The night of the disturbed dreams

The night of the disturbed dreams
On the concert of Nilper orchestra in the Tehran Contemporary Music Festival
by Kamyar Salavati

Tuesday night the Roudaki hall hosted the final concert of the Tehran Contemporary Music Festival, the concert of Nilper orchestra.

The repertoire consisted of five pieces.

The first one was a piece by Nima Atrkar Rowshan named “Sketch for String Orchestra”. While speaking of any representational content in music should be with extreme caution, the general development of the piece seemed heavily political: after the dominance of the soft, relatively long, lazy and drowsy hum of -obviously- more numerous violins and violas of the orchestra, suddenly Cellos come and disturb their dream with a crushing and masculine call -with high intensity- and create a tension and confusion that would gradually increase. Atrkar Rowshan’s piece was the story of this opposition and confrontation of forces: outnumbered but forceful cellos, and numerous but easily malleable violins and violas. In the end, after the settlement of this confrontation, again it was the weak cry of the violins that would rise again like a phoenix.

Another piece was a lesser known work of Kambiz Roshanravan named “Concerto for Flute and String Orchestra” (1972). On a general take, it seems that this piece is not so relevant to the rest of the repertoire and disrupts its harmony. It’s general form too, was not so dissimilar to succession of allegro-adagio-allegro of a symphony. Flute soloist’s performance in certain phrases with continuous dynamic intensity was admirable.
Of the other premier pieces of the concert, there was a piece by Jeanne Strieder who is more of a rock-metal musician. A work filled with intertwining and sometimes rising and tension inducing dissonant and glissando.
In addition to these three pieces, Nilper performed a piece by Kosecka (premiere) and a work by the Estonian Erkki-Sven Tüür (Insula Deserta for String Orchestra).

In the end and more than anything we should appreciate the efforts of the members of Nilper, an orchestra that despite the limited audience and consequently its modest financial resources, continues to work with persistence and commitment.

Maybe the fact that this performance of Nilper had one of the biggest audiences of the festival, and also more than half of its repertoire was written exclusively for performance by this orchestra, is a result of this persistence and perseverance.

This review is written for The Fourth Tehran Contemporary Music Festival. All rights reserved for