Saturday, June 18, 2011

Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra at the Opera House

I went to see the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra again, but this time at the Opera House in Katara Cultural Village.

Opera House
“Katara” Cultural Village

Dvorak Eighth Symphony
Nanse Gum
Bassam saba, ney
Lee: United Friends for String Orchestra
Schnyder: Concerto for Ney and Orchestra
Dvořák: Symphony No. 8 in G Major, Op. 88

ceiling of the Opera House

The conductor, Nanse Gum, was very enthusiastic and gave us all some lessons about the music.

The performance also featured a traditional instrument, called the ney.

The ney (ناي‎) is an end-blown flute that figures prominently in Middle Eastern music. In some of these musical traditions, it is the only wind instrument used. It is a very ancient instrument, with depictions of ney players appearing in wall paintings in the Egyptian pyramids and actual neys being found in the excavations at Ur. This indicates that the ney has been played continuously for 4,500–5,000 years, making it one of the oldest musical instruments still in use. It is a forerunner of the modern flute.

The ney consists of a piece of hollow cane or reed with five or six finger holes and one thumb hole. Ney is a Middle Persian word meaning reed. Modern neys may be made of metal or plastic tubing instead. The pitch of the ney varies depending on the region and the finger arrangement. A highly skilled ney player can reach more than three octaves, though it is more common to have several "helper" neys to cover different pitch ranges or to facilitate playing technical passages in other maqamat.

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