Notes | Photos
Multi-Ethnic Star Orchestra Presents
its Spring concert
Sunday, 02 March 2003 at West Los Angeles
r o g r a m
Serenade: by Don Ferraro
Dr. Janice Foy, Solo Cello
A Tribute to the American Heroes of the Space Shuttle Columbia.
by Santuri Ethem (Turkey)--Arr. Nabil Azzam
The Shahnaz Longa by Ethem is one of the most played instrumental pieces
of the longa genre. Its structure is representational of the form: a
fast tempo in three clear sections with a repetitive part that is played
between the sections. The composition is short but it clearly serves
the idea of exploring the different tonal centers of the maqam (musical
Kurd: by Joseph Chamaa
The Sama'i musical form originated in Turkey and has spread throughout
the Middle East. Kurd is the Arabic or Turkish name for the Phrygian
mode (a scale or tonality from E to e on the white keys of the piano).
The classical theory for composing a Sama'i is very demanding because
the laws of its musical mode interfere with those of its structure.
The form is recognized by the 10/8 rhythm which is assigned to the first
three sequences and is followed by two sequences of ternary rhythm.
The main sequence of 10/8 is then repeated to end the piece. The composer
states, "It was my pleasure to make a new arrangement of my Sama'i
and dedicate it to the MESTO orchestra; the MESTO spirit has inspired
its new orchestration."
Suite: by Miamon Miller
Originally composed as a string quintet (two violas) with percussion,
this work was orchestrally expanded for the MESTO ensemble. It is reflective
of Bulgarian folk instrumental and stylized vocal music. It takes advantage
of the Bulgarians' love of odd meters where the beats are of unequal
first section, beginning with a solo improvisation on viola, is in 7/16
meter. Melodically it first takes advantage of the warm resonance of
the viola's low strings before adding the other instruments in the orchestra.
The piece becomes harmonically dissonant before the 'vocal' section
in 11/16 meter. It concludes with a return to the opening melodies in
of Music: by Richard Rodgers--Arr. Shelly Cohen
"The Sound of Music" tells a tale of love, courage and music,
set in Austria before World War II. Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote a
brilliant score which brings to life the poignant story of the Von Trapp
family. This arrangement presents several of the most memorable songs
from this classic movie score.
On Sunday: by Manos Hadjidakis--Arr. Shelly Cohen
Louis Skoby, Guest Bouzouki Soloist
The Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis began his musical career in Athens
writing piano music. In 1946 he found his true vocation in writing for
films and was rewarded for his efforts with a 1960 Academy Award for
his song, "Never On Sunday." Many recordings have been made
of this haunting tune, with its traditional Greek rhythms and a simple
but attractive melody that speaks of a prostitute in Greece who refused
to work on Sunday, her day of rest.
the Greek: by Mikis Theodorakis--Arr. Shelly Cohen
Louis Skoby, Guest Bouzouki Soloist
The screen play for the film "Zorba The Greek" was adapted
from a novel by Nikos Kazantzakis, with original music by Mikis Theodorakis.
The score captures the essence of the movie and propelled its composer
into international prominence. Although his studies at the Athens Conservatory
prepared him for a career in music, it was his special interest in Greek
folk music that gave him the creative spark to write the score to "Zorba".
main theme is used liberally throughout the film but the scene that
captivates the audience is the one where Zorba teaches his English friend
how to dance the Syrtaki. It is here that the music and character 'Zorba"
for Symphony Orchestra and Santour by Koroush Zolani
Kourush Zolani, Guest Chromatic Santour Soloist
Tonight's performance of "Shabnam" is a world premier. Composed
in an A-B-A form, this lovely piece was written for Kourosh Zolani's
wife, Shabnam. Mr. Zolani, whose music is powerfully evocative, describes
his feeling for this music calling it, "My most beloved piece for
the most inspiring person in my life, Shabnam."
Gameel: by Farid El-Atrache (1917-1975, Egypt)
--Arr. and performed by Nabil Azzam, Violin
Farid El-Atrache is considered by his many fans as a sensitive and unique
composer and singer. He is also greatly appreciated as an actor and
'ud virtuoso. He starred in thirty-two films in which he always played
the role of a star singer, himself. He is also known as "Malik
al-'ud" (the king of the 'ud) for the distinctive style of his
musical phrasing and right-hand risha (plectrum) technique.
a tribute to El-Atrache's undisputed contributions to Eastern music,
Nabil Azzam performs Ya Gameel on his violin.
Layla (One Thousand One Nights): by Baligh Hamdi
--Arr. Joseph Chamaa and Nabil Azzam
This is the instrumental introduction to a song of the legendary singer,
Umm Kulthum. Many composers have written long introductions to their
songs as a marketing tool for their instrumental music. These pieces
are often performed as independent instrumental compositions. This genre
of composition is heard in a variety of venues from weddings and nightclubs
to concert halls, depending on the instrumentation and the ensemble.
Yawman (Nostalgia): Music and Lyrics by Rahbani Brothers--Arr. Nabil
Woroud, Guest Star Singer
This is one of hundreds of songs performed by the celebrated Lebanese
singer Fairuz who, together with her husband Assi Rahbani and his brother
Mansour, established a new musical culture in Lebanon. The Rahbani Brothers'
fame was based on creating a varied repertoire, culminating in numerous
musical shows they produced for Fairuz on sell-out international tours.
The poetry for this song is written in classical Arabic and the melody
is lyrical and romantic.
Di (This Pretty Girl): by Sayyid Darwish--Arr. Nabil Azzam
Woroud, Guest Star Singer
Egyptian composer Sayyid Darwish (d. 1923 at the age of thirty-two)
is considered the pioneer of the modern style of Egyptian music. Among
his contributions are the numerous musical plays in which he also participated
as a singer and actor. Darwish also composed a number of short songs
that were popular throughout wide sectors of society. He is also known
as "The Peoples' Composer."
Vocal Medley from Syria and Iraq:--Arr. Nabil Azzam
Samir Rizq, Guest Star Singer
The arrangement of this medley centers in the orchestral accompaniment.
Since one of the artistic aspects of traditional vocal music of the
Levant lies in the melody that is delivered by an expressive, enchanting,
yet strong voice, Dr. Azzam was careful not to overuse the orchestral
accompaniment. Instead he used a bit of "harmonic" treatment
for in the orchestral score. The backup singers who repeat the refrain
are used to enrich the melodic lines and give the soloist the additional
freedom to interact simultaneously with them in little variations.
the present performance Mr. Samir Rizq sings a set of medleys in two
different modes especially arranged for MESTO. He is a performer respected
as a singer of "the music of the people."
hope the audience feels the warmth and love of this work that foregoes
technique in favor of the joy of melodic simplicity.