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BEHZAD RANJBARAN

BEHZAD RANJBARAN

Works

Recordings

Reviews


“a master of the orchestra” Dallas Morning News

“music’s magical realist” Philadelphia Inquirer

“qualities of inherent beauty and strong musical structure that make it a satisfying musical entity” Nashville Scene

Behzad Ranjabaran is known for music which is both evocative and colorful, and also strong in structural integrity and form. He frequently draws inspiration from his cultural roots and Persian heritage in form or subject matter, as exemplified by the tone poems of the “Persian Trilogy”, or the interpretation of sounds and styles in works such as the Violin Concerto and Songs of Eternity.

Ranjbaran’s music has been performed all over the world, including South Korea, where Awakening (commissioned by Sejong Soloists) premiered at the Great Mountains Music Festival as a celebration of peace. His music has been performed by soloists such as Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and Yo-Yo Ma, and conductors including Charles Dutoit, Marin Alsop, Robert Spano, Gerard Schwarz, JoAnn Falletta, David Robertson, and many more. He has also served as composer in residence for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s summer season at Saratoga, the Fort Worth Symphony, and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

Some of his more notable compositions include works for soloist and orchestra. Songs of Eternity, using text from the Ruba’iyat of Omar Khayyam, was written for soprano Renée Fleming, and premiered with the Seattle Symphony under the direction of Gerard Schwarz. Joshua Bell was the soloist in the premiere performances of his Violin Concerto with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, also conducted by Schwarz. Mr. Bell went on to give the North American premiere with the Indianapolis Symphony under Mario Venzago, and gave subsequent performances with Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony. Jean-Yves Thibaudet premiered the Piano Concerto with the Atlanta Symphony, conducted by Robert Spano; Thibaudet and Spano have since also performed it with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

The texts for two choral works also draw directly on Persian culture, as do some of his many chamber works, including Fountains of Fin, a eulogy for Amir Kabir, the 19th century slain Iranian vezir; Shiraz and Isfahan, celebrating two of Mr. Ranjbaran’s favorite cities in Iran; and Enchanted Garden, inspired by the many beautiful gardens of his native land.

Recordings include the “Persian Trilogy” on the Delos label by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta. This orchestral cycle, comprising the works Seven Passages, Seemorgh, and The Blood of Seyavash, takes its inspiration from ancient Persian legends, as recounted in the 11th century epic poem “Shahnameh” (The Book of Kings). In 2008, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra performed a multimedia performance of the complete Persian Trilogy, with traditional storytelling (Naghali) and projections of Persian miniatures. Ms. Falletta has also conducted Elegy for Cello and Orchestra with soloist Yo-Yo Ma and the Buffalo Philharmonic, reviewed in the Buffalo press as “ethereal…fragile, almost like a mirage.” Among his other recordings is an all-Ranjbaran album of string music on Naxos, including Awakening, String Quartet, Elegy, and more.

Born in 1955 in Tehran, Iran, Mr. Ranjbaran is the recipient of the Rudolf Nissim Award for his Violin Concerto. His musical education started early when he entered the Tehran Music Conservatory at the age of nine. He came to the United States in 1974 to attend Indiana University and received his doctorate in composition from The Juilliard School, where he currently serves on the faculty.

For more information, please visit www.behzadranjbaran.com/

View scores here (roll over to view score title):



Works

Chamber Ensembles and Instrumental Solos | Choral and Vocal | Orchestra | Transcriptions




Chamber Ensembles and Instrumental Solos


Ballade for Unaccompanied Contrabass (1999) -- 5'
Published: #114-41014
Reviews


Caprice No. 1 for Solo Violin (1995) -- 5'
Published: #114-40904


Dance of Life for Violin and Contrabass (1994) -- 8'
Published: #114-40980
Recordings
Reviews


Elegy for Cello and Piano -- 7'
Published: #114-41056


Elegy for Strings (1985) -- 7'
2Vln., Vla., Vcl., Cb.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings
Reviews


Enchanted Garden (2005) -- 17'
Pno. 2Vln. Vla. Vcl.
Commission Information: Commissioned and premiered by the Saratoga Music Festival in Saratoga Springs, New York
Premiere Information: 14th August, 2005. Chantal Juillet/Vln., members Philadelphia Orchestra, Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, NY.
Additional Information: Published: #114-41296

Movements:
I. Rapture (allegro vivace)
II. Peace from Despair (largo)
III. Fragrance of Joy (allegro moderato)


Fountains of Fin (2008) -- 13'
Fl. Vln. Vcl.
Commission Information: Commissioned by Bargemusic
Premiere Information: 5th, 7th, 9th March, 2008. Julie Scolnik/Flute, Mark Peskanov/Violin, Adrian Daurov/Cello, Bargemusic, Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn, NY.
Additional Information: Published: #114-41344
Reviews


Isfahan (2006) -- 14'
Cl. 2Vln. Vla. Vcl. Cb. Hp.
Commission Information: Commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble for their 30th Anniversary.
Premiere Information: March 23rd, 25th, 2007. Philadelphia Chamber Ensemble, Old Pine Street Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Additional Information: Published: #114-41322


Moto Perpetuo for Flute and Piano -- 5'
Published: #114-41155


Moto Perpetuo for Violin and Piano (1998) -- 5'
Published: #114-41086


Nocturne for Piano (2002) -- 8'
Published: #110-40753


Shiraz (2006) -- 16'
Vln. Vcl. Pno.
Commission Information: Commissioned by Bargemusic.
Premiere Information: August 31st, September 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 2006. Mark Peskanov/Violin, Edward Arron/Cello, Olga Vinokur/Piano; Bargemusic, Fulton Ferry Landing, New York, New York.
Additional Information: Published: #114-41321

Movements:
I. Weeping Willow
II. The Rokni River


Six Caprices for Violin Duo -- 15'
Published: #114-40905
Recordings
Reviews


String Quartet No. 1 (1990) -- 22'
Published: #114-40902
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Set of parts (#114-40902P)
Full Score - Large (#114-40902S)


Three Persian Songs for Voice and Piano (1987) -- 8'
Additional Information: Published: #111-40239



Choral and Vocal


Songs of Eternity for Soprano and Orchestra (2002) -- 17'
Solo Soprano; 2 2(E.H.) 2 2 - 2 2 1 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Renée Fleming, soprano, Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz, conductor; September 2002
Additional Information: Text by Omar Khayam
Recordings
Reviews

Available Separately:

Full Score - Large (#416-41275)


The Open Secret for Chorus and Chamber Orchestra (1999) -- 13'
SATB Chorus; Fl., Ob., Cl., Perc., Hp., Vln., Vla., Vcl.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: New Amsterdam Singers, Clara Longstreth, conductor; Merkin Concert Hall, New York, NY; June 8, 1999
Additional Information: Poems by Rumi. English translation by Coleman Barks.
Reviews


We Are One text by Sa’di (13th century Persian poet) (2008) -- 5'
SATB a cappella
Premiere Information: 15th November 2008. Ithaca College Choir, conducted by Lawrence Doebler; Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY.
Additional Information: sung in Farsi
Published: #312-41854



Orchestra


Awakening for String Orchestra (2005) -- 13'
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Commissioned and premiered by Sejong International Soloists at the Great Mountains Music Festival, August 2005, South Korea
Recordings
Reviews


Cello Concerto (1998) -- 32'
Vcl. Solo; 2(Picc.) 2(E.H.) 2 2 - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp., Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Paul Tobias, cello, Virginia Symphony, JoAnn Falletta, conductor; January 27, 2001
Additional Information: The second movement may be performed separately. See "Elegy for Cello and Orchestra." The first movement is also available separately, with added text for Narrator. See "Thomas Jefferson."
Published: #114-41343 (Piano Reduction)
Reviews


Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (2013) -- 28'
Flute solo; 3(Picc.) 2 2 2 - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 3Perc. Cel. Hp. Str.
Premiere Information: 31st October, 2nd November, 2013. Jeffrey Khaner, Flute, Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Verizon Hall, Philadelphia, PA.


Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra (2009) -- 26'
2 2 2 2 – 4 2 2 0; Timp. 2Perc. Hp. Str.
Premiere Information: 22nd, 24th October, 2009. Vahn Armstrong, Violin, Beverly Kane Baker, Viola; Virginia Symphony, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, Norfolk, VA.
Additional Information: Published: #114-41402 (Piano Reduction)
Reviews


Elegy for Cello and Orchestra -- 8'
Vcl. Solo; 2(Picc.) 2 2 2 - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp., 2Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Paul Tobias, cello, Virginia Symphony, JoAnn Falletta, conductor; September 11, 1998
Additional Information: Second movement of "Cello Concerto."
Recordings
Reviews


Elegy for Clarinet and Strings -- 7'
Available from the Presser Rental Library


Mithra -- 16'
3 3 3 3 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Hp. Cel. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: February 13th, 14th, 15th, 2010. Santa Rosa Symphony, conducted by Bruno Ferrandis, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, Santa Rosa, CA.
Reviews


Moto Perpetuo for Solo Violin and Strings (2001) -- 5'
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Recordings


Piano Concerto (31') -- 2008
Solo Piano; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 2 – 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. 4Perc. Cel. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: 5th, 7th, 8th June, 2008. Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Piano, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Spano, Atlanta, Georgia.

Movements:
I. Adagio tragicamente; Allegro vivace
II. “Distant Dreams”: Lento
III. Allegro giocoso

Reviews


Saratoga for Orchestra (2005) -- 6'
3 3 3 3 - 4 4 3 1; Timp. 4Perc. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: Commissioned for the 40th anniversary of the SPAC.
Premiere Information: Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Charles Dutoit, August 10, 2005
Reviews


Seemorgh (1991) -- 22'
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 2 1; Timp., 3Perc., Cel., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Additional Information: part of Persian Trilogy for Orchestra
Recordings
Reviews


Seven Passages (2000) -- 15'
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp., Perc., Cel., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta, conductor; Long Beach, CA; March 25, 2000
Additional Information: part of Persian Trilogy for Orchestra
Published: 416-41305 (Study Score)
Recordings
Reviews


Symphony No. 1 (1992) -- 20'
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 2 4 - 4 2 2(B.Tbn.) 0; Timp., Perc., Cel., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Reviews


The Blood Of Seyavash (1994) -- 42'
3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 2 2 - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp., Perc., Cel., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Additional Information: part of Persian Trilogy for Orchestra or Ballet
Recordings
Reviews


Thomas Jefferson for Narrator, Solo Cello and Orchestra (1998) -- 16'
Narrator; Vcl. Solo; 2(Picc.) 2 2 2 - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp., 2Perc., Hp., Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Commission Information: New Heritage Music
Premiere Information: Virginia Symphony, Martin Goldsmith, narrator, Paul Tobias, cello, JoAnn Falletta, conductor; Charlottesville, VA; September 11, 1998
Additional Information: First movement of Cello Concerto, with added narration.


Violin Concerto (1994) -- 31'
Vln. Solo; 2(d.Picc.) 2(d.E.H.) 2 2 - 4 2 2 0; Timp. 2Perc. Cel. Hp. Str.
Available from the Presser Rental Library
Premiere Information: Joshua Bell, violin, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Gerard Schwarz, conductor; January 9, 2003
Additional Information: Published: #416-41366 (study score)
#114-40903 (violin/piano reduction)
Reviews



Transcriptions


Sonata for Cello, Op. 65 (Chopin) -- 20'
Published: #114-41057
Additional Information: Transcribed for Violin and Piano.
Recordings


Three Transcriptions (Chopin)
Published: #114-41059

Movements:
Etude in C-Sharp minor, Op. 10, No. 4
Nocturne in B-Flat minor, Op. 9, No. 1
Waltz in A minor, KK, Ivb, No. 11

Recordings


Recordings


Seven Passages


DELOS DE3336: Persian Trilogy
London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta



Moto Perpetuo for Solo Violin and Strings


Naxos 8.570353: String Music
Sejong Soloists



Songs of Eternity for Soprano and Orchestra


Fort Worth Symphony Take 6
Hanan Alattar, soprano, Fort Worth Symphony Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Miguel Harth-Bedoya



Elegy for Cello and Orchestra


Naxos 8.570353: String Music
Sejong Soloists



Awakening for String Orchestra


Naxos 8.570353: String Music
Sejong Soloists



String Quartet No. 1


Naxos 8.570353: String Music
Sejong Soloists



Six Caprices for Violin Duo


Naxos 8.570353: String Music
Sejong Soloists



Dance of Life for Violin and Contrabass


Cala Records Ltd. (UK) CACD0507: New York Legends
Eugene Levinson, contrabass.



Sonata for Cello, Op. 65 (Chopin)


Marquis Records MAR 235: Chopin on Violin
Catherine Manoukian, violin, Akira Eguchi, piano



Three Transcriptions (Chopin)


Marquis Records MAR 235: Chopin on Violin
Catherine Manoukian, violin, Akira Eguchi, piano.



The Blood Of Seyavash


DELOS DE3336: Persian Trilogy
London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta



Elegy for Strings


Naxos 8.570353: String Music
Sejong Soloists



Seemorgh


DELOS DE3336: Persian Trilogy
London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta



Reviews

"Ranjbaran's music is more classical and romantic in its approach, choosing not to forgo melodies and harmonies for the sake of being groundbreaking. And what melodies! Ranjbaran has managed to create music that is at once an amalgamation of romantic poetry, which is the essence of Iranian culture with the epic sweep of its spirit, and all of that in the framework of western classical music, which in the end only serves to make the piece more coherent and beautiful. The perfect mixture of the old and the new, the east and the west."

-Shahriar Zayyani, Shahrvand (Toronto)

"His Persian Trilogy is a set of three tone poems based on legends from the pre-Islamic Shahnameh (Book of Kings). It is the Persian Kalevala, so to speak, and Ranjbaran has come up with three masterly contributions worthy of Sibelius."

-Allen Gimbel, American Record Guide

"… music’s magical realist."

-Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer


Violin Concerto

"…high class, cohesive, eminently listenable-to music. … Eastern exoticism, encased within a Western classical format …when the concerto… just sings out a fine melodic line, the effect is ravishing."

-Joe Riley, Liverpool ECHO

"… a varied tapestry of interesting sounds, colors, rich harmonies [and] integrated melodies…"

-Geraldine Freedman, The Sunday Gazette (Albany)

"The Tehran-born Juilliard composer might be thought of as music’s magical realist. In this work – as well as in his Persian Trilogy” – a passage can be going along at midlevel dissonance when, as if a light suddenly refracted, the orchestration turns lustrous and the harmonies seductive."

-Peter Dobrin, Philadelphia Inquirer


The Open Secret for Chorus and Chamber Orchestra

"Mr. Ranjbaran’s attractive Rumi settings were… philosophical. The poems are brief but eloquent, and Mr. Ranjbaran’s music had the effect of both magnifying their sense of mystery and clarifying their meaning. Particularly striking was the final movement, Dance of Light, in which a subtle exoticism and sense of antiquity shone through a Western harmonic frame."

-Allan Kozinn, New York Times


Seven Passages

"…brilliantly and colorfully orchestrated…engaging…"

-Susan L. Peña, Reading Eagle

"Ranjbaran's mastery of orchestration is apparent in the delicious, delicate opening sonorities and in the full-throated declamations that follow as the hero conquers demon after demon… there is no denying the exciting thrust and sense of conquest that this music radiates."

-Herman Trotter, The Buffalo News

"All seven passages are telescoped into a colorful overture."

-Allen Gimbel, American Record Guide

"…roils and seethes and then drops stars from the heavens to drift, sparkling, to the earth.

The composer demonstrated that the dense structure of agitation, aggression, magic and humor that he offers up can be parsed to that three-note structure, which, in various contexts, can be heroic, mysterious or comic, as it were, establishing conventions for abstract thought."

-Anthony Bannon, The Chautauquan Daily

"Saluting unsung heroes in Seven Passages debut. Are heroes born or made? The latter, says composer Behzad Ranjbaran in his new Seven Passages… The heroic theme emerges in the course of the music. It doesn’t arrive fully formed, although it is adumbrated and appears in fragments as the work progresses from a fairy-tale gossamer beginning to its full-scale triumphant conclusion."

-Chris Pasles, Los Angeles Times

"Ranjbaran… created in Seven Passages a clear and ringing argument for the continued survival and growth of symphonic form. He clearly recognizes the power of the orchestra… and uses its power to create rich, languid colors and pulses of striking emotional energy. Ranjbaran plays the colors of the orchestra with an unconscious mastery: here the entire gathering of forces on stage are at his command, and he uses that power with grace and ease. The audience joined in at the end of the work with a standing ovation for the young composer."

-John Farrell, Press-Telegram

"…intensely colorful and imaginative throughout…"

-Gary Panetta, Peoria Journal Star


Songs of Eternity for Soprano and Orchestra

"This beautiful 16-minute work harks back to Mahler in the sumptuousness and subtle nuance of its orchestration and in its tonal footprint, but there is nothing derivative about it. Its colors and drama fit without mirroring the words from the ‘Rubaiyat of Omar Kahayyam’… Particularly noteworthy were exquisite melismas (expressive passages sung on one syllable) Ranjbaran wrote on words such as ‘sorrow’…"

-Philippa Kiraly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"…certainly worth a second hearing… there was much to praise in the score, with its sense of restless motion, its attractive writing for winds, and an almost Wagnerian use of the orchestra."

-Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times

"…luxurious…

…mesmerizing…

…simply outstanding…"

-Chris Shull, Dallas Morning News

"…enchanting…the evening's musical heart…Ranjbaran's lush musical vocabulary and colorful orchestration recall Mahler and Strauss, but the exotic touches such as the melismatic vocal writing are unmistakably original. Seventeen minutes long, the piece wielded a peculiar, timeless magic, and seemed just a fraction of the duration."

-Matthew Erikson, Fort WorthStar-Telegram

"You may not have heard of Mr. Ranjbaran, but you really should get to know his music…[he] backs the soprano soloist with a large ensemble so skillfully employed that it's fair to call him a master of the orchestra. The instrumental music reinforces the generally pensive air created by the melodic line…[an] impressive work…"

-Olin Chism, Dallas Morning News


Elegy for Cello and Orchestra

"The ethereal Elegy [was] fragile, almost like a mirage... It was an admirable follow-up to the Elgar [Cello Concerto]."

-Mary Kunz Goldman, Buffalo News


Awakening for String Orchestra

"layered textures of ravishing string sonorities. This intense work is an important addition to the chamber orchestra repertoire."

-Lawrence Budmen, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


Saratoga for Orchestra

"…rousing and enjoyable…"

-Judith White, The Saratogian

"…a solid, very well orchestrated piece with lots of substance and character that is very enjoyable for the listener and visibly fun to play for the orchestra. Musician’s music."

-Niels Swinkels, San Francisco Classical Voice


Concerto for Violin, Viola and Orchestra

"…rhythmic precision and dissonant tunings…But the piece is not just about modern musical stress. There are also long passages of beautiful, tonal, melodic writing. There is quite a good balance between the various elements."

-Lee Teply, Virginian-Pilot

"Ranjbaran has created a sophisticated work.

It was a treat to hear this world premiere, and it would be a treat to heart it again and better explore its many complexities."

-John Shulson, Virginia Gazette


Mithra

"…a fetching composition…

Mr. Ranjbaran has a consummate command of orchestration and instrumental color."

-Terry McNeill, Classical Sonoma


String Quartet No. 1

"Ranjbaran would be a worthy successor [to Bartok]….Each of the three movements crackles with distinct character. The intense drama in each builds not just on volume and activity, but also on well-conceived harmonies that create and release tension…. I could feel its coherence and its substance."

-Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Each of the three movements crackles with distinct character. The intense drama in each builds not just on volume and activity, but also on well-conceived harmonies that create and release tension. Like Bartok, Ranjbaran grasps the old Greek concept of catharsis to its core and achieves it in emotionally ambitious music."

-Tom Strini, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Six Caprices for Violin Duo

"[The work] showed organized, recognisable melodic and rhythmic themes, pulse, musical emotion and wit."

-Judith White, The Saratogian

"His love for the violin is evident throughout this skillfully written 20-minute piece. He writes with lyric beauty throughout the work."

-James Hennerty, Albany Times Union


Dance of Life for Violin and Contrabass

"Rarely have I seen a composer successfully capture the essence of the bass, as did Behzad Ranjbaran in Dance of Life."

-Rick Vizachero, Bass World

"Opening with an excellent new piece, Dance of Life by Iranian émigré Behzad Ranjbaran…"

-Simon Woolf, Double Bassist

"…a striking work that seems able to accommodate the various timbral possibilities of the bass without any feeling of awkwardness."

-Joanne Talbot, The Strad


Ballade for Unaccompanied Contrabass

"Ballade is a five-minute work of moderate difficulty, and makes a wonderful addition to recital programming, both for the advanced student, as well as the professional."

-Michael McGuirk, International Society of Bassists

"It’s good music that happens to be written for the bass – which is as it should be – and deserves to be played."

-Neil Tarlton, Double Bassist


Piano Concerto

"…big-boned…

…bold, slashing rhetoric…"

-Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

"The music knew exactly what it was about, with melody and harmony drawn from, but not shackled to, Persian roots. Proportions felt instinctively right."

-David Patrick Stearns, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Like Rachmaninoff in 2011: Composer Behzad Ranjbaran’s Piano Concerto dazzles at Cabrillo Festival [headline]

…extraordinary…

…thrilling.

…florid and percussive, thundering and murmuring, lacey and craggy, epic and meditative, and often highly melodic. I would emphasize that word “epic”: Ranjbaran’s unique composing voice conveys a sense of sweeping historic legend. It paints big tableaux. It resounds with ritualistic power. It adapts Persian scales and sonorities and puts them through a blender, tightly weaving and developing its motifs across three movements…

The piece is meaty.

…the sum total is new and stimulating. Not too many composers right now are composing so commandingly on this large a canvas."

-Richard Scheinin, San Jose Mercury News

"…plump with intriguing details…
The nocturnal second movement…[had a]delicate, lovely dialogue between [soloist] Thibaudet and harpist Elisabeth Remy Johnson."

-Pierre Ruhe, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

"The magnificence of the horns…the elegance of the piano.
…flowing trills and ambitious runs…"

-Kenny Crucial, www.wsws.org

"…compelling…

…monumental orchestral rhetoric and introduction of ancient Persian scales and instruments frame a piano contribution comprised of five extended cadenzas. The concerto’s dedicatee, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, contributed his undeniable star power to the festival with a performance notable for its digital wizardry and masterful tonal coloration."

-Allan Ulrich, Financial Times


The Blood Of Seyavash

"The Blood of Seyavash is one of the most breathtaking modern story ballets to come along in a long time."

-Lisa A. DuBois, Nashville Banner

"Ranjbaran has composed a noble and brilliantly conceived score, spectacularly orchestrated and filled with memorable tunes, meticulous development, and impressive craftsmanship."

-Allen Gimbel, American Record Guide

"The Blood of Seyavash has the qualities of inherent beauty and strong musical structure that make it a satisfying musical entity. It is a rich experience as a ballet, but it is no doubt destined to be equally pleasing as a concert piece alone."

-Henry Arnold, Nashville Scene

"Ranjbaran has composed a noble and brilliantly conceived score, spectacularly orchestrated and filled with memorable tunes, meticulous development, and impressive craftsmanship."

-Allen Gimbel, American Record Guide


Cello Concerto

"This work has a reflective but articulate soul giving itself up in song. There is a touching cantorial first movement that also has a euphoric buoyancy…

The lightness of being in the first movement returns for the flighty yet by no means shallow finale. This is music that whoops and dances on its toes with the effervescence of vintage Copland and Moeran."

-Rob Barnett, Musicweb

"Attractive themes, well-marshalled and developed…a deserving companion and successor to his discmate Barber's [cello concerto]."

-http://www.recordsinternational.com/RICatalogApr04.html

"…totally lovable…a marvelous piece full of good tunes, and effective exchanges between soloist and orchestra. Even the long, rhapsodic opening movement really contrives somehow to cheat the clock, maybe simply because its thematic material is so instantly appealing. It would bring the house down in concert and deserves to be widely known."

-David Hurwitz, Classics Today.com

"Ranjbaran’s music is solidly constructed in a very traditional style, with a strong emotional impact. ...The cello solo often has the vocal character of a recitative. A lively folk-like theme introduced in the first movement is the main idea of the last, and other ideas return as well, helping to tie the whole piece together quite neatly. He (Tobias) shared his commitment to the work with his colleagues, and with the audience, which gave its enthusiastic approval."

-Lee Teply, The Virginian Pilot


Elegy for Strings

"The musicians grouped themselves in a wide semicircle for Behzad Ranjbaran’s Elegy for Strings. The players never lost an ounce of Ranjbaran’s radiant luminescence."

-Cecelia Porter, The Washington Post


Seemorgh

"…The music is unmistakably graphic in its appeal. Dark, threatening, driving, splashy and brilliant… thoroughly accomplished…"

-Timothy Mangan, Los Angeles Times

"…sinuous melodic lines nestled in lush harmonies…extroverted and action packed, building to an epic scale."

-Ronni Reich, The Star-Ledger (New Jersey)

"evocative three-movement piece…lush exoticism."

-Allen Gimbel, American Record Guide


Symphony No. 1

"Its bold, darkly restive first movement, built on minor seconds, is followed by a tragic second movement of Shostakovich-like angst, and a third movement graced by odd-metered Persian rhythms and a dense clangor… a clenched and questioning work…"

-Susan Larson, The Boston Globe


Fountains of Fin

"The score has a multicultural underpinning…the flute line…is meant to suggest the Persian version of the ney, a wooden flute used throughout the Middle East. And the music’s decidedly modal accent gives the piece a hint of exoticism without wresting it from the conventions of Western musical’s discourse.

Mr. Ranjbaran uses this hybrid language to paint a complicated picture…[of]…both the entrancing beauty and the brooding, fearsome mysteries of this Iranian garden. It proved a gripping piece."

-Allan Kozinn, The New York Times




Page last updated January 17, 2013