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BASHRA'V, 2004, for nine players: flute, clarinet, trumpet, percussion, piano/celesta and string quartet

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Commissioned by the Koussewitzky Music Foundation for the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, 2004
Publisher: Israel Music Institute, 2004, IMI 7533 | Duration: 9 min.


Bashra’v is a suite form in Turkish and Arabic classical music.


”The piece takes its inspiration from various traditional tunes originating in the Arab-Jewish musical heritage. I tried to draw an imaginative-poetic ”sound-world” of the antique Arab string and percussion instruments. Some of these instruments are rather limited and therefore, to the western ear, their musical material seems melodically and harmonically “primitive”. However, I personally find it incredibly rich in color and expression.

I did not seek these materials out of any scientific-musicological point of view. They served purely as a dramatic stimulus and as a point of reference. These traditional melodies and texts undergo in the piece thorough transformation, so profound so as to make their original form unrecognizable at times, yet their spirit and highly-charged dramatic potential remain untouched.”

Betty Olivero

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