String orchestra conducted by Tahir Atayev: a new starting in the musical life of Ashgabat

String orchestra conducted by Tahir Atayev: a new starting in the musical life of Ashgabat

Tatyana LITVININA

Ashgabat music lovers can be delighted: with a new String Orchestra conducted by Tahir Ataev, the musical life of the capital has found another expressive side and new colors. In the Watan Cinema Concert Hall, it is the second performance – the successful debut of the string orchestra was held in October 2018. Again, the concert program consisted mostly of works that were sounded for the first time to the wide Turkmen listeners. It is the credo of the new team – to open unfamiliar pages of the treasure house of music of different cultures and peoples to the music lovers of Turkmenistan.

…The bows soared synchronously and smoothly, like magic needles, weaving an amazing, invisible fabric that coat the soul, which then turned into a sail, carrying off into an open, seething sea of feelings and passions, then into lulling muslin of mystical dreams and visions, and then into a generous magic tablecloth of imagination …

The program included wonderful samples of classical music from the Global Culture Gold Funds. Here, the listeners had the opportunity to make sure that music, great music, unites cultures that seem distant, but inherently always close, since true art has no geographical boundaries; it is turned towards each of us and conveys sublime ideas and images.

The musical masterpieces that performed this evening is itself a demonstration of good taste and maturity, which was also mentioned in the sustained, elegant style of performance, despite the fact that the team is youth, consisting of students and teachers of the Turkmen National Conservatory. They captivated the audience with sincere enthusiasm, spirituality, and convincing interpretation of the music. The organic and unconditional interaction between the conductor and the orchestra members was obvious and it gave vivid artistic impressions.

The charmingly soloist Kakageldy Khojalekov, the laureate of the competition named after N.Halmamedova, brilliantly performed the Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major by Joseph Haydn, The musicians managed to convey the richness of fantasy, freshness of perception, harmonious and integral sense of life, typical of the art of the greatest Austrian composer, whose activities covered all stages of the development of the Viennese classical school, which he represented.
The orchestra performed the outstanding work – “On the Wings of a Song” by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, German composer, pianist and organist of 19th century. The texture of the play was performed impeccably and graphically accurately. The pure melody was not lost in its polyphonic framing, the logically justified phrasing contributed to the integrity and capacity of the composition. The genre of the song, especially close to the musician, also found a new life at his beautiful songs without words, some of the finest piano miniatures of the early 19th century, in which, in contrast to the bravura pianism that was spread at that time, he emphasized, first of all, the canted, melodious possibilities of the instrument.

The movement to merge jazz with music of the European tradition gave rise to an amazing phenomenon in America – the work of J.Gershwin, a talented representative of symphonic jazz, whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres. In the opinion of this brilliant American composer and pianist, any genre – whether it pop song and dance, or a concert for piano and orchestra, or a film music, or an opera or a musical – is worthy of serious attention from the artist. He created masterpieces in each of them. His best works do not fit into the definitions of a “serious music” or a “light music.” Boldly destroying the barriers between them, Gershwin masterfully fused various genres and styles and it was so talented and naturally. The listeners of the Watan Cinema Concert Hall was able to hear a famous song Swanee, which was performed very brightly, rhythmically freely and expressively.

The orchestra psychologically performed the Romance from The Gadfly (Ovod), a historical drama film based on the eponymous novel by Ethel Lilian Voynich, The Romance was composed by Dmitri Shostakovich, Russian composer and pianist, one of the major composers of the 20th century, who actively worked in cinema. The music from the film became very well known and the piece Romance is one of the most famous compositions of the 20th century. His music to this film created in it an additional, very important semantic plan, considerably deepening the content.

The listeners appreciated the “Romanian dances” by Béla Viktor János Bartók, an outstanding Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he is regarded as Hungary’s greatest composers. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music of Hungary and Eastern Europe, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology. The performance by the orchestra conducted by Tahir Atayev was distinguished by the desire to emphasize the dynamics and special temperament of the dances, their great elegance.

Folk art became a life-giving source of creativity for the prominent Azerbaijani composer F. Amirov. Amirov’s music was strongly influenced by Azeri folk melodies. He created a new genre called symphonic mugam that was based on classical folk pieces. He is the author of the “Nizami”, first symphony in his homeland for string orchestra. The symphony as the part of performance program was presented to the audience, who was able to feel the beauty of the musical language of its author.

The multicolor panorama of national cultures, genres and stylistic orientations of the program comprised of the performance of the Turkish folk melody “Uskudara”, the “Concert piece” by Kazakh composer T.Kazhgaliyev and “Paganini’s Caprice No.24 Variations” by Armenian maestro S.Aslamazyan – different works with bright musical intonations and unique aroma of breath.

Listeners welcomed the sincerity and artistic flair of the musicians. The audience warmly welcomed the performance of the orchestra: a round of applause and shouts of “Bravo!” These were such valuable evidence of success that would be a great impetus for further creative achievements of the orchestra.