"Frenchmen were first to show interest in Azerbaijani mugham," professor of the Center National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS, author of the book Azerbaijani Folk Music and the Science of Mugam Jean Düring said.
Report's Western Bureau informs that, according to Jean, in 1987 he met Alim Gasimov and recorded his performance, after which he took the tape with him to France. This recording aroused a great interest in the Azerbaijani performer.
"In 1988, my book Azerbaijani Folk Music and the Science of Mugam, which is still being read in the scientific libraries of France, came out. The French House of World Cultures and French Radio produced a large number of discs with the performance of Alim Gasimov. Germans, Italians and others got acquainted with Azerbaijani mugham after us," daid Düring.
He noted that even in the Soviet years, professors who visited France, told about everything.
"A professor who visited Strasbourg once told us that there are mosques in Azerbaijan and that not all are atheists there. When the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupted later, we knew the truth. We knew that Nagorno-Karabakh is the territory of Azerbaijan occupied by Armenia. I remember once I participated in the recording of a radio program. I said that once Azerbaijanis and Armenians sang songs together in Karabakh. At that time the director of the program interfered and accused me of insulting Armenians. Although the French press did not pay attention to this issue, researchers, scientists and professors knew everything," concluded Düring.