- Conductor: Gurer Aykal
- Composer: Fazil Say
- Audio CD (5 Nov. 2012)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 2
- Format: CD+DVD
- Label: Naive Classique
- ASIN: B00913P6C4
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 278,101 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
Say: Istanbul Symphony No.1 Op. 28 [CD plus DVD] CD+DVD
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Fazil Say's first symphony, 'Istanbul', is a tribute to the legendary main Turkish city, a bridge between Europe and Asia, an absolutely exciting universe. Each movement is representative of something unique and specific about the city. Mixing Occidental music with turkish folkmusic, much of this inspiration appears to have come from places within and around the city that Say has lived for almost ten years. This is the third recording of works composed by Fazil Say, following the successful 'Black Earth' [V4954] released in 2003 and '1001 Nights in the Harem' [V5147] released in 2009. Fazil Say: Naturally, the Istanbul that I have been trying to describe was always a nostalgic, dreamy, vintage Istanbul. The composer, the work, the ney player, everyone is in search of that Istanbul. And what they want to find, what they want to ome back to, is the hijaz theme of Nostalgia which comes before the F sharp formation at the beginning of our symphony. And just as the symphony rose through the rustling of the waves of the Sea of Marmara at the very beginning, and so at the end it will be buried in the waves again with hijaz makam theme.
Top customer reviews
thought of returning them. However on further playings I realise that there is much to be learnt from listening to native
intsruments and how skilfully these are built into a "Western" symphonic orchestra. It is a different kind of sophistication
from the complex harmonies to which the serious listener is used,but give this music a try and a new world can open
up to you.
The performance,and "live" concert recordings are excellent.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
COMPOSERS FAN MICHAELA B.: ISTANBUL"-SYMPHONY IS HIGHLY ADDICTIVE! FAZIL SAY SUCCEEDED BRILLIANTLY IN LETTING THE AUDIENCE BEING PART OF THIS EMOTION OF LIFE, WHICH CANNOT BE EXPLAINED BY WORDS.
First Review is about Hezarfen Concerto for Ney and Orchestra by British Music Commentator Norman Lebrecht
Hezarfen is a concerto for ney (a kind of flute) and symphony orchestra. The throaty instrument adds a whispering authenticity and Burcu Karadag, the soloist, exerts a hypnotic attention. A German audience at the world premiere sound hugely enthusiastic. I wanted to hear it again, at once.
Second Review is about Istanbul Symphony by music lover and composers fan Michaela B. (Source fazilsayfan.com)
A German version of this extensive review is also available at the well organized Fan web site, which includes information about the composer and his latest works/concerts. Worth to take a look before listening. fazilsayfan.com
İstanbul Senfonisi/Opus 28 (2008/2009)
Istanbul"-symphony - once again an exciting masterpiece created by the successful composer Fazıl Say. The symphony is musically as colourful and rich of facets as the naming city itself.
Just as the in 2001 published Nâzım-Hikmet-oratorium" Fazıl Say let the symphony end the way it begun. For the Nâzım-Hikmet-Oratorium it symolized the circle of life. Here it describes the recurrent interplays of the spectator's emotions caused by this wonderful city. As well as the circle of past-present-future and the deep longing for the bygone.
The Istanbul"-symphony structured in seven parts, which could not be more different. The red thread of it all is the theme from Istanbul", which will be performed in many musical variations.
The first part is named nostalgia" and carries us off the first decades of the last century.
I. Nostlagia (Nostalji)
Out of the rush of the Marmara-sea the Istanbul"-symphony raises slowly but impressive.
Ney and the strings introduce the audience to the Istanbul"-theme. Through the heaviness of the music a melancholy but hopeful-dreamy sound forces its way. The longing for a yesterday which appears so much happier and more beautyful in the rememberance. You easily dream yourself away back to the past on the wings of the ney.
But a gloomy rumble reminds us that we are part of a history which was also formed by two World-Wars and for-reaching political, social and religious changes. The (musical) confrontation between the good old times" and the historical ocurrences dominates this part until its end.
II. Religious Order (Tarikat)
The second part starts in a very high tempo and leads the audience to this characteristic ecstatic dances and the litany of religious incantation (zikirs) which will be performed on ritual nights and by which the direct contact to Allah will be created. The dominating rhythm and the steady repetitions intensify this impression.
Metaphorical this is quite the opposite to the religious dogmatics of these orders. You may expect an ascetic monastic"-life more peaceful and meditative.
The most well-known religious orders are the Mevlevi"-tariqa (founded by Mevlânâ [actual the mystic and poet Dschalal ad-Din ar-Rumi]) and the Bektaşı"-Tariqa (founded by Hacı Bektaş Veli). Together with all the other derviş-orders the two of them were prohibited in 1925 when the laizism was instituted by Mustafa Kemal.
Apart from their important role in the secular history of Turkey, these sufistic orders as well as other religious groups still have a power over the today's everyday-life.
III. Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)
Ney and kudũm dominate the Istanbul"-theme. The kudũm intensifies this mournful but not melancholy mood. Much more we have a kind of an awe and humility for something greater". An emotion you often can feel when entering great sacral buildings. More and more this feeling changes from a meditative beginning into a deep satisfaction of the innermost. Freed of the secular influences which surround you, more and more the pain of the soul leaves your body. An inner cleaning takes place and the ego" emerges from it stronger than ever.
The Blue Mosque, a cultural-historical palatial building from the 17th century which not only spoils your eyes but your soul too.
IV. Merrily clad young ladies aboard the ferry to the Princes' Islands (Hoş giyimli genç kızlar adalar vapurunda)
This part will be introduced by a happily flute-play which reminds the audience to young ladies cackling. Still the music refers to the early decades of the last century, to young girls in long dresses and with sunshades. The ship's horn symbolizes the landing stage of the ferry and the shipping traffic of the Marmara-sea. The flute-play is surrounded by the Istanbul"-theme, now used to describe the floating wavings, which surround the ferry. Then suddenly a change of the instruments and the reference that Istanbul is still the city grounded on two continents. Kanun and kudũm represent the oriental way of living and of course the most different passengers on board, united by the wish to find recovery and relaxation on the Prince's Islands". The thoughtful western" music is contrary to the highly glowing eastern". Orient and occident are tied by the Istanbul"-theme. The tenor of the music changes from the persons to the description of the near shore. You now hear twittering birds and sense the squirrels flit through the trees. Ship-horn. Arrival.
V. About the travelers to Anatolia departing from the Haydar Pasha train station (Haydarpaşa garından Anadolu'ya gidenler üzerine)
Change of scene once again preluded by the changing mood of the music. The Istanbul"-theme is now more dull and heavy than before. Embeded between the pulsing life of the railway station the audience inhales the changing moods when arriving or departing: joy, expectation, excitement opposite to farewell, grief, loneliness. The kudũm-play describes the rhythm of the trains. Departure.
VI. Oriental Night (Alem gecesi)
The kanun leads to the theme of the sixth part of the Istanbul"-symphony: The oriental night. The western listener associate not only the typical" oriental with the play of the zither. More likely the kanun sounds very aegean" sometimes indian". Musical influences which are originated probably by the 4th century BC. After the slow play of the kanun you hear the impetuous interplay of the kudũm. You literally see the folkloristic groups wearing their richly coloured costumes performing the köçekes. The slow, kanun-dominated music surrounds this impression, supported by the kudũm and the strings. Another change of tempo bares almost east-european" sounds (tzigan). After a brilliant musical excess of the strings, kudũm and the wind the Oriental Night" finds its exhausted end within the kanun-play.
VII. Final (Final)
A thundering finale furioso. Accompanied by the ney, which forces its way. The Istanbul"-theme is supported by the strings and the kudũm. The hicaz-melancholy hits the audience deep to the marrow and settles down in the heart and soul. The swansong of a city, the goodbye" to the bygone, the forward look. Almost depressing but resistance is rising. Life reports back striking and almost defiant. But the way the Istanbul"-symphony has born itself out of the waves it has to go back again. A longing hope will remain.
What at the beginning of the Istanbul"-symphony appears as a diverting trip through history fastly turns out to be a historical confrontation with probably one of the most faceted cities of the world. Formed by the history and the most different influences of orient and occident the audience gets an high-speed-impression of an innermost of Istanbul, which is already hidden from the traveler's awareness. He is confronted with the most manifold music-styles, the most different pictorial impressions and an emotional hot-cold-treatment.
Despite of the time-travel-character the Istanbul"-symphony is stronly tied to the past. The confrontation between the now" and the insistent emotion of everything had been better in the past lasts heavily. The hunt for a feeling of life, which is imagined to be found within the bygone, ends up in a struggle with present and future. This mixture of melancholy, tristesse and longing (hüzün) is probably the most remarkable characteristic of this city and its residents.
Fazıl Say succeeded brilliantly in letting the audience being part of this emotion of life, which cannot explained by words.
Once again a superb example for Fazıl Say not only being a masterly musician but also a highly gifted composer with the great ability to carry off his audience into his impressive state of emotions.
If possible you should hear the Istanbul"-symphony in an almost darkened room (maybe a little candlelight around) and as loud as you can! The more you listen to it (in succession), the less you realize the loudness. Carried off by the sounds/waves of the ney, you can devote to this symphony completely.
Attention: Fazıl Say's Istanbul"-symphony can cause a serious loss of hearing and is highly addictive!