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Izmir Festival > Program > TEKFEN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA

Thursday, June 9, 2022, Ephesus-Celsus Library, 21.00

 

MEETING IN ANCIENT THEATER

 
TEKFEN PHILHARMONIC 
 
Aziz Shokhakimov, conductor
Veriko Tchumburidze, violin
 
Program
 
HASAN UÇARSU
Portraits (Orchestra Suite)
Ice Cream Shop/ Lullaby/ Kiziroğlu
 
PYOTR IL’YICH TCHAIKOVSKY
Violin Concerto in D, Op.35
Allegro moderato / Canzonetta: Andante / Finale: Allegro vivacissimo
 
ZOLTÁN KODÁLY
Dances of Galánta (Galánti táncok)
Lento / Allegretto moderato / Allegro con moto, grazioso / Allegro / Allegro vivace
 
 
 
HASAN UÇARSU
Portraits (Orchestra Suite)
Ice Cream Shop/ Lullaby/ Kiziroğlu
 
The starting point of my orchestral suite “Portraits” was to reveal the personality traits and moods of my relatives by matching the appropriate characters of our traditional music with the people concerned.
The idea was conceived in Philadelphia in March 1997, when I was composing the last pages of my doctoral graduation work Comet. The initial idea in 1997 was a 15-minute long orchestral suite consisting of six characters. This idea was never realised due to other intervening works, until 2001, when the Turkish Ministry of Culture requested new orchestral works from a group of composers, including myself. During this final creation process, I realised that my initial conception was overly reliant on the rhapsodic presentation of the melodies, as the pieces would be quite short, which would distract me from the in-depth character portraits I was aiming for. I opted to reduce the number of portraits to three and go for a longer and more intense narrative.
For this reason, I have endeavoured to create a special understanding of variation in Portraits instead of giving the melody of the folk song directly. Unlike the classical Theme and Variations approach, in which the theme is presented first and then its variations respectively, I thought of developing a unique variation approach in which the familiar phrases of the folk song itself are placed together with the variation of the musical elements of the folk song, so that the theme and variation coexist simultaneously.
The work was first performed in two movements by the CSO conducted by Rengim Gökmen in 2003 at the Closing Concert of the 20th International Ankara Music Festival. Its international debut in this form was performed in Mexico by the Orquesta Sinfónica del Estado del México under the baton of Hakan Şensoy. Due to lack of time and other activities, I could not find the time to compose the second slow movement named Ninni (lullaby), which I completed many years later in the autumn of 2022. The music was performed in its final form by the Istanbul DSO conducted by Hasan Niyazi Tura on 6 January 2023. I was able to compose the Ninni movement, which has been hanging in my mind despite the passing twenty years, with almost all of its side ideas and variations, because I remembered it quite clearly despite all these years, and I was finally able to find peace, at least in terms of my musical endeavours.
 
PYOTR IL’YICH TCHAIKOVSKY 
Violin Concerto in D, Op.35
Allegro moderato / Canzonetta: Andante / Finale: Allegro vivacissimo
 
P.I.Tchaikovsky composed this work in 1878. At Clarens, near Geneva, following both his mistake of a marriage and his suicide attempt, Tchaikovsky completed both Onegin and the Fourth Symphony early in 1878. After a round trip to Moscow in February for the symphony’s premiere, he was visited at Clarens by the violinist Yosif Kotek. Tchaikovsky, in fondness for Kotek, sketched out a violin concerto in just 11 days and had finished scoring it two weeks later, including a new slow movement in place of one that both Kotek and Tchaikovsky’s younger brother, Modest, considered to be weak.
Pyotr Il’yich dedicated the new concerto to Leopold Auer, the fabled Hungarian as Nikolai Rubinstein had vilified the B flat minor Piano Concerto four years earlier, Auer declared this new one “unplayable” (though he too recanted, and bémigré who would teach two generations of Russian virtuosi. However, just aecame one of the work’s champions). It was, therefore, a Viennese audience that heard the first performance with Adolf Brodsky and conductor Hans Richter on December 4, 1881. It was an insufficiently rehearsed and poorly accompanied performance, about which Eduard Hanslick wrote, “It brings to us the revolting thought that there may be music that ‘stinks in the ear.’” Yet he also wrote in same review that “the concerto has proportion, is musical, and is not without genius.”
In addition to its structural soundness, the concerto fairly teems with melodies, in such abundance that the orchestra’s gorgeous opening tune never returns! Thereafter the soloist gets first crack at the rest of them, beginning with the “very moderate” principal theme. The second one is marked molto espressivo, after which the main theme returns, before the development section that ends in a showy solo cadenza, followed by the reprise and coda. 
The andante Canzonetta (“little song”) in 3/4 time with ABA form features a G minor main theme (additionally marked molto espressivo) and a contrastingly quicker, Chopinesque second theme in E flat major. Without pause the next movement lifts off like an SST from the tarmac. It is a Trepak in rondo form, with two extroverted themes of folkloric character, capped by an extended coda that concludes the piece dervishly. No Russian composer before or since Tchaikovsky has ended a concerto with greater finesse or panache, not even Rachmaninov (who learned wherefrom to take his cue early on, with Tchaikovsky’s blessing).
 
ZOLTÁN KODÁLY
Dances of Galánta (Galánti táncok)
Lento / Allegretto moderato / Allegro con moto, grazioso / Allegro / Allegro vivace
 
Despite the prominence of folk music in his career, Kodály was a type of artist/scholar -- an omnicompetent musician who composed fastidiously crafted chamber works richly colored by a fascination with French music, Debussy in particular, that were accepted by an international public long before they were embraced by his countrymen. He did not come to prominence in his native land until his Psalmus Hungaricus, given its premiere in 1923, took the audience by storm and went on to performances around the world. The first version of his opera Háry János (1926) met even greater success. The pattern of cosmopolitan influence articles on his discoveries. Among them was the gulf between authentic folk song, usually modal, and folk music overlaid by popular European dance idioms spiced with flamboyant gypsy ornamentation -- verbunkos and international acceptance, coupled with incomprehension and hostility at home, is paralleled in the career of his exact contemporary, the Polish composer Karol Szymanowski. But Szymanowski came to Polish folk music late in life, seizing upon it as a basis for a major stylistic turning point; Kodály grew up in the provinces, hearing folk music all around him. Beginning in 1905, he began collecting folk songs, eventually notating over 4,000 examples and publishing landmark scholarly music. Before Kodály and Bartók, authentic Hungarian folk music was overshadowed by verbunkos music, which had come to be accepted as the national Hungarian idiom. Even Liszt, seduced by the brilliance of gypsy musicians, was moved by it, and much of the material included in his Hungarian Rhapsodies is verbunkos in origin. Kodály’s family moved to the village of Galánta before he was two and remained there for some seven years. Thus, when he was commissioned for a work by the Budapest Philharmonic Society in 1933 to commemorate its 80th anniversary, shoulder to shoulder with such ripe masterpieces as Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain and Dukas’ La Péri while looming as perhaps the last and finest composition in the mold of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies. Kodály conducted the Budapest Philharmonic at its premiere on December 19, 1934. Kodály turned to his origins. Curiously, most of the material of Dances of Galánta is verbunkos-related, though its companion piece, the Marosszék Dances, employs authentic folk tunes. After an evocative flourish, a series of dances -- the sultry and insinuating giving way to the exhilarating and scintillant -- brilliantly conceived in opulent, glowing orchestral sonorities, place Dances of Galánta. Description by Adrian Corleonis.
 
 

 

 

TEKFEN PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - Program - Izmir Festival | İKSEV - İzmir Foundation For Culture Arts And Education