To Anatolia: Selections from the Turkish Five
Beyza Yazgan, piano
"To Anatolia" is Turkish/American pianist Beyza Yazgan's passionately played collection of Turkish classical piano repertoire from a group of composers known as “The Turkish Five” (Cemal Reşit Rey (1904-1985), Ferid Alnar (1906-1978), Ulvi Cemal Erkin (1906-1972), Adnan Saygun (1907-1991), and Necil Kazım Akses (1908-1999). The music was composed between 1931-1976 with most of the pieces inspired by Anatolian folksongs, stories, dances, dirges, and lullabies. Though the compositions were all written for piano, the colors and influences of eastern instruments are present throughout.
"The Turkish Five – Ahmet Adnan Saygun, Ferid Alnar, Ulvi Cemal Erkin, Necil Kazim Akses and Cemal Reşit Rey – transformed the music of their time by introducing Western compositional styles and forms and blending them with rhythms and modes of traditional Turkish folk music and dances. Just as Anatolia itself has been the land of many cultures and flavours, so is the music on this album. From the beautifully atmospheric Little Shepherd by Erkin and feet-stomping Horon by Reşit Rey, to the elegant Zeybek Dance by Alnar, the pieces tell stories of the unique and rich music heritage of this land, its people and customs. Yazgan’s interpretation of these compositions is simply lovely. Her heartfelt approach brings out beautiful colours from gentle and melancholic pieces, and she engages masterfully in more percussive compositions." - The Whole Note
“Here we discover music that looks both east and west in its influences, in heady degrees that I personally find very attractive listening. Though all the music heard here is for solo piano, the sensitive listener can detect echoes of the colors and timbres of various eastern instruments, enhancing the appeal in many of these pieces.” - Phil’s Classical Reviews
“The intention behind this disc was to take us on a journey to Anatolia, to evoke the sights and sounds of the peninsuala as heard through the ears of these five 20th century Turkish composers. Yazgan does that admirably, conjuring many different colours and timbres with her playing, but she also encourages us to explore the music of these five composers. Having heard the disc, I want to explore more.” - Planet Hugill
"This is clearly a love letter to the pianist's homeland, a sentiment that comes through with touching sincerity and power." - Fanfare
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