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Saygun: Symphony No 1 & 2 / Rasilainen, Et Al


Release Date: 08/01/2002 
Label:  Cpo   Catalog #: 999819   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Ahmed Adnan Saygun
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 55 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews

Turkish composer Ahmed Adnan Saygun (1907-91) speaks in a very powerful, ethnically inflected language that shares many characteristics with that of Bartók. His melodic style clearly derives from the folk music of his homeland, but Saygun employs elements that permit him to expand his harmonic vocabulary rather then emphasizing "cute", primitive, or merely nationalistic traits. He also exercises strict formal control over his materials, and these two symphonies (he composed five in all) share a concern with brevity, economy of means, and well-constructed musical sentences and paragraphs.


The First Symphony requires small orchestral forces but never sounds inhibited because of the fresh way that Saygun
Read more uses his carefully chosen instruments, with particularly bold writing for horns and solo woodwinds. The opening has a modal quality that recalls Nielsen or Holmboe, but the heart of the work is the haunting second-movement Adagio--austere but also very expressive. The Second Symphony enlarges the orchestral palette to take in some extra winds and percussion, and concludes with a fascinating, swift, and whispery chromatic fugue for strings and celesta (shades of Bartók indeed!) that gradually works its way up to a shocking, resounding minor-key ending.


Koch already has released a fine performance of the First Symphony, coupled with a shorter string orchestra piece, but this disc offers better value alongside equally fine interpretation and recording. Ari Rasilainen has made numerous excellent discs for CPO, most notably his series of Atterberg Symphonies, and he gets fine playing from the Rheinland-Pfalz orchestra here. Hopefully, this release will mark the beginning of a more systematic exploration of an important, gifted 20th century composer, and of the Turkish school in general.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
Symphony no 1, Opus. 29 by Ahmed Adnan Saygun
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1953 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Philharmonie, Ludwigshafen, Germany 
Length: 27 Minutes 55 Secs. 
2.
Symphony no 2, Op. 30 by Ahmed Adnan Saygun
Conductor:  Ari Rasilainen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958 
Date of Recording: 09/2001 
Venue:  Philharmonie, Ludwigshafen, Germany 
Length: 27 Minutes 29 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Symphony No. 1, Op. 29: I. Allegro
Symphony No. 1, Op. 29: II. Adagio
Symphony No. 1, Op. 29: III. Allegretto
Symphony No. 1, Op. 29: IV. Allegro assai
Symphony No. 2, Op. 30: I. Allegro vivo
Symphony No. 2, Op. 30: II. -
Symphony No. 2, Op. 30: III. Moderato
Symphony No. 2, Op. 30: IV. Allegro

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