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Favourites and hidden gems at Baku's Contemporary Music Festival

Favourites and hidden gems at Baku's Contemporary Music Festival
By Euronews

<p>From famous modern music to rarely-performed treasures: The 6th Qara Qarayev International Contemporary Music Festival in Baku presents its wide repertoire from the 20th and 21st centuries.</p> <p>It is named after the composer who was born in 1918 and was a student of none other than Dmitri Shostakovich. </p> <p>Qarayev moved on to become Azerbijan’s most famous composer. His son continues his father’s legacy with this festival. </p> <p>“From being a famous maestro in the Soviet Union and achieving so much,” said Faraj Qarayev. </p> <p>“He took a risk and decided to change his musical style, starting to teach the twelve-tone technique – a style that wasn’t heard at all at that time.”</p> <p>Qara Qarayev took great interest in the works of Arnold Schönberg and Alban Berg who popularised the twelve-tone technique. </p> <p>Azerbaijanian soprano Farida Mamedova performed Berg’s aria “The Wine”. She said:</p> <p>“I was very glad to sing this difficult and rarely-performed piece. You need to sing as if you are the wine. So this is the soul of the wine which is speaking. It’s a very interesting image that you need to create.” </p> <p>But also Azeri composers of today get a chance to present their own creations.The Swiss “Ensemble Ecoute” enjoyed this cultural exchange: </p> <p>Avital Cohen is a flutist with the group, she said:</p> <p>“It’s a very special occasion to deepen artistic encounters and to make incredibly creative ideas come true. We had the chance to work with the composers in person.”</p> <p>The next edition takes place in three years when Baku celebrates the centenary of its legendary composer.</p>