78ff. Large folio, some leaves 457 x 305 mm, some 433 x 281 mm, some on heavier stock. Notated in pencil on one side of the leaf only. On "Passantino 26 stave Pad 33" paper. With title and "for Tugen" at head, composer's name to upper outer corner, and copyright date of 2000 and address to lower margin of first page.
First movement: ff. 1-55; second movement: "It Is What It Is," ff. 56-78. With occasional annotations, corrections, and deletions in red, blue, and lead pencil, occasional white-outs and overpastes, leaves 49-53 in photocopy. Editorial markings in red, blue, and lead pencil throughout.
Scored for solo piano and large orchestra including three flutes (the third doubling piccolo), two oboes (the second doubling English horn), two clarinets, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, two bassoons, contrabassoon, four horns, three trumpets in C, three trombones, tuba, harp, strings, and four percussionists playing three timpani, snare drum, tenor drum, three tom-toms, triangle, bell plate, mark tree, two crotales, riq (small Arabic tambourine), bendir (Arabic frame drum with snares), djembe (Senegalese drum with tin jingles), xylophone, and marimba.
- 13 pp. autograph sketches for the work in pencil, some dated 9-22-2000 to 9-25-2000.
- Printed parts for solo piano, harp, percussion, and brass.
Premiered on November 17, 2000 for a student concert and then officially on November 19, 2000, at Kent State's Ludwig Recital Hall. Recorded by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, issued in 2016.
"The concerto's Arabic title has at least three distinct meanings. In the first, the word Surrr-Rah refers to the human navel, which in Arabic culture is believed to be the center of the human body. In its second meaning, Surrr-Rah refers to a nearly imperceptible sound that is heard each morning immediately before the appearance of the sun. The third meaning, often spelled sura or surah, is one of the 114 individual segments, or chapters, of the Islamic holy book, the Qur'an. In the composer's view, the first two meanings exhibit the similarity between the solar plexus, the human body's center of gravity, and the sun, and the solar system's center of gravity, around which the planets revolve. The work expresses the composer's belief in the interrelationship between humanity and the cosmos." Seachrist: The Musical World of Halim El-Dabh, p. 176.
El-Dabh prepared a second version of the work for piano, oboe, English horn, violin, and percussion shortly after the premiere of the piece.
An Egyptian-born American composer, performer, ethnomusicologist, and educator, El-Dabh came to the United States in 1950, becoming a part of the New York music scene that included Cage, Varèse, and Hovhaness. He went on to study composition with Krenek, Copland, Dallapiccola and others.
"El-Dabh’s compositional style is influenced by Egyptian folk and traditional music. Frequently monodic, his works feature complex rhythms and much use of percussion. His career was launched in 1949 with a highly acclaimed performance of It is Dark and Damp on the Front (1948) at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo. In 1950 he made his début as a solo drummer, under the direction of Stokowski, in the first performance of Tahmeela. Other works include Clytemnestra (1958), One More Gaudy Night (1961), A Look at Lightning (1962) and Lucifer (1975), commissioned by Martha Graham; Sound and Light of the Pyramids of Giza (1960), written for the Cultural Ministry of the Egyptian Government and performed daily at the pyramids; and New Pharaoh’s Suite, written for the Cleveland Museum of Art to accompany a visiting Ethiopian exhibit from the Louvre (1996). Spectrum no.1 ‘Symphonies in Sonic Vibration’ (1955) and Leiyla and the Poet (1959) have been recorded." Denise A. Seachrist in Grove Music Online.
An early pioneer of electronic music, El-Dabh composed one of the earliest known works of tape music, or "musique concrète," in 1944, The Expression of Zaar.
"El-Dabh is probably the best known composer of Arabic descent and his works are highly regarded in Egypt, where he is considered the foremost living composer among that nations's 'second generation' of contemporary composers." Wikipedia. Item #31491
Price: $12,500.00 other currencies