50 For The Future:
The Kronos Learning
“Rǝqs means ‘dance’ in Azerbaijani as well as in all other Turkic languages. In Azerbaijan, many different dances have existed since time immemorial: for men and women, heroic and lyric, fast and slow. And the tradition of accompanying all important life events with all kinds of dances has been preserved to the present day: engagements and weddings, harvest and farewells, birthdays and even dates of death. There are also burial dances that accompany the farewell to the deceased person. In this respect, the dance tradition remains very strong and current in Azerbaijan today, especially in rural areas. In my new piece for the Kronos Quartet, I have attempted to reflect some of the rhythms and configurations of Azerbaijani dances."
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh discusses her musical background, her relationship with Kronos, the piece she wrote for Fifty for the Future, and more.
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh was born in Azerbaijan, a republic of the Soviet States. She first came to prominence as a composer and performer while still a student of the celebrated composer Kara Karayev. Ali-Zadeh is highly regarded for her creativity and distinctive style. Her compositions draw from the vocabulary of modern European classical music, including the Second Viennese School, and incorporate the sounds of mugham (the main modal unit of Arabic music), music traditional to Azerbaijan. As a pianist, she performs at international festivals, playing programs that include the works of Crumb, Messiaen, and Schoenberg, composers she has popularized for Eastern audiences. She is recognized as a master interpreter of works by 20th-century European and American composers, the Soviet avant-garde, and traditional Azerbaijani composers.
Franghiz is such a musical person. She has given our work an incredibly large vision of what quartet playing can be."