RUḤAFZĀ, SOLAYMĀN

RUḤAFZĀ, Solaymān (also known as Simon Imorā; b. Tehran 1900, d. Israel, 1995), master of Persian classical music, who adopted his last name from a guša in the Rāst Panjgāh mode (dastgāh) of Persian music. His father, Mordeḵāy, and grandfather, Ebrāhim ʿAzariā, were both master żarb (tombak “chalice drum”) players, and Solaymān, besides being a master tār player, was a skillful violin, viola, and kamānča player. He studied music with master musicians Āqā Ḥosaynqoli (1853-1916) and Ḡolām-Ḥosayn Darviš Khan (1872-1926), was among the original members of Ruḥ-Allāh Ḵāleqi’s (1906-12 November 1965) orchestra established in 1943, and one of the performers in the orchestra’s first public concert in June 1944 in Sinemā Tehrān on Eslāmbol Street. Ruḥafzā was also one of the founding members of the National Music Association (Anjoman-e musiqi-e melli), established 17 September 1944, and the Iranian Union of Musicians (Etteḥādiya-ye musiqidānān-e Irān), established 27 November 1951 (Ḵāleqi, III, pp. 109-13; Sepantā, 1987, pp. 259, 312; idem, 1990, p. 223; Mašḥun, pp. 553, 559; Naṣirifar, IV, pp. 21, 147, 155, 191; Jawādi, II, p. 594).

Ruḥafzā belongs to the first generation of Persian classical musicians who learned musical notation and the second generation to record his music, and arguably was one of the least duly recognized musicians of his time by the general public. Chief among his achievements is a series of recordings in 1959 of the complete repertoire (radif) of the seven dastgāhs. Collected and arranged by Musā Maʿrufi, this compilation includes Mehdiqoli Hedāyat’s notation of Mirzā ʿAbd-Allāh’s radif (Naṣirifar, I, p. 62; Mir-ʿAlinaqi, p. 154; During, p. 32). This recording of Ruḥafzā’s in-studio performance subsequently became the basis for the first ever complete notation of the radif, published in 1963 by the Ministry of Fine Arts (Wezārat-e farhang o honar; repr. in 1973). According to Šāpur Behruzi, the recordings were still available in the musical archives of Persia’s Ministry of Culture and Art as late as 1993 (Behruzi, p. 383, n. 55; Jawādi, II, p. 734). Surviving records demonstrate that Ruḥafzā was not only a prolific recording artist but also a highly skillful musician on both the tār and the viola (see discography). Abu’l-Ḥasan Ṣabā (violin; 1902-57), Musā Maʿrufi (tār), Mošir Homāyun (piano), and Faraḥangiz (Irān Maṭbuʿi, vocals) were some of Ruḥafzā’s regular collaborators (Maleki, pp. 205-6). Among Ruḥafzā’s pupils one can name the tār player and instrument maker Raḥim Rafiʿ-maneš (b. 1943), who is famous for his creation of the triple-bowl body tār (tār-e seh naqāra; Nasirifar, IV, pp. 187-88).

Bibliography:

Selected Discography (source, Kinnear).XK A) The Columbia 10 inch WO series (Arastuzāda Studio, Tehran, 1933):

Columbia GP-2, “Taṣnif-e panjgāh wa māhur: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Ṣabā (violin), lyrics by Ṣabā.”

Columbia GP-3, “Taṣnif-e segāh: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Ostovār (piano), Manṣuri (violin), Ruḥafzā (tār), Sāqari (tār), Waziri (jazz), Mehdi (żarb), lyrics by Manṣuri.”

Columbia GP-4, “Dance melody: Mādām Lāzāriā (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Tārḵān (tār).”

Columbia GP-5, “‘Hasti ba ḵoš-ruyi’: Mādām Lāzāriā (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Tārḵān (tār), lyrics by Baḵtiāri.”

Columbia GP-7, “Taṣnif-e čahārgāh: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Ostovār (piano), Manṣuri (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Sāqari (tār), Mehdi (żarb), lyrics by Manṣuri.”

Columbia GP-9, “Taṣnif-e čahārgāh: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Ṣabā (violin), Sāqari (tār), Ruḥafzā (viola), Mehdi (żarb), lyrics by Baḵtiāri.”

Columbia GP-10, “‘Āsān abheyi wa farāḵud (Turk.)’: Mādām Lāzāriā (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Tārḵān (tār).”

Columbia GP-12, “Taṣnif-e dašti: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Ostovār (piano), Manṣuri (violin), Ruḥafzā (tār), Sāqari (tār), Waziri (jazz), Mehdi (żarb), lyrics by Manṣuri.”

Columbia GP-14, “Bayāt-e Eṣfahān: Reżāqoli Mirzā Ẓelli (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Ruḥafzā (viola).”

Columbia GP-15, “Taṣnif-e Eṣfahān wa māhur: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Ṣabā (violin), Maʿrufi (tār), Sāqari (tār), Ruḥafzā (viola), Waziri (jazz), lyrics by Maʿrufi.

Columbia GP-16, “Taṣnif-e Šustari wa Eṣfahān: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Ṣabā (violin), Sāqari (tār), Ruḥafzā (viola), Mehdi (żarb), lyrics by Ḥāfeẓ, Ma‘rufi, and Baḵtiāri.”

Columbia GP-17, “Taṣnif ‘Lālāyi’: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Maʿrufi (tār), Ruḥafzā (viola), lyrics by Maʿrufi.”

Columbia GP-19, “Taṣnif-e Abu ʿAṭā: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), lyrics by Baḵtiāri.”

Columbia GP-20, “Pišdarāmad wa reng-e segāh: instrumental sextet, Maʿrufi (tār), Manṣuri (violin), Moḵtāri (piano), Sāqari (tār), Ruḥafzā (viola), Mehdi (żarb).”

Columbia GP-25, “Dance melody: Mādām Lāzāriā (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Tārḵān (tār).”

Columbia GP-26, “‘Geden yār’ (Turk.): Mādām Lāzāriā (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Tārḵān (tār).”

Columbia GP-32, “Żarbi navā: Faraḥangiz and Reżāqoli Mirzā Ẓelli (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), lyrics by Homāyun.”XK B) The Columbia 12 inch WOX Series (Arastuzāda Studio, Tehran, 1933):

Columbia GPX-1, “Taṣnif-e māhur: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Ṣabā (violin), lyrics by Baḵtiāri.”

Columbia GPX-2, “Taṣnif-e šur, ‘bolbol’: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Waziri (jazz), Ṣabā (violin), Mehdi (żarb), lyrics by Homāyun.

Columbia GPX-3, “Taṣnif-e bayāt-e tork: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Manṣuri (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Sāqari (tār), Mehdi (żarb), lyrics by Manṣuri.”

Columbia GPX-6, “Āvāz-e homāyun wa bidād: Reżāqoli Mirzā Ẓelli (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Maʿrufi (tār), Ruḥafzā (violin).”

Columbia GPX-7, “Taṣnif-e Abu ʿAṭā, ‘Morḡ-e ḥaqq’: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Ṣabā (violin), Maʿrufi (tār), Sāqari (tār), Ruḥafzā (viola), lyrics by Baḵtiāri.”

Columbia GPX-9, “Taṣnif-e māhur: Faraḥangiz (vocals), Homāyun (piano), Nowzād (violin), Ruḥafzā (viola), Ṣabā (violin), lyrics by Baḵtiāri.”

References.

Šāpur Behruzi, Čehrahā-ye musiqi-e Irān I, Tehran, 1993.

Jean During, La Musique iranienne: Tradition et évolution, Paris, 1984.

Ḡolām-Reẓā Jawādi, Musiqi-e Irān az āḡāz tā emruz, 3 vols., Tehran, 2001.

Ruḥ-Allāh Ḵāleqi, Sargoḏašt-e musiqi-e Irān, 6th ed., 2 vols., Tehran, 1997; III, ed. ʿAli-Moḥammad Dašti, Tehran, 1998.

Michael Kinnear, The Gramophone Company’s Persian Recordings: 1899 to 1934, Victoria, 2000.

Tukā Maleki, Zanān-e musiqi-e Irān az osṭura tā emruz, Tehran, 1991.

Ḥasan Mašḥun, Tāriḵ-e musiqi-e Irān, Tehran, 2001.

Sayyed ʿAli-Reżā Mir-ʿAlinaqi, “Yād-i az musiqidānān-e yahud-e Irān-zamin: zarpanja-yi ka zud ḵāk šod,” in Moḥammad-Reżā Loṭfi, ed., Ketāb-e sāl-e šaydā: viža-ye pažuheš dar farhang-e Irān, Washington, 1993, pp. 152-59.

Ḥabib-Allāh Naṣirifar, Mardān-e musiqi-e sonnati wa nowin-e Irān, 5 vols., Tehran, 1993.

Sāsān Sepantā, Tāriḵ-e taḥawwol-e żabṭ-e musiqi dar Irān, Isfahan, 1987.

Idem, Čašmandāz-e musiqi-e Irān, Tehran, 1990.

(Houman Sarshar)

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