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Iddrisu Alhassan Iddrisu KHUTBAH PURIFY YOUR INTENTION FOR HAJJ Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakaatuh All praise is due to Allah, Whom we praise and seek help, guidance and forgiveness from. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils within ourselves and from the burden Read more ... of our evil deeds. He, whom Allah guides, will never be misled; and he whom He allows to stray no one can guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah without partners and that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. We ask ALLAH to bestow His salutation upon our master and leader, Muhammad, SAW, his household, his companions and all those who believe in him till the end of time. O servants of Allah! Know that Hajj is one of the pillars and foundations of Islam, the act of worship of a lifetime, the seal of all that is commanded, the perfection of Islam and the completion of religion. Such a worship deserves that much attention to be devoted to explaining it and to detailing its essential elements, its properties, its merits, and its mysteries. The significance of Hajj as a pillar of Islam is quite evident from the reward this act of worship brings to its performer. As has been reported from the Messenger of Allah , the person performing the Hajj is forgiven and purified as if he/she is a newborn baby. Although its importance and formalities are generally known and talked about, its essence, spirit, and impact on a performer's behavior and personality are not generally understood or remembered. O servants of Allah! The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Innamal a’mal bi-n-Niyat” – [Actions are (judged/evaluated) by the intention]. As in all acts of worship in Islam the intention is of prime importance. This is what determines the actions done in obedience to Allah and those done for other than Allah. As we are aware, Allah will only reward the actions done purely for His sake. This, therefore, makes it pertinent that the pilgrim gets his intention right before stepping out of his home to embark on the arduous task of Hajj. The Prophet, SAW, said: ‘Sound Hajj has no reward except paradise’. For our Hajj to be sound our intention must be correct and fixed. The Prophet, SAW, also said: ‘At the end of time, four classes of people will go on pilgrimage; their rulers for the outing, their rich men for the trade, their poor men for begging, the Qur’an readers for the benefit of their reputations’. Have (are) we not seen (seeing) all of these playing out in hajj duties these days? Has Hajj and Umrah not become an adornment just for the name and status? Where is the fear of Allah and the tazkiyatun-nafs (purification of the soul)? Where did we get it wrong? All are connected with and to the intentions behind the Hajj. O servants of Allah! The matter we should take very serious is the reason why Allah and His Messenger (SAW) rated Hajj so high as to make it a passport for Jannah for one who performs it correctly with the good intention. What is the most significant aspect of this worship? Is it performance of certain rites and rituals, the special dress worn, and visitation of certain places that make it the most rewarding act of worship? Or, like other acts or worship in Islam, is it the changes that Hajj makes in the performer's personality, attitude, and outlook that are the essence of Hajj? For those going for the Hajj it is great expectation and hope while those at home it is also the same expectation and hope. For the hopes and expectations to lead to success in this world and the hereafter, we need to have a very clear understanding of what this Hajj involves. Know that we may be pre-occupied by the following issues: · Will they reach the House of Allah? Will the journey be truncated before reaching the destination? · What will they meet/see there? Will it meet their aspirations? What exactly do you think you will find in the House of Allah? · Will they be able to perform the hajj rites in the manners prescribed? Sickness could prevent the performance of the rites. · Will they come back home to give account of their experiences to their loved ones after the Hajj? Death could come calling. · Will there be another opportunity to repeat the hajj? This may be the only Hajj that you are destined to perform in your entire life. Indeed, it is this very one that is ‘fard’- compulsory. · Will Allah give them full reward as promised by the Prophet (SAW)? This is only possible if the Hajj is done purely for the sake of Allah in obedience to His commandment. Consequent upon the above issues all those setting out for the hajj should have good intention for the hajj, prepare mentally and physically for the challenges of the hajj and perform the hajj as if this is the only chance he/she will have to do it. He would also have to prepare his WILL and bid his family farewell and unto Allah alone he faces. If he comes back, that is the will of Allah, and unto Him he will give glory. This process of consciously soaking in the spirit of Hajj starts with the intention. As soon as you make an intention to perform Hajj, you should start reflecting on the lifestyle of Ibrahim, Isma'il, and Hajar. Allah has presented them as a model Muslim family. Hajj is, in fact, an intensive training in full, holistic, wholehearted, willing, and enthusiastic obedience and submission to Allah. This training is provided by making the believer simulate acts of love, dedication, and obedience performed by Ibrahim and his family. Hajj, in reality, is walking in the footsteps of that family, simulating the extraordinary acts of devotion they performed for the love of Allah. When you start for Hajj from your home, think of it as the beginning of a transformation process and not just a trip to sacred places. Start with a sincere repentance with a firm intention to change yourself to the desired level of commitment to Islam. Form specific mental images about how your attitude, personality, and outlook will be changing from your current state towards the Ibrahimic style and level as you proceed from home towards Al-Haram (Makkah). As you move through various stages in your journey, see your paradigm shifting with each step. When you remove your clothes and take a shower to put ihram on, visualize ridding yourself of all the old habits and behavior patterns that are not the best from the Islamic point of view and cleansing yourself from intentions and attitudes that are un-Islamic in nature and practice. When you put your ihram on, think of a new birth and a new beginning, start of a new life more like that of Ibrahim and Isma'il. O servants of Allah! When you are pure with the intention, you have indeed laid a very solid foundation for an acceptable hajj. While engaged in the hajj rites you pre-occupy yourself with the transformation spirit in the act. It is this kind of Hajj that makes you pure and sin-free as if you are a newborn baby. If Hajj is not performed with that kind of spirit, its intended benefits may not be realized. O servants of Allah! Hajj is a serious affair. The reward promised by Allah is great but does not come cheaply. If you cannot meet the scale of al-Junaid, do not despair for he (al-Junaid) is describing the Hajj of the saints and those very close to Allah. As for us, the ordinary men/women, we should at least create the consciousness and learn the rites properly before embarking on the journey. O servants of Allah! In your efforts towards doing Hajj that is acceptable, the money for the hajj must come from halal sources. You must strive, likewise, to avoid carrying on any business while on Hajj, such as would occupy the heart and distract your attention; for your purpose should be solely to remember Allah and to honour His rites. Remember the hadith quoted earlier in this discussion that at the end of time, four types of people will perform Hajj: the rulers (for enjoyment), the wealthy (to do business), the poor (to beg), and the Qur’an-reciters (to show off). This report indicates the kind of worldly purposes which can lie behind people’s Hajj, and they all destroy the Hajj’s merit and prevent people from performing the ceremony in its inward reality. In our days when Hajj cost is reaching the roofs and getting out of the reach of the poor, one must be pleased by the expenditures and sacrifices that he/she makes, and the losses one suffers to one’s money or person; for such trials are a sign that one’s Hajj has been accepted by Allah. A misfortune on the way to Hajj is like one of the difficulties which confront the warrior in Jihad, so that for every pain one feels, and for every loss one sustains, one has a reward - and Allah does not allow the reward of any good person to be lost. O servants of Allah! Know that the Prophet (SAW) said: "The sign of acceptance of Hajj is that the person's condition after Hajj should be BETTER than before Hajj". "The sign of acceptance of Hajj is refraining from all sins previously committed and changing bad friends to good ones and changing gatherings for vain purposes to gatherings for the remembrance of Allah." PART 2 All praises belong to Allah Who sent his Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth to make it overcome all other ways (not in conformity with it) and Allah is sufficient as Witness upon this. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the best of creation, Muhammad (SAW) and all his highly esteemed companions. O brethren! Call to mind that Allah’s command to our father, Ibrahim (AS) to “proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every Fajj (mountain highway) `Amiq (distant or wide) to perform Hajj .” Q22:26. It is this call that all pilgrims are responding to up till this day. Do not mind those non-Muslims who are imitating us to go on excursions and tours in the name of pilgrimage. Who call them to perform pilgrimage to the places they are visiting? What rites do they perform? When Ibrahim received the commandment (And proclaim to mankind the Hajj meaning, announce the pilgrimage to mankind and call them to perform pilgrimage to this House which We have commanded you to build) It was said that Ibrahim said: "O Lord, how can I convey this to people when my voice will not reach them'' It was said: "Call them and We will convey it.'' So Ibrahim stood up and said, "O mankind! Your Lord has established a House so come on pilgrimage to it.'' It is said that the mountains lowered themselves so that his voice would reach all the regions of the earth, and those who were still in their mothers' wombs and their fathers' loins would hear the call. The response came from everyone in the cities, deserts and countryside, and those whom Allah has decreed will make the pilgrimage, until the Day of Resurrection: "At Your service, O Allah, at Your service [Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk].'' [Tafsir Ibn Kathir] In the time past when the trip is by road with all its hazards, when the pilgrim enters the desert and sees the mountain-roads and other obstacles of travel, they should bring him to remember the reality of the time of his departure from this world and the obstacles he will face in the world of Barzakh (the temporary abode between death and resurrection for the final judgment) and Mah’shar (where we all will be gathered). The lonely path should remind us of the loneliness in the grave; likewise, the fear of highway robbers and wild animals should remind us of the fears of punishment in Barzakh. On arrival at Miqat, while wearing the Ihraam, one should remember the occasion when he will be wrapped up in Kafan (which resembles the Ihraam) with which he will present himself before the Almighty. In fact, if you see the sight of pilgrims sleeping in the Haram in the early morning of the 8th of Dhul Hijjah just before they move to Mina, you will be struck with the reality that we are all dead people whom Allah has graciously allow some respite to do some good work and earn thawab (reward). When the Pilgrims file out of Makkah to Mina, they recite the Talbiya (Labbayka Allahumma Labbayk etc). This Talbiyah is a response to the invitation of the Almighty as mentioned above (Q22:26), though while hoping for acceptance of his response, he should also fear its rejection, i.e. getting a reply of "Laa Labbaik wa laa sa'daik": your response is rejected! Indeed, many are those who set out for the Hajj and upon their utterance of the Talbiyya, Allah instructs the Angels to reply them thus: Laa labbayka wa laa sa’daika (There is no service and no success for you). This is the case of a rejected Hajj which may stem from corrupted intention. However, if the Hajj is accepted, Allah instructs the Angel to give the glad tiding thus: Labbayka wa sa’daika. The recitation of the Talbiyah and the unanimity of the crowd in proclaiming it should remind us all of the day of resurrection. We should remember the Blowing of the Trumpet when all people will issue forth from their graves towards the place of Judgment on the Day of Qiyaamah. When one enters Makkah he should remember that he has entered a holy place wherein everyone is afforded peace and security, and the hope that thereby he will be saved from Eternal punishment. He should be concerned about his salvation and forgiveness. Of course, at all times he should hope for forgiveness, as indeed, the House is a dignified place, the Absolute Owner is Infinitely Generous, His Mercy is All-encompassing and He does treat His guests in a most befitting manner. In the majestic House of God (the Ka’bah), one should imagine beholding the Owner, and hope that as he has been successful in seeing the House, he will also be successful in meeting the Almighty, and he should thank Him for granting him such a wonderful opportunity. When circumambulating (Tawaaf) one should fill one's mind with respect, love, hope and fear, and know that making Tawaaf makes him like Malaaika-e-Muqarrabeen who continuously make Tawaaf around the Great Throne (A'rsh-e-Aazam). He should realize that the general purpose of Tawaaf is the circumambulation of the heart with the remembrance of the Lord of the House. This may be the hint thrown by the hadeeth that Bait-ul-Ma'moor is the House in Heaven similar to Kaa'ba on earth, around which the angels move similar to man's circumambulation on earth. Kissing the Hajar al-Aswad (if possible) represents kissing God's hand on earth. The people's covenant are recorded on it (as earlier explained on our discussion of the Hajar al-Aswad), for, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) is reported to have said that the Hajar al-Aswad is God's hand amongst the creation for the pilgrim to shake hands with Him just as the servant shakes that of his master. The purpose of kissing and hugging on to the cloth of Kaa'ba or any of its part should be to gain proximity to the almighty by loving His House and hoping for salvation of one's body from the Hellfire, just as a wrong-doer clings to the cloth of a King seeking mercy and forgiveness. The Sa’yee (The act of walking between the two hills - Safaa and Marwah) resembles a place in a King's court and uncertainty of the Pilgrim of what the King will decree for him. And while traversing between the two hills he should remember his running between the two scales of deeds on the Day of Judgment. When one reaches Arafah and sees the large crowd of people with different languages each supplicating and begging in his own tongue and each carrying out duties according to his leader's instruction and guidance, he should remember the Day of Reckoning and its fearful atmosphere with all people lost here and there, every group under its own leader and prophet. When these thoughts predominate, one should raise hands in supplication and pray with all sincerity to Allah to accept his Hajj and that he may be resurrected in the company of the virtuous ones. Upon completion of the Wuquf Arafah, one should be positive that Allah has forgiven him his sins. When one returns from Arafah to Makkah and re-enters the Haram, he should consider it as a good omen that God has accepted him by allowing him to enter the Haram and that He has welcomed him to His proximity and has granted him protection from Hellfire. When one reaches Mina for Ramy-e-Jamrah (throwing pebbles at Jamrah), his intention should be obedience to Allah's commands; in such a state he should follow the example set by the Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) when Shaytan appeared before him at this place and the Almighty ordered him to throw pebbles at Shaytan i.e. one should intend throwing pebbles at Shaytan. The slaughtering of the sacrificial animal is the supreme indication of overcoming Shaytan and his evil-commanding-self, and thereby freedom from Hellfire. Thus at that moment he should endeavor to repent of and refrain from bad deeds. O brethren! We have gone this length to explain the need for good intention for and understanding the rites of Hajj and its spirituality to ensure that we get the maximum benefits and rewards from the trip and for the Hajj to transform our lives for the better. We, therefore, beseech Allah to expand our hearts for the assimilation of His Wisdom and make easy our tasks and remove all obstacles and impediments from our path/course and enable us thereby to perform Hajj Mabruur in which all our sins are forgiven and all supplications are granted. Aaamiin yaa rabbal aalameen. Subhana Rabina Rabbil izzati amma yasifun Wassalamun alal mursaleen walhamdu lillahi rabbil aalameen.
25 minutes ago
Rami Bar-Niv Beijing, Forbidden City Concert Hall, a couple of hours before the concert, August 4, 2014. Here is Brian Becroft's article, Aug 25, 2014, NZ, "Reflections on a great musician": "I heard Rami play the Busoni and Appassionata and his own Rhapsody in Read more ... Blue and White in different venues. This choice of program especially in the first half is designed to create a monumental impression on the audience with the three long and substantial works. One characteristic of Rami's playing is the ability to match technique with musical genre. In a quite clever way we see here in his recital programming psychology an ability to communicate the musically big statements spanning 1600s-21st century. We have his Bach personified via the apex of the late post-romantic era in Busoni as he encourages the piano to its full note potential. An added build to the audience mind occurs when Rami speaks to the music he is about to play. In a masterful coup - (please note that the word 'coup' used advisedly here is not the usual "a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government" although this could be said about Rami's artistic takeover of the audiences' musical mind - BUT the more complementary alternative dictum: "an instance of successfully achieving something difficult.") - he speaks to the claim of Busoni, who attempts to create the grandeur of the large hall organ with "arms and feet and twenty digits" like a master magician with the piano only. So this is the canvas Rami Bar-Niv, pianist extraordinaire, in an almost beguiling ingenuous way naively suggests he will attempt this heroic expedition! So in the first composition of his recital series he plays the epic Busoni BWV 564 - the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue on Piano. In lesser hands this would be a brash and calculated farce, especially given the two subsequent pieces in the recital first half. It is apparent that Bar-Niv is actually presenting here not as an exploring young pianist developing 'persona gracia' but as an experienced colourist. He clearly speaks through the musical Regency of JS Bach's musical ideas and thus establishing credentials in 21st century pianistic terms, a veritable "hello" statement of an elder statesman of the piano and it's illustrous traditions and assumed audience of similar pedigree... Why do I say this? Because I believe that by his choice of programming, he rises above mere pianism, he presents a 'tour de force' - A feat demonstrating brilliance and mastery, the collective power of Bach, Busoni, Beethoven, Bar-niv, like any great pianist he is not a pianist, but a man, a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve. He who programs such serious works is making a statement of his life and culture, in particular Israeli culture and it could not be any other way. He speaks in his inimitable way, as a measure of what I am trying to convey, try saying it another way - so good or unusual as to be impossible to copy... When you hear how he has woven the Israeli folk songs and the National Anthem into a forging of national identity. The musical scope is primeval and raw - based on note cluster effects, primal and at times even savage, then the emotional theme continually returns on crescendos of articulated arpeggiated bass which creates an impression of an ocean of waves expressing the rising and falling of a profound Lament of the Israeli nation and peoples in a turbulent Middle-East setting. The juxtaposition of Beethoven's Sonata Appassionata, represents everything that could be said of Mr Bar-Niv's nation and situation in the world context that Beethoven clothed his piano sounds with, the idea of personal identity, freedom of the human spirit, at times, overwhelming forces, power and responsibility, also not the least, the exquisite expression of the human spirit. The trilogy of compositions placed the whole gamut of human experience before us in confidant assertive terms. Such is the conception, the big picture inherent in Rami's style of playing piano, to use sounds and notes to express ideas; a wide picture. In the second half of his concerts Rami showed us his delight and funful character, with his own compositions, the Rags, bathed in an eloquent golden-glow style of playing, quoting in a masquerade of masks... and a two-step to his three-step... and a ...!! always ready to laugh and mime in a musical characterisation which I believe is his musical forte, always the hallmark of a composer pianist. His understanding of Rhythm, Rubato, Inner voicing, Dynamic clip, shows as an organic expression of purpose. This is not a young musician; this is a mature expression of a golden life of musical culture. No distant musician here. Rather a closely engaged emotional man of purpose and directness, warm-heartedness, but a serious man with knowledge of every Caprice of the human condition.
26 minutes ago
Rami Bar-Niv Beijing, Forbidden City Concert Hall, a couple of hours before the concert, August 4, 2014. Here is Brian Becroft's article, Aug 25, 2014, NZ, "Reflections on a great musician": "I heard Rami play the Busoni and Appassionata and his own Rhapsody in Read more ... Blue and White in different venues. This choice of program especially in the first half is designed to create a monumental impression on the audience with the three long and substantial works. One characteristic of Rami's playing is the ability to match technique with musical genre. In a quite clever way we see here in his recital programming psychology an ability to communicate the musically big statements spanning 1600s-21st century. We have his Bach personified via the apex of the late post-romantic era in Busoni as he encourages the piano to its full note potential. An added build to the audience mind occurs when Rami speaks to the music he is about to play. In a masterful coup - (please note that the word 'coup' used advisedly here is not the usual "a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government" although this could be said about Rami's artistic takeover of the audiences' musical mind - BUT the more complementary alternative dictum: "an instance of successfully achieving something difficult.") - he speaks to the claim of Busoni, who attempts to create the grandeur of the large hall organ with "arms and feet and twenty digits" like a master magician with the piano only. So this is the canvas Rami Bar-Niv, pianist extraordinaire, in an almost beguiling ingenuous way naively suggests he will attempt this heroic expedition! So in the first composition of his recital series he plays the epic Busoni BWV 564 - the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue on Piano. In lesser hands this would be a brash and calculated farce, especially given the two subsequent pieces in the recital first half. It is apparent that Bar-Niv is actually presenting here not as an exploring young pianist developing 'persona gracia' but as an experienced colourist. He clearly speaks through the musical Regency of JS Bach's musical ideas and thus establishing credentials in 21st century pianistic terms, a veritable "hello" statement of an elder statesman of the piano and it's illustrous traditions and assumed audience of similar pedigree... Why do I say this? Because I believe that by his choice of programming, he rises above mere pianism, he presents a 'tour de force' - A feat demonstrating brilliance and mastery, the collective power of Bach, Busoni, Beethoven, Bar-niv, like any great pianist he is not a pianist, but a man, a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve. He who programs such serious works is making a statement of his life and culture, in particular Israeli culture and it could not be any other way. He speaks in his inimitable way, as a measure of what I am trying to convey, try saying it another way - so good or unusual as to be impossible to copy... When you hear how he has woven the Israeli folk songs and the National Anthem into a forging of national identity. The musical scope is primeval and raw - based on note cluster effects, primal and at times even savage, then the emotional theme continually returns on crescendos of articulated arpeggiated bass which creates an impression of an ocean of waves expressing the rising and falling of a profound Lament of the Israeli nation and peoples in a turbulent Middle-East setting. The juxtaposition of Beethoven's Sonata Appassionata, represents everything that could be said of Mr Bar-niv's nation and situation in the world context that Beethoven clothed his piano sounds with, the idea of personal identity, freedom of the human spirit, at times, overwhelming forces, power and responsibility, also not the least, the exquisite expression of the human spirit. The trilogy of compositions placed the whole gamut of human experience before us in confidant assertive terms. Such is the conception, the big picture inherent in Rami's style of playing piano, to use sounds and notes to express ideas; a wide picture. In the second half of his concerts Rami showed us his delight and funful character, with his own compositions, the Rags, bathed in an eloquent golden-glow style of playing, quoting in a masquerade of masks... and a two-step to his three-step... and a ...!! always ready to laugh and mime in a musical characterisation which I believe is his musical forte, always the hallmark of a composer pianist. His understanding of Rhythm, Rubato, Inner voicing, Dynamic clip, shows as an organic expression of purpose. This is not a young musician; this is a mature expression of a golden life of musical culture. No distant musician here. Rather a closely engaged emotional man of purpose and directness, warm-heartedness, but a serious man with knowledge of every Caprice of the human condition.
28 minutes ago
Rami Bar-Niv Beijing, Forbidden City Concert Hall, a couple of hours before the concert, August 4, 2014. Here is Brian Becroft's article, Aug 25, 2014, NZ, "Reflections on a great musician": "I heard Rami play the Busoni and Appassionata and his own Rhapsody in Read more ... Blue and White in different venues. This choice of program especially in the first half is designed to create a monumental impression on the audience with the three long and substantial works. One characteristic of Rami's playing is the ability to match technique with musical genre. In a quite clever way we see here in his recital programming psychology an ability to communicate the musically big statements spanning 1600s-21st century. We have his Bach personified via the apex of the late post-romantic era in Busoni as he encourages the piano to its full note potential. An added build to the audience mind occurs when Rami speaks to the music he is about to play. In a masterful coup - (please note that the word 'coup' used advisedly here is not the usual "a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government" although this could be said about Rami's artistic takeover of the audiences' musical mind - BUT the more complementary alternative dictum: "an instance of successfully achieving something difficult.") - he speaks to the claim of Busoni, who attempts to create the grandeur of the large hall organ with "arms and feet and twenty digits" like a master magician with the piano only. So this is the canvas Rami Bar-Niv, pianist extraordinaire, in an almost beguiling ingenuous way niavely suggests he will attempt this heroic expedition! So in the first composition of his recital series he plays the epic Busoni BWV 564 - the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue on Piano. In lesser hands this would be a brash and calculated farce, especially given the two subsequent pieces in the recital first half. It is apparent that Bar-Niv is actually presenting here not as an exploring young pianist developing 'persona gracia' but as an experienced colourist. He clearly speaks through the musical Regency of JS Bach's musical ideas and thus establishing credentials in 21st century pianistic terms, a veritable "hello" statement of an elder statesman of the piano and it's illustrous traditions and assumed audience of similar pedigree... Why do I say this? Because I believe that by his choice of programming, he rises above mere pianism, he presents a 'tour de force' - A feat demonstrating brilliance and mastery, the collective power of Bach, Busoni, Beethoven, Bar-niv, like any great pianist he is not a pianist, but a man, a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve. He who programs such serious works is making a statement of his life and culture, in particular Israeli culture and it could not be any other way. He speaks in his inimitable way, as a measure of what I am trying to convey, try saying it another way - so good or unusual as to be impossible to copy... When you hear how he has woven the Israeli folk songs and the National Anthem into a forging of national identity. The musical scope is primeval and raw - based on note cluster effects, primal and at times even savage, then the emotional theme continually returns on crescendos of articulated arpeggiated bass which creates an impression of an ocean of waves expressing the rising and falling of a profound Lament of the Israeli nation and peoples in a turbulent Middle-East setting. The juxtaposition of Beethoven's Sonata Appassionata, represents everything that could be said of Mr Bar-niv's nation and situation in the world context that Beethoven clothed his piano sounds with, the idea of personal identity, freedom of the human spirit, at times, overwhelming forces, power and responsibility, also not the least, the exquisite expression of the human spirit. The trilogy of compositions placed the whole gamut of human experience before us in confidant assertive terms. Such is the conception, the big picture inherent in Rami's style of playing piano, to use sounds and notes to express ideas; a wide picture. In the second half of his concerts Rami showed us his delight and funful character, with his own compositions, the Rags, bathed in an eloquent golden-glow style of playing, quoting in a masquerade of masks... and a two-step to his three-step... and a ...!! always ready to laugh and mime in a musical characterisation which I believe is his musical forte, always the hallmark of a composer pianist. His understanding of Rhythm, Rubato, Inner voicing, Dynamic clip, shows as an organic expression of purpose. This is not a young musician; this is a mature expression of a golden life of musical culture. No distant musician here. Rather a closely engaged emotional man of purpose and directness, warm-heartedness, but a serious man with knowledge of every Caprice of the human condition.
36 minutes ago
Rami Bar-Niv Beijing, Forbidden City Concert Hall, a couple of hours before the concert, August 4, 2014. Here is Brian Becroft's article, Aug 25, 2014, NZ, "Reflections on a great musician": "I heard Rami play the Busoni and Appassionata and his own Rhapsody in Read more ... Blue and White in different venues. This choice of program especially in the first half is designed to create a monumental impression on the audience with the three long and substantial works. One characteristic of Rami's playing is the ability to match technique with musical genre. In a quite clever way we see here in his recital programming psychology an ability to communicate the musically big statements spanning 1600s-21st century. We have his Bach personified via the apex of the late post-romantic era in Busoni as he encourages the piano to its full note potential. An added build to the audience mind occurs when Rami speaks to the music he is about to play. In a masterful coup - (please note that the word 'coup' used advisedly here is not the usual "a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government" although this could be said about Rami's artistic takeover of the audiences' musical mind - BUT the more complementary alternative dictum: "an instance of successfully achieving something difficult.") - he speaks to the claim of Busoni, who attempts to create the grandeur of the large hall organ with "arms and feet and twenty digits" like a master magician with the piano only. So this is the canvas Rami Bar-Niv, pianist extraordinaire, in an almost beguiling ingenuous way niavely suggests he will attempt this heroic expedition! So in the first composition of his recital series he plays the epic Busoni BWV 564 - the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue on Piano. In lesser hands this would be a brash and calculated farce, especially given the two subsequent pieces in the recital first half. It is apparent that Bar-Niv is actually presenting here not as an exploring young pianist developing 'persona gracia' but as an experienced colourist. He clearly speaks through the musical Regency of JS Bach's musical ideas and thus establishing credentials in 21st century pianistic terms, a veritable "hello" statement of an elder statesman of the piano and it's illustrous traditions and assumed audience of similar pedigree... Why do I say this? Because I believe that by his choice of programming, he rises above mere pianism, he presents a 'tour de force' - A feat demonstrating brilliance and mastery, the collective power of Bach, Busoni, Beethoven, Bar-niv, like any great pianist he is not a pianist, but a man, a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve. He who programs such serious works is making a statement of his life and culture, in particular Israeli culture and it could not be any other way. He speaks in his inimitable way, as a measure of what I am trying to convey, try saying it another way - so good or unusual as to be impossible to copy... When you hear how he has woven the Israeli folk songs and the National Anthem into a forging of national identity. The musical scope is primeval and raw - based on note cluster effects, primal and at times even savage, then the emotional theme continually returns on crescendos of articulated arpeggiated bass which creates an impression of an ocean of waves expressing the rising and falling of a profound Lament of the Israeli nation and peoples in a turbulent Middle-East setting. The juxtaposition of Beethoven's Sonata Appassionata, represents everything that could be said of Mr Bar-niv's nation and situation in the world context that Beethoven clothed his piano sounds with, the idea of personal identity, freedom of the human spirit, at times, overwhelming forces, power and responsibility, also not the least, the exquisite expression of the human spirit. The trilogy of compositions placed the whole gamut of human experience before us in confidant assertive terms. Such is the conception, the big picture inherent in Rami's style of playing piano, to use sounds and notes to express ideas; a wide picture. In the second half of his concerts Rami showed us his delight and funful character, with his own compositions, the Rags, bathed in an eloquent golden-glow style of playing, quoting in a masquerade of masks... and a two-step to his three-step... and a ...!! always ready to laugh and mime in a musical characterisation which I believe is his musical forte, always the hallmark of a composer pianist. His understanding of Rhythm, Rubato, Inner voicing, Dynamic clip, shows as an organic expression of purpose. This is not a young musician; this is a mature expression of a golden life of musical culture. No distant musician here. Rather a closely engaged emotional man of purpose and directness, warm-heartedness, but a serious man with knowledge of every Caprice of the human condition.
39 minutes ago
Rami Bar-Niv Beijing, Forbidden City Concert Hall, a couple of hours before the concert, August 4, 2014. Here is Brian Becroft's article, Aug 25, 2014, NZ, "Reflections on a great musician": "I heard Rami play the Busoni and Appassionata and his own Rhapsody in Read more ... Blue and White in different venues. This choice of program especially in the first half is designed to create a monumental impression on the audience with the three long and substantial works. One characteristic of Rami's playing is the ability to match technique with musical genre. In a quite clever way we see here in his recital programming psychology an ability to communicate the musically big statements spanning 1600s-21st century. We have his Bach personified via the apex of the late post-romantic era in Busoni as he encourages the piano to its full note potential. An added build to the audience mind occurs when Rami speaks to the music he is about to play. In a masterful coup - (please note that the word 'coup' used advisedly here is not the usual "a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government" although this could be said about Rami's artistic takeover of the audiences' musical mind - BUT the more complementary alternative dictum: "an instance of successfully achieving something difficult.") - he speaks to the claim of Busoni, who attempts to create the grandeur of the large hall organ with "arms and feet and twenty digits" like a master magician with the piano only. So this is the canvas Rami Bar-Niv, pianist extraordinaire, in an almost beguiling ingenuous way niavely suggests he will attempt this heroic expedition! So in the first composition of his recital series he plays the epic Busoni BWV 564 - the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue on Piano. In lesser hands this would be a brash and calculated farce, especially given the two subsequent pieces in the recital first half. It is apparent that Bar-Niv is actually presenting here not as an exploring young pianist developing 'persona gracia' but as an experienced colourist. He clearly speaks through the musical Regency of JS Bach's musical ideas and thus establishing credentials in 21st century pianistic terms, a veritable "hello" statement of an elder statesman of the piano and it's illustrous traditions and assumed audience of similar pedigree... Why do I say this? Because I believe that by his choice of programming, he rises above mere pianism, he presents a 'tour de force' - A feat demonstrating brilliance and mastery, the collective power of Bach, Busoni, Beethoven, Bar-niv, like any great pianist he is not a pianist, but a man, a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve. He who programs such serious works is making a statement of his life and culture, in particular Israeli culture and it could not be any other way. He speaks in his inimitable way, as a measure of what I am trying to convey, try saying it another way - so good or unusual as to be impossible to copy... When you hear how he has woven the Israeli folk songs and the National Anthem into a forging of national identity. The musical scope is primeval and raw - based on note cluster effects, primal and at times even savage, then the emotional theme continually returns on crescendo of articulated arpeggiated bass which creates an impression of an ocean of waves expressing the rising and falling of a profound Lament of the Israeli nation and peoples in a turbulent Middle-East setting. The juxtaposition of Beethoven's Sonata Appassionata, represents everything that could be said of Mr Bar-niv's nation and situation in the world context that Beethoven clothed his piano sounds with, the idea of personal identity, freedom of the human spirit, at times, overwhelming forces, power and responsibility, also not the least, the exquisite expression of the human spirit. The trilogy of compositions placed the whole gamut of human experience before us in confidant assertive terms. Such is the conception, the big picture inherent in Rami's style of playing piano, to use sounds and notes to express ideas; a wide picture. In the second half of his concerts Rami showed us his delight and funful character, with his own compositions, the Rags, bathed in an eloquent golden-glow style of playing, quoting in a masquerade of masks... and a two-step to his three-step... and a ...!! always ready to laugh and mime in a musical characterisation which I believe is his musical forte, always the hallmark of a composer pianist. His understanding of Rhythm, Rubato, Inner voicing, Dynamic clip, shows as an organic expression of purpose. This is not a young musician; this is a mature expression of a golden life of musical culture. No distant musician here. Rather a closely engaged emotional man of purpose and directness, warm-heartedness, but a serious man with knowledge of every Caprice of the human condition.
50 minutes ago
Rami Bar-Niv Beijing, Forbidden City Concert Hall, a couple of hours before the concert, August 4, 2014. Here is Brian Becroft's article, Aug 25, 2014, NZ, "Reflections on a great musician": "I heard Rami play the Busoni and Appassionata and his own Rhapsody in Read more ... Blue and White in different venues. This choice of program especially in the first half is designed to create a monumental impression on the audience with the three long and substantial works. One characteristic of Rami's playing is the ability to match technique with musical genre. In a quite clever way we see here in his recital programming psychology an ability to communicate the musically big statements spanning 1600s-21st century. We have his Bach personified via the apex of the late post-romantic era in Busoni as he encourages the piano to its full note potential. An added build to the audience mind occurs when Rami speaks to the music he is about to play. In a masterful coup - (please note that the word 'coup' used advisedly here is not the usual "a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government" although this could be said about Rami's artistic takeover of the audiences' musical mind - BUT the more complementary alternative dictum: "an instance of successfully achieving something difficult.") - he speaks to the claim of Busoni, who attempts to create the grandeur of the large hall organ with "arms and feet and twenty digits" like a master magician with the piano only. So this is the canvas Rami Bar-Niv, pianist extraordinaire, in an almost beguiling ingenuous way niavely suggests he will attempt this heroic expedition! So in the first composition of his recital series he plays the epic Busoni BWV 564 - the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue on Piano. In lesser hands this would be a brash and calculated farce, especially given the two subsequent pieces in the recital first half. It is apparent that Bar-Niv is actually presenting here not as an exploring young pianist developing 'persona gracia' but as an experienced colourist. He clearly speaks through the musical Regency of JS Bach's musical ideas and thus establishing credentials in 21st century pianistic terms, a veritable "hello" statement of an elder statesman of the piano and it's illustrous traditions and assumed audience of similar pedigree... Why do I say this? Because I believe that by his choice of programming, he rises above mere pianism, he presents a 'tour de force' - A feat demonstrating brilliance and mastery, the collective power of Bach, Busoni, Beethoven, Bar-niv, like any great pianist he is not a pianist, but a man, a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve. He who programs such serious works is making a statement of his life and culture, in particular Israeli culture and it could not be any other way. He speaks in his inimitable way, as a measure of what I am trying to convey, try saying it another way - so good or unusual as to be impossible to copy... When you hear how he has woven the Israeli folk songs and the National Anthem into a forging of national identity. The musical scope is primeval and raw - based on note cluster effects, primal and at times even savage, then the emotional theme continually returns on crescendos of articulated arpeggiated bass which creates an impression of an ocean of waves expressing the rising and falling of a profound Lament of the Israeli nation and peoples in a turbulent Middle-East setting. The juxtaposition of Beethoven's Sonata Appassionata, represents everything that could be said of Mr Bar-niv's nation and situation in the world context that Beethoven clothed his piano sounds with, the idea of personal identity, freedom of the human spirit, at times, overwhelming forces, power and responsibility, also not the least, the exquisite expression of the human spirit. The trilogy of compositions placed the whole gamut of human experience before us in confidant assertive terms. Such is the conception, the big picture inherent in Rami's style of playing piano, to use sounds and notes to express ideas; a wide picture. In the second half of his concerts Rami showed us his delight and funful character, with his own compositions, the Rags, bathed in an eloquent golden-glow style of playing, quoting in a masquerade of masks... and a two-step to his three-step... and a ...!! always ready to laugh and mime in a musical characterisation which I believe is his musical forte, always the hallmark of a composer pianist. His understanding of Rhythm, Rubato, Inner voicing, Dynamic clip, shows as an organic expression of purpose. This is not a young musician; this is a mature expression of a golden life of musical culture. No distant musician here. Rather a closely engaged emotional man of purpose and directness, warm-heartedness, but a serious man with knowledge of every Caprice of the human condition.
1 hour ago
Rami Bar-Niv Beijing, Forbidden City Concert Hall, a couple of hours before the concert, August 4, 2014. Here is Brian Becroft's article, Aug 25, 2014, NZ, "Reflections on a great musician": "I heard Rami play the Busoni and Appassionata and his own Rhapsody in Read more ... Blue and White in different venues. This choice of program especially in the first half is designed to create a monumental impression on the audience with the three long and substantial works. One characteristic of Rami's playing is the ability to match technique with musical genre. In a quite clever way we see here in his recital programming psychology an ability to communicate the musically big statements spanning 1600s-21st century. We have his Bach personified via the apex of the late post-romantic era in Busoni as he encourages the piano to its full note potential. An added build to the audience mind occurs when Rami speaks to the music he is about to play. In a masterful coup - (please note that the word 'coup' used advisedly here is not the usual "a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government" although this could be said about Rami's artistic takeover of the audiences' musical mind - BUT the more complementary alternative dictum: "an instance of successfully achieving something difficult.") - he speaks to the claim of Busoni, who attempts to create the grandeur of the large hall organ with "arms and feet and twenty digits" like a master magician with the piano only. So this is the canvas Rami Bar-Niv, pianist extraordinaire, in an almost beguiling ingenuous way niavely suggests he will attempt this heroic expedition! So in the first composition of his recital series he plays the epic Busoni BWV 564 - the Toccata, Adagio and Fugue on Piano. In lesser hands this would be a brash and calculated farce, especially given the two subsequent pieces in the recital first half. It is apparent that Bar-Niv is actually presenting here not as an exploring young pianist developing 'persona gracia' but as an experienced colourist. He clearly speaks through the musical Regency of JS Bach's musical ideas and thus establishing credentials in 21st century pianistic terms, a veritable "hello" statement of an elder statesman of the piano and it's illustrous traditions and assumed audience of similar pedigree... Why do I say this? Because I believe that by his choice of programming, he rises above mere pianism, he presents a 'tour de force' - A feat demonstrating brilliance and mastery, the collective power of Bach, Busoni, Beethoven, Bar-niv, like any great pianist he is not a pianist, but a man, a musician who wears his heart on his sleeve. He who programs such serious works is making a statement of his life and culture, in particular Israeli culture and it could not be any other way. He speaks in his inimitable way, as a measure of what I am trying to convey, try saying it another way - so good or unusual as to be impossible to copy... When you hear how he has woven the Israeli folk songs and the National Anthem into a forging of national identity. The musical scope is primeval and raw - based on note cluster effects, primal and at times even savage, then the emotional theme continually returns on cresendos of articulated arpeggiated bass which creates an impression of an ocean of waves expressing the rising and falling of a profound Lament of the Israeli nation and peoples in a turbulent Middle-East setting. The juxtaposition of Beethoven's Sonata Appassionata, represents everything that could be said of Mr Bar-niv's nation and situation in the world context that Beethoven clothed his piano sounds with, the idea of personal identity, freedom of the human spirit, at times, overwhelming forces, power and responsibility, also not the least, the exquisite expression of the human spirit. The trilogy of compositions placed the whole gamut of human experience before us in confidant assertive terms. Such is the conception, the big picture inherent in Rami's style of playing piano, to use sounds and notes to express ideas; a wide picture. In the second half of his concerts Rami showed us his delight and funful character, with his own compositions, the Rags, bathed in an eloquent golden-glow style of playing, quoting in a masquerade of masks... and a two-step to his three-step... and a ...!! always ready to laugh and mime in a musical characterisation which I believe is his musical forte, always the hallmark of a composer pianist. His understanding of Rhythm, Rubato, Inner voicing, Dynamic clip, shows as an organic expression of purpose. This is not a young musician; this is a mature expression of a golden life of musical culture. No distant musician here. Rather a closely engaged emotional man of purpose and directness, warm-heartedness, but a serious man with knowledge of every Caprice of the human condition.
1 hour ago
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