The Sour Notes of Iran’s Art Diplomacy
New York Times

More protesters, two dozen or so, clustered around the theater’s exit,
shouting, “Death to the Iranian Republic” to the departing audience,
waving Iranian flags from the shah’s day and holding aloft placards
with photographs of Iranians who the signs said were recently raped and
murdered by the Islamic regime.


And the music? Suffice it to say that some Iranian musicians, not
orchestra members, reportedly complained beforehand that the work
wasn’t good enough to export. They were right. Scored for orchestra,
chorus and male solo singer, with an electric guitar, amplified piano
and battalion of harpists thrown in to increase the racket, the
symphony approximates brief melodies in between lengthy drum assaults
by burgling hints of “Dr. Zhivago” and “Lord of the Rings” along with
Vivaldi and “Fiddler on the Roof.” Otherwise, for the better part of 75
minutes, a whole team of percussionists gravely beat the bejesus out of
a variety of very loud drums, to unintentionally (and increasingly)
comic effect.

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