A friend of mine recently sent me the link to a YouTube performance by the Azeri Iranian musician Hossein Alizadeh. It had been forwarded to him by an Iranian friend.
Alizadeh is a distinguished Iranian composer who was born in Tehran in 1951 to Azeri parents. He graduated from the music conservatorium in 1975 and entered the school of fine arts in the University of Tehran where he studied composition and Persian music. He continued his education at the University of Berlin in composition and musicology. He plays the Persian classical instruments the tar and the setar.
In 2007 he and the Armenian musician Djivan Gasparyan were nominated for the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Traditional World Music for their collaboration album The Endless Vision.
This track, Sari Gelin (yellow bride), arranged by Alizadeh, is a folk song popular in Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Iran and Iraq. The origin of the song is uncertain, though it is believed to have an Armenian origin. It is a sad song, based upon a man being unable to marry the girl of his dreams – in its Turkish form it is considered to be the song of a Muslim Turkish man in love with a Christian Armenian girl. In the Armenian version there is a line “I could not have the one I loved”, in the Azerbaijani, “They would not let me marry you”, in the Persian, the maiden is “fleeing away, fleeing away”, leading to “the sorrow of yearning, the grief of parting”.
For more about the history and etymology of the song, access the Wikipedia entry, with the words in English for the different ethnic versions, here.
Access a 7-minute video from the Endless Vision concert in Tehran here.