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Rumi Symphony Project: Untold

4.0 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 11, 2014
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Editorial Reviews

UNTOLD is the much-anticipated major label debut from acclaimed Iranian composer, vocalist and virtuoso instrumentalist, Hafez Nazeri, and features the legendary Shahram Nazer, Zakir Hussain and Deepak Chopra. An innovative synthesis of Middle Eastern and Western elements, UNTOLD introduces Nazeri as one of modern music's most exciting new visionaries.

Co-produced by Nazeri and David Frost, who was just awarded the Grammy for "Producer of the Year, Classical," Untold is one of the first major releases celebrating the poetry and philosophy of the legendary 13th century Persian poet Rumi and his eternal message of peace, unity and love. This magnum opus features 38 Grammy Award winning musicians and engineers and took over four years and more than 5,000 studio hours in five countries to complete.

Untold is the first cycle of Hafez's ongoing project, the Rumi Symphony Project, and consists of four distinct chapters which at their whole, orchestrate the epic of our universe. The tale begins at the dawn of time, the big bang, and continues with the formation of our planet and life on earth, the emergence of the human race and our journey of the spirit through the seven stages of enlightenment. It ends with an unknown and yet, Untold, ascendance into an indefinable destination of unquantifiable possibilities.

Hafez is joined in this recording by a profound array of guest artists: tabla virtuoso Zakir Hussain, Grammy-winning drummer Glen Velez, cellists Matt Haimovitz and Johannes Moser, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center violist Paul Neubauer, and the New York Choir.

One of the album s many highlights are the vocals of Hafez Nazeri's father, iconic Persian vocalist Shahram Nazeri, who was the first musician to incorporate Rumi's poetry into song some forty years ago and who's sold over seventy-five million recordings to date. The album's liner notes features the poetry of Rumi as transcribed by best-selling author Deepak Chopra.

In both the instrumental and vocal passages, the listener can hear elements of East and West amalgamated into a single entity, creating a rich texture that sounds like nothing else. At the core of each of Nazeri's compositions is the presence of Rumi, whom in the words of Deepak Chopra, "delivers the divine mystery to us with passion."

"Absolutely exquisite music of the highest caliber that speaks to the soul, music that will live for a long long time," says Chopra. "I think this music has the capacity to totally transform our consciousness, literally cause a mutation in our consciousness and as that shifts everything shifts: the way we think, the way we behave, the way we speak to each other and the way we interact with the world."

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Atomic Peace - Matt Haimovitz
  2. Dark Matter - Rumi Symphony Chorus
  3. Existence: Life - Shahram Nazeri
  4. Stage I: The Quest
  5. Stage II: Love
  6. Stage III: Understanding
  7. Stage IV: Detachment
  8. Stage V: Unity
  9. Stage VI: Wonderment
  10. Stage VII: Absolute Nothingness
  11. Dance of the Galaxies
  12. Descent
  13. Freedom
  14. Solitude
  15. Ascent
  16. Eternity


Product Details

  • Conductor: Hafez Nazeri
  • Composer: Hafez Nazeri
  • Audio CD (March 11, 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SONY MASTERWORKS
  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • ASIN: B00GM72CHE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #145,491 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 17, 2014
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This album is a fusion of traditional dastghah improvisational modal Persian music and European scored classical orchestral forms with harmony. It is a further development of two albums that featured vocalist Shahram Nazeri [Mystified: Poetry of Rumi, with music composed by Kakhosro Pournazeri; and The Passion of Rumi, with music of Hafez Nazeri]. The album is purely contemporary with tabla master Zakir Hussain, the cello of Matt Haimovitz and the viola of Paul Neubauer, Glen Velez playing frame drums, and composer Hafez Nazeri himself on his redesigned setar, a Persian lute. A large chorus backs the passionate vocals of Shahram Nazeri. Essentially an oratorio in form (vocal and instrumental) and summarizing the notes and section titles, it musically follows an arc from the creation of the cosmos and perception of our common material world to the Sufi journey and longing for a deeper divine reality, following the various stages of experiencing the falling away of ego and perceiving the unity and nonseparateness of form, hence, its no-thingness, and finally to a mystical transcendence and freedom with a new regard of the world and life. The translation of Rumi's poems in the notes is by Deepak Chopra. For comparison, consider the more traditional Persian music accompanying contemporary vocalist Zohreh Jooya (Music of the Persian Mystics). However, for a modern orchestral work on Persian themes, the Rumi Symphony Project's Untold is very worthy and has many rich musical treasures. Some of the 16 sections can stand alone, as Zakir Hussain's drumming and Shahram Nazeri's vocal in the track Life. For an East-West synthesis, this album is a success. Presence at a concert production could be a remarkable and perhaps emotive experience.
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Debut CD from this Iranian composer, vocalist, and instrumentalist, son of Persian/Sufi vocalist Shahram Nazeri (who sings on this recording as well). Recorded over 4 years with 38 musicians & engineers, plus Zakir Hussain on tabla and a full chorus. Compositions celebrate the poetry & philosophy of the 13th century Persian poet Rumi & his eternal message of peace, unity, and love (liner notes include translations by Deepak Chopra). Ethereal, epic, exquisite!
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By RP on March 24, 2014
I just bought this CD after the concert in Cupertino.
I absolutely LOVE this CD. It's truly a Masterpiece and Phenomenal!!
It's so perfectly put together each track building on the previous, like a wave taking you so purely, poetically, spiritually.
When I often look at nature, I feel there is no artist that could even closely match God's creation of beauty.
This CD is like that perfection in art of music. It's not just songs. It's not just beautiful songs. It's the perfection that each track has on it's own and the perfection of how each track thereafter has following all that preceded it.
Excellent Work! If I were a poet, I would be able to express even better how impressed I am about this CD and how much I Love it.
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Complex music which doesn't seem to fit any particular style

As a musician and someone who listens to both classical western and classical Persian music, I found this CD to be a strange mixture which couldn't satisfy either one of the two familiarities. There were no songs which stuck with me, even after listening to the entire CD two or three times.
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After so many years finally Master Nazeri comes up yet with another masterpiece that makes the mysticism felt thru the modern and more vibrating instruments of our time.
I attended the concert and loved every moment of it. I had never seen him to play tanboor which he also amazed me with his mastery of this heavenly tar.
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I'm disappointed that some people are comparing this album with that of Hafez's father Shahram Nazeri. THIS IS NOT traditional Persian music, even though it's origins are. Mixing all these instruments of the east and west without one imposing over the other, beautifully complimenting each other is a great achievement! Add Rumi's influence and Shahram's voice to the mix and you have something as extraordinary as this album!
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Untold is a truly deeply spiritually riveting creation that resonates deep within the soul.

Every note connects with you and transforms you into a whole new mental musical dimension.

Untold is the sound of perfection...and you can hear the years of creativity and passion that went into this project by the Legendary Hafez Nazeri!

I HIGHLY recommend this album to enhance your auditory enjoyment!

A MUST TO HAVE!
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This is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I’ve heard in a long time. I also attended the concert, last night in Washington DC, which was a great experience, perhaps my most memorable concert experience so far! This is undoubtedly one of the best creations of music art ever. Keep up the great job Hafez!
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