Since December 2009 – Istanbul/Turkey

Fazil Say’s 1001 Nights in the Harem

In 2006, the Turkish pianist and composer Fazil Say formed a duo with Patricia Kopatchinskaja and two years later composed a violin concerto for her: “1001 Nights in the Harem”. Mingling European styles and Turkish traditions in this concerto, Fazil Says creates a fascinating and engaging piece of fusion that very well demonstrates his talent as a composer.

Like Scheherazade in the fairytale “One Thousand and One Nights”, the solo violinist in Fazil Say’s four-movement concerto embraces the role of a storyteller. As Barry Witherden from BBC Music Magazine says, in Say’s concerto, “the violin unspools fascinating tales, linking the movements with cadenzas which, as Say says, bind them into an ‘intensely atmospheric unity’.

Patricia Kopatchinskaya for whom this concerto is written, performs here in this recording and proves her virtuosity. Julian Haylock from The Strand, writes that Kopatchinskaja “traces the work’s seductive cool with such enraptured precision that it feels almost as though she is composing the music as she goes along”. According to Haylock, “this is mesmerising artistry, captured in state-of-the-art sound”.

The CD also contains three encores Fazil Say very often plays in his concerts: AllaTurca Jazz, Summertime Fantasy, and Patara Ballet. You will find it impossible not to be seduced by all these but especially by the lovely Patara  bearing Say’s signature as its composer.

If TarkanPLUS International readers would like to familiarize themselves with Fazil Say as a composer who finds inspiration in his roots for music making, “1001 Nights in the Harem”, we believe, would be a perfect choice.


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