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Classical 101

A Call for Peace on The American Sound

Above: Composer Richard Danielpour talks about embracing and exploring his Middle Eastern ancestry, in Part One of a seven-part interview about his oratorio Toward a Season of Peace. The desire for peace - or maybe the belief that peace will ever really take root - has, sadly, almost become a cliché: "Contestant Number One, what do you hope to do with your life?" Contestant Number One responds: "I want to give back to my community, to be a voice for the voiceless and to bring about world peace." But peace - around the world and in our own backyards - has arguably never been more needed, or more elusive, than it is now. Peace and the absence of it have long been on American composer Richard Danielpour's radar. Danielpour has called himself "an American composer with a Middle Eastern memory." And while for a long time he kept his Middle eastern background at arm's length, he has now embraced it and is exploring how people in the Middle East are expressing their desire for peace. Danielpour's oratorio Toward a Season of Peace is a powerful metaphor for unity within diversity. It brings together a multiplicity of languages and cultures in a single, harmonious musical work of grand proportions, as though to symbolize the possibility of bringing diverse peoples, ideas and customs into a peaceable union. Biblical texts and poetry by various Persian and Iranian poets, both in their original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Persian and Arabic) and in English translations, form the essence of Danielpour's oratorio in terms that lament the pain and destruction of war and cry out to God to end them. The final Apotheosis renews hope in festive celebration. Saturday and Tuesday evenings on The American Sound, we'll experience the beautiful and inspiring "Consecration" movement of Danielpour's Toward a Season of Peace. We'll also enjoy Samuel Barber's Violin concerto, Irving Fine's Blue Towers, Morton Gould's Folk Suite - and more. Please join me for a call for peace on The Anerican Sound, Saturday at 6 pm and Tuesday at 7 pm on Classical 101!