Sunday, 8 July 2018

Yusef Forutan (1891-1979) - Setar - Recordings which appeared by accident on a faulty pressing of an Ocora LP

Yusef Forutan was one of the handful of outstanding, incomparable masters of authentic Iranian music in mid 20th century. Amongst instrumentalists there were only two or three others of the same quality: Sa'id Hormozy and Ali Akbar Khan Shahnazi and perhaps Abolhassan Saba. At the end of his live he joined the The Center for Preservation and Propagation of Iranian Music and formed many young musicians like Dariush Tala'i, Jalal Zolfonun, Hossein Alizadeh, Dâvud Ganjeyi, Parviz Meshkatian and many more. He recorded there also a good part of his repertoire.
My friend Werner Durand had the bad, he first thought, but in the end very good luck, that, when he bought the re-edition of the Ocora box of two LPs "Iran 5 & 6 - Musiques d'Extase et de Guérison du Baloutchistan", orginally published in 1981, he got a faulty pressing of the first LP: instead of music from Balouchistan it had all pieces played on Setar. He soon realised that it was exceptional music. A friend of his, the percussionist Saam Schlamminger, who knows Iranian music well, told him that these were recordings by Yusef Forutan. At that time no recordings by the great artist had yet been published. We only can guess how these recordings ended up on the LP. Perhaps Jean During, the editor of the LP box, had handed in the wrong tape. He probably got these recordings during his long stay in Tehran at the Center for Preservation and Propagation of Iranian Music from the beginning of the 1970s, where he studied Tar and the Radif for many years. He might have learned directly from Yusef Forutan. It could also be that the label mixed up the recordings. Perhaps Jean During had the intention to publish on Ocora in his series "Iran - Anthologie de la musique traditionnelle" also some older recordings by some of the great masters and had already handed in these recordings. Perhaps even Jean During recorded these himself. Anyway, this way these very precious recordings made it to the few music lovers who bought this faulty pressing.
Starting probaly in the late 1990s a number of CDs by Yusef Forutan were released in Iran: two single CDs and two boxes of 3 CDs each. These were partly recorded at the Center for Preservation and Propagation of Iranian Music, partly in private concerts in the house of Ostad Mohammad-Mehdi Kamalian. On the two sides of the Ocora LP are three longer pieces and six short metrical pieces which are called Zarbis. If these recordings are identical with some of those on the CDs, I couldn't figure out yet. As soon as I know more, I will add the information here. 
Many thanks to Werner Durand for sharing these recordings so generously.

By the way: I don't have the Ocora box of two LPs "Iran 5 & 6 - Musiques d'Extase et de Guérison du Baloutchistan" anymore. I replaced it later in my collection by the re-edition on 2 CDs which has a huge amount of additional material. So I will not post it. Sorry.


Francesco Martinelli said...

fantastic stuff thanks as always!

LolaRadio said...

thanks very much for this delightful and rare sounds.

On the subject of replacing vinyl bij cd: i have known several people who very much regretted this move. When the CD's started to fail and falter (little wholes in the silver) the records were still healthy and in full swing.

good day to you...

BT said...

Thank-you very much

Ernst Grgo Nebhuth said...

Thank you!!