Posts Tagged ‘Tara Kamangar’

Ruba'i of Omar KhayyamIt’s funny sometimes on Sunday mornings, when I am looking for a piece of music to feature here, how I start with an idea of what I would like to use and find myself so far afield from that original thought when I actually begin to write.  I will look up a song on YouTube and something on the list on the right will catch my eye and I will click on that and the same thing happens on the next page until after several songs I discover am nowhere near where I began this little exploration.  Sometimes it’s good and sometimes not so much.  Today I think it was good as it took me to a place and music and an artist with which I wasn’t familiar.

The artist is  Tara Kamangar, a talented young American pianist who released an album this year called East of Melancholy which examines the links between the east and west in music particularly between the works of Russian and Persian composers.  I listened to several selections from the album and, though I am not a classical musical buff, found them quite engrossing, particularly the piece I have selected for today, Homage to Omar Khayyam composed by Iranian Aminollah (Andre) Hossein (1905-1983).

Omar Khayyam , who lived from 1048-1131, is best known to us today for his poetry which were composed in four line verses called ruba’i.  The image above is one of these verses in Persian, each leg representing a line of verse.  The collection of these ruba’i is a rubaiyat from which we get the title of the work which we know best as The Rubaiyat  of Omar Khayyam.  It has survived the last almost thousand years aided by Edward FitzGerald‘s famed translation which brought it to the attention of the west as well as reintroducing him to Iranians who had lost touch with the work.

However, the rubaiyat overshadows Khayyam’s vast influence on the world.  He was a true renaissance man, several hundred years before the idea of such a thing even existed.  He was a mathematician, an astronomer, philosopher and poet.  He wrote treatises on many subjects that shaped the modern world.  Truly, a giant of the mind yet we know him mainly as writer of short verses.

This piece begins with one of these verses:

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
 Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
 Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

Something to think about on a Sunday morning.  Hope you have  a great day.


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