Eyub Quliyev: "Farhad Badalbeyli is a symbol of the Azerbaijani musical culture"

 Eyub Quliyev: "Farhad Badalbeyli is a symbol of the Azerbaijani musical culture"

On December 27, famous Azerbaijani pianist and composer Farhad Badalbeyli will turn 70 years old. The anniversary will be celebrated in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, the Ministry of Culture of Russia and Roskoncert in Moscow on December 13. The Hajibeyov Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by People's Artist of Azerbaijan Yalchin Adigezalov, Honored Artists of Azerbaijan Fuad Ibragimov and Eyub Quliyev, will perform in the concert.

Eyub Kuliyev, who recently conducted a symphony orchestra in Baku in the Azerbaijan State Philharmonic, where Badalbeyli's anniversary was celebrated, spoke about the forthcoming concert with Vestnik Kavkaza in Moscow.

- Eyub-muallim, what to expect in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall on December 13?

- This year we celebrate the anniversary of the world-famous pianist, rector of the Baku Music Academy, professor, People's Artist of the USSR, Farhad Badalbeyli in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. This is a significant date and a very important project.

Farhad Shamsievich Badalbeyli is a world-famous person, symbol of the Azerbaijani musical culture and a legendary musician. Therefore, one of his first jubilee concerts is held in the Moscow Philharmonic, in one of the best concert halls in Russia - the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. Farhad Shamsievich is a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory. After studying at the Baku Music Academy under eminent professor Major Rafailovich Brenner, he studied at the graduate school of the Moscow Conservatory under legendary pianist Bella Davidovich.

Badalbeyli is always a welcome guest not only in Russia, but all over the world, in Europe and America. Despite his already considerable age, he often performs at the concerts, plays with famous symphonic orchestras, performs with chamber groups. He also likes chamber music making, accompanies famous instrumentalists, vocalists, gives solo concerts. This is a big burden, since he is also the rector of the Musical Academy, having been managing the higher educational musical institution of Azerbaijan for more than 20 years. Despite such a busy schedule, Badalbayli is in a great condition. The concert in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall will be another confirmation of the fact that Farhad Badalbeyli is a world-class musician.

The program that he will present will leave nobody indifferent. There will be the pieces of music that rarely performed not only in Moscow, Russia, but in the world in general, though they are worth of attention. Farhad Shamsievich is engaged in the propaganda of Azerbaijani, Russian, American composers’ pieces and the new works as well. This is a unique quality of Farhad Badalbeyli - he opens the musical pages, that are not familiar to everyone. Three different conductors, friends, colleagues, students of Farhad Shamsievich will take part in the concert.

- What pieces of music will be presented?

- The Azerbaijani classical music occupies a special place in the program. In the life of Farhad Badalbeyli, a very important role was played by the representatives of the golden period of the Azerbaijani music - Kara Karaev, Fikret Amirov, maestro Niyazi - one of our outstanding conductors, who was the permanent head of the State Symphony Orchestra of Azerbaijan. (Niyazi Zulfugar oglu Tagi-zade-Gadzhibekov directed the orchestra since 1938). All these people, composers, conductors, who I have mentioned, played a very important role in Farhad Badalbeyli's life. Naturally, Farhad Shamsievich appeals to their pieces not simply because they played a significant role in his life, but because the music of these composers can be performed anywhere in the world - it is loved everywhere. Even if we play their pieces for the first time, eventually, we are always asked to re-include these works in the concert programs.

One of Farhad Badalbeyli's favorite works is the Concert for Piano and Orchestra after Arabian Themes by our outstanding, great composer Fikret Amirov and pianist Elmira Nazirova. They jointly wrote this piece in 1959 - it is the Azerbaijani piano classics. But it seems to me that after Farhad Badalbeyli had personally decided to make a new edition of this concert, restored and resurrected this work - the concert gained renewed momentum. Farhad-muallim played this concert in the Berlin Philharmonic, in Sweden, America and other countries of Europe and Asia, in Russia. But in Moscow the concert rarely performed, it's really a unique work - the oriental themes, not just Arab, bulk theme. There are the Azerbaijani music, oriental intonations, harmony, a luxurious melody, by which Fikrat Amirov distinguishes. Meanwhile, Farhad Badalbayli reinvented this concert in his own way, and it is no coincidence that he included it in the program of his anniversary evening. We will open the concert with this Arab concert. I have the honor to accompany Farhad Badalbeyli in this work.

- Did you perform this concert in the Baku Philharmonic a week ago?

- Yes. It was a unique event, because there I met Badalbeyli on the stage. This was my first acquaintance with the work of a great musician. He gave me an opportunity to share the stage with him in Moscow and Baku. It is an honor.

The vocal pieces are also included in the Moscow program. Farhad Shamsievich likes to accompany vocalists himself. A few months ago he made a cycle of all Rachmaninoff’s romances, he himself accompanied our talented singers in the Great Hall of the Conservatory in Baku. Badalbeyli is also a vice-president of the jury of the Bulbul vocal competition. He is very fond of and understands well the vocal art, and, I think, due to this he decided to include the vocal pieces in the program.

Balash’s aria from Amirov’s opera ‘Sevil’ will be performed. It will be performed by a young talented Azerbaijani singer, student of the La Scala Academy of Lyric Opera, Azer Rzazade. He is now completing his studies in Milan, Italy. A talented Italian singer, soprano Chiara Isotton, who will perform Leonora's aria from Verdi's opera The Power of Fate, will also come to Moscow. Farhad Shamsievich is very fond of Verdi and Puccini’s operas. As a confirmation of this, there is a piece written by Farhad Badalbeyli himself - Ave Maria - in the program of the concert. He is not only a rector, pianist and accompanist, he also demonstrated his skills as a talented composer. Badalbayli does not compose a lot, but all his pieces are worth of attention. He has his own taste, style and understanding of music. He likes to write the vocal pieces most of all. Ave Maria - one of the most beautiful of his works. One verse of the piece is sung in Latin, and the second - in Azerbaijani. The same text and content, but translated into Azerbaijani.

There will be The Piano Concerto by George Gershwin. This is a rarely performed concert, a very complex piece. In the 1970s and 1980s, when the jazz music was not welcomed, few people included the American jazz composers in their program. Then Farhad Shamsievich took a very important and risky step. We may say it was a feat - he recorded the concert by Gershwin with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Then Veronika Dudarova was conducting. This piece recored by the Melody company is a standard. Farhad Badalbeyli’s interpretation of the Concert by Gershwin is considered one of the best. Farhad Badalbeyli will perform this concert himself, accompanied by our conductor, People's Artist Yalchin Adigezalov.

In the second part, you will hear the first performance of a new arrangement of Suite No.1 for two pianos and symphony orchestra by Sergei Rachmaninoff. The original version was written only for two instruments - two grand pianos. Farhad Shamsievich has repeatedly performed this piece with his former student, well-known pianist, director of the Baku Philharmonic, soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic, Murad Adigizalzadeh. They quite often include this piece in their programs, but I think that it will be interesting to hear the performance of a symphony orchestra, because such orchestration is a step forward. The Suite by Rachmaninoff along with Amirov’s Arabian Concert and Gershwin’s Piano Concert will glorify the program.

Most of the pieces that I mentioned will be performed for the first time in the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. This is interesting and difficult, because the main part of the program is performed by Farhad Badalbeyli, despite his considerable age. He will play three concerts at once. The Arab Concert itself is not easy, there are certain technical difficulties, and Farhad Badalbayli has complicated it even more by changing cadence, adding new techniques and details. Badalbeyli  will also play Gershwin's concert, and at the end - Rakhmaninoff’s Suite with his pupil, pianist, director of the Baku Philharmonic, Murad Adigizalzade. This piece will be conducted by my colleague, young conductor Fuad Ibragimov.

To be continued