Sacred World of Azerbaijani Mugham (Traditional music of Azerbaijan)
Gochaq Askarov is an Azerbaijani khanende, i.e. singer-performer of mughams (mugam), the one the Western musical press calls the “Azerbaijani singing star-in-waiting”. This Cd is the second released for Felmay after the acclaimed Mugham (2011). The album contains the live recording of a great concert of 2013 held in Baku with a large ensemble. Mugham at its best.
Mugham is the classical heritage of Azerbaijani traditional music. It is a music of great emotional power and sophistication that, despite its archaic musical language and ancient poetic texts, has a universal and contemporary appeal, though it is still not widely known outside the country. Gochaq ASKAROV is only one of a handful of mugham artists, such as the great master Alim Qasimov, to have established an international career, introducing to audiences around the world this great and unique art form.
The performance of mugham is a professional music activity with a long history, many famous names, and a formal training system, though mugham knowledge has always been and continues to be transmitted as an oral tradition, even in the context of Azerbaijan’s numerous music schools. A professional mugham performer must be conversant with the entire mugham repertoire, and be able to improvise within the fixed modal scales and melodic matrices of the genre.
Sacred World of Azerbaijani Mugham presents Gochag Askarov at his best during a concert in 2012. Accompanied by a large group including besides the classical accompanying quartet with Tar (kind of lute), Kamancha (vertical fiddle), Balaban (a kind of oboe) and Naqara (percussion), here we find also Kanun (zither), Oud and Bass Oud (lutes) and two more percussion that add colors and pathos to the sound. On top of all the magic voice of Gochag Askarov. The repertoire includes classical Mughams, but also Tesnifs (classical songs) and folksongs.
The result is a very passionate and intense recording that fully shows the power and the subtleties of the Azerbaijani classical music.
«Gochag ASKAROV is at the forefront of today`s generation of Azerbaijani mugham singers, a position that can only be achieved through immense dedication to the art» (from Womex presentation, 2012).
Still in his early 30s, the expressive and brilliant virtuosity of his voice betray a maturity way beyond his years. With a range of nearly three octaves, his voice has a special quality of subtle intensity, moving the listener with its deep melancholy. “An extraordinary voice”, “a fantastic singer”, and “crown prince of Azerbaijani classical mugham” – this is the way the Western musical press and media portray Gochag Askarov. His voice is often compared to that of Nusrat Fateh Ali khan, the late Pakistani qawwali singer.
ASKAROV Gochag from Felmay Shop