Alim & Fargana Qasimov Ensemble
Intimate Dialogue (CD)
German Record Critics’ Award 4/2010
“One of the greatest voices in the world” - Le Monde
“Qasimov is simply one of the greatest singers alive” - New York Times
“One of the greatest voices of the century: If you want to make a real discovery, listen to Alim Qasimov’s voice.” - FolkRoots
Press releases and audiences reactions are enthusiastic when talking about Alim Qasimov, the singer from Azerbaijan. This was also the case with the concert which this extraordinary musician gave at the Morgenland Festival Osnabrück, now available on this recording.
Oriental music between the Levant and northwest China is based on modes called maqam, shashmaqam, muqam or mugham according to the region.
There is no music more complicated and or requiring more virtuosity than the mugam of Azerbaijan. These mugam have also spread into jazz, opera and symphonic music, something quite unique.
Alim Qasimov is the most outstanding exponent of traditional mugham. For several years now he has been performing together with his daughter Fargana, who was also his pupil. Concerts with the Kronos Quartet and the cooperation with Yo Yo Ma on his Silk Road Project have brought Qasimov an increasing audience in the west.
“Very occasionally, very very occasionally, a recording arrives that so transfixes that work stopps and pleasure, enlightenment and education take over. Intimate dialogue is one of those. ... If there is any finer vocal duo performing art music anywhere on the planet right now, please send the details to the usual address. Intimate dialogue is the sort of stuff to send shivers down your spine.“
Ken Hunt in FRoots
“ ... and the results are spellbinding. ... what I heard on this CD really turned my head. Qasimov and his daughter perform with what devotees of flamenco often refer to as duende . (The English word “soul” approaches the meaning, but does not come close enough.) Both of these performers have remarkable voices - remarkable both in terms of range, flexibility, and expression - and when they get on a roll, it sounds as if their souls are being rent in two. Qasimov, a tenor by operatic standards, has an especially remarkable set of vocal cords. The highly melismatic vocal style might take some getting used to, but stick with it, and I think you will have a listening experience unlike any you have had before. ... The booklet notes tell you everything you need to know, and the English translations of the lyrics are blessedly provided. The live recording is atmospheric, and will involve you even more deeply in the performances.“
Raymond Tuttle in Fanfarre Magazine