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last night, in Istanbul...
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Concerto for Orcestra, Turkish Instruments and Voices (2009)
First Performance

September 18, 2009 Bilkent Symphony Orchestra Bilkent Youth Choir Kamran Ince, conductor

Instrumentation perc. (4) pi. 8 voices (4 female, 4 male) ney kemence zurna (2) strings




Movement I

Movement III

Program Notes

Concerto for Orchestra, Turkish instruments and Voices (2001/revised 2009) is commissioned by the Ministry of Culture, Republic of Turkey. It was premiered at the 2002 Ankara International Music Festival by the Presidential Symphony Orchestra. It was revised in 2009. The instrumentation calls for full orchestra, Turkish instruments zurnas (2), kemence and ney, and eight voices (four female and four male).The work is about the boldness, rawness, directness of the sound of the Turkish instruments Zurna (grandfather of the oboe, louder then a bass drum, more nasal then the bag pipes) and village drum, contrasted with the spiritual and courtly character of the sounds of the Kemence (played with a bow, like a small violin, though strings are vibrated by the finger nails) and the Ney (a very airy, flute-like wooden instrument played by the side of the mouth). In some way the work is inspired by elements of Turkish folk music and Ottoman court music, synthesized with the unique gestures and colors of the modern orchestra. Like the Turkish instruments, the orchestral colors are also used in their pure, most direct forms as seperated brushstrokes of brass, string, woodwind and percussion colors. The voices are added to all this.

Press Quote

…Ince gets deeply into Turkish traditional music, presenting it from the inside out. He has an uncanny ability to meet the rawness of this aesthetic on its own terms and create ways to put it into a Western symphonic context without compromising its wailing grandeur. Subtlety is not his strong point—one must accept a fair amount of literal repetition and raucous sonority—but Ince’s sense of dramatic structure makes the adjustment possible for people who are open to something bold and new.

Jack Sullivan
American Record Guide
*Critic's Coice

Perhaps most surprising and daring is Ince's Concerto for orchestra, Turkish instruments, and voices (2002, revised 2009), which fairly explodes off the CD from its percussive beginning. In this work, Ince demonstrates his ease with blending unusual and conventional tone colors, including folk instruments and a chorus, and produces an exciting concerto that is as original as it is unexpected.

Blair Anderson