7.l, 5.1, or stereo LPCM.  It also contains mShuttle digital MP3 and FLAC files.  Highly recommended.
DanClarino More than 1 year ago
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 text is 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. High recommended!