CLASSIC MUSIC: The Persian Market (1920)


CLASSIC MUSIC: The Persian Market (1920)
by Darius Kadivar

British Albert William Ketèlbey's The Persian Market was composed  For Piano Duets in the 1920's inspired by Johann Strauss II's Composition "Persischer Marschof " which was very popular with theater orchestras and in sheet music form. and was followed by other similar exotic compositions such as "In a Chinese Temple Garden," and "In a Monastery Garden" were very popular with theater orchestras and in sheet music form. Although this type of music is now out of style, it was well considered at the time - Albert Ketelby was in some ways the last of a line that included Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar.


"The cattle-drivers slowly approach the market; the cries of beggars are heard across the bustle. The beautiful princess enters carried by her servants - she stays to watch the jugglers and snake-charmer. The Caliph now passes through the market and interrups the entertainment, the princess prepares to depart and the caravan resumes its journey as the sounds of the Persian Market fade into the distance."

Johann Strauss sohn - Persischer Marsch

Classic Version:

The Lawrence Welk Show: In A Persian Market (1956):

Wilbur de Paris Trombone Version:

Carlos Kleiber : Conductor Wiener Philharmoniker: Persischer Marsch

About the Composer:

Albert William Ketèlbey (9 August, 1875 – 26 November, 1959) was an English composer, conductor and pianist. Complete Bio Here

Johann Strauss II (October 25, 1825 – June 3, 1899; German: Johann Baptist Strauß; also known as Johann Baptist Strauss, Johann Strauss, Jr., or Johann Strauss the Younger) was an Austrian composer famous for having written over 500 waltzes, polkas, marches, and galops. He was the son of the composer Johann Strauss I, and brother of composers Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss. More Here


Notes on The Persian Market: In a Persian Market composed in 1920 – in 2006, a syncopated arrangement of this tune was used in a TV commercial for
TomTom automotive navigation systems - this tune was also adapted for one of the songs (Persian Cat) by Taiwanese girl band S.H.E. Under the title Persian Cat, this tune was given a new lease of life in the '60s by Jamaican producer Duke Reid and saxophonist Tommy McCook. They recorded two versions, one credited to The Skatalites, the other to Tommy McCook and the Supersonics. Serge Gainsbourg used the theme for his song "My Lady Héroïne".


more from Darius Kadivar
Darius Kadivar

Absolutely ;0)

by Darius Kadivar on

Indeed. thanks for the feedback. There is also the Zarathustra of Rameau.


Not to forget ...

by anglophile on

Two of the most moving musical pieces with Persian connections:

Modest Mussorgsky's Dance of the Persian Slaves from his opera Khovanshchina:

 And my all time favourite:

Richard Strauss's ALSO SPRACH ZARATHUSTRA (sunrise):

famously played at the opening scene of Stanley Kubrik's Space Odyssey 2001.


Thanks for your most entertaining blogs.