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Richard Danielpour

Publisher: AMP

In the Arms of the Beloved (Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra) (2001)
Associated Music Publishers Inc
Soloists and Orchestra
Year Composed
28 Minutes
Solo Instrument(s)
Violin, Cello
Programme Note
Richard Danielpour In the Arms of the Beloved (Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra) (2001)
In the Arms of the Beloved was written in the wake of the premiere of Through the Ancient Valley, a 30-minute work commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for Yo-Yo Ma. The piece included Persian musicians from Iran – the birthplace of my parents. Intrigued by my native land, I began to study the culture and heritage of my ancestors, which yielded many unexpected revelations. I enjoyed my re-acquaintance with Persian poetry and most notably among these venerated masters the poet Rumi. It was Rumi’s belief that to “see” the face of “our beloved,” is to see the face of the Divine – the face of love itself.

When Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson asked me to compose a double concerto in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary with the IRIS Chamber Orchestra, I felt it fitting to allow the poems of Rumi, that had inspired me so powerfully, to guide my work. It is not crucial to know in which poems the four movements are based. Rather, I believe that all that needs to be known about the music is in the music, itself.

--Richard Danielpour

  • Ensemble
    The Iris Chamber Orchestra
    Jaime Laredo, violin, Sharon Robinson, cello
    Michael Stern
    Arabesque Recordings:
Richard Danielpour's IN THE ARMS OF THE BELOVED [is] a richly complex new heartwarming showpiece for Jaime Laredo and Sharon Robinson...The world-renowned musical couple asked Danielpour for a piece celebrating their 25-year marriage. Danielpour, one of America's most sought-after composers, crafted a stunning musical love story. Its first performance resonated as much for its lush sounds as for its subtext. Like a preacher joining the hands of the bride and groom, the music weds the soloists through their melodic exchanges. The tenet upon which this sonic church is built is the idea by 13th-century poet Rumi that when one looks into the eyes of the beloved, one is looking upon God. The love poetry that influenced [the] composition can be heard in the rhythms of the piece, based on the meter of the poems. Despite the many ideas flowing into and out of the composition, it [is] accessible, particularly in a live setting. The concerto opened with notes leaping back and forth from the soloists, a dialog of unfinished sentences. The orchestra at times mirrored this conversation, with the basses and cellos talking past the conductor to the soft-singing violins. The second section of the piece, labeled "Ritual Dances," was festive, angular and polyrhythmic. The final section introduced a beautifully cinematic quality to IN THE ARMS OF THE BELOVED. Here, Danielpour rhapsodized with gushing folds of music. Laredo and Robinson finally left the orchestra behind, performing a heartbreaking duet that displayed each player's virtuosity [in this] glowing new American work.
Christopher Blank,,01/01/0001
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