String Quartet № 1

Mehdi Hosseini (*1979)
String Quartet № 1 (2003)
Based on folk music material of Northern Khorasan “Ghuchan”


Recorded by Con Moto String Quartet
Yuliya Baranova, 1st violin
Evgeny Zvonnikov, 2nd violin
Anna Vainshtein, viola
Andrey Ivanov, violincello

Russia, Saint-Petersburg State Conservatory


The String Quartet No.1 is based on regional music of Northern Khorasan (Ghuchan). The form of this single movement work derives loosely from the Sonata-Rondo, but using both magham material and magham structural procedures. All is synchronized within a contemporary framework so as to preserve the striking character of the regional music of Northern Khorastan. The Quartet’s compositional process began with the transcribing of a recording made by Ghorban Soleimani on the dotar (literally ‘two-stringed instrument’). In this particular recording Soleimani made use of the Magham Shakhatoai-Zaranji, Guzal and Magam Greyli – three famous songs of Khorasan. Of particular interest is the rhythm of the last of these – Magma Greyly – whose lively and complex meter suddenly leaps out midway through the Quartet. The work finishes with another quote from Magham Shakhatai-Zaranji, but in this incarnation the tempo surges to an Allegro Molto (as opposed to its more tranquil utterance at the Quartet’s beginning) and brings the String Quartet to a robust and vivid end.

 Timothy Dunne