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Heidelberg Spring (pt. 2 of 2)

"Crisp, transparent and lively" are how critics describe the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra of New York - this hour with new music by Fazil Say conveying the spirit of Old Istanbul, and a symphony by Haydn.

In its 42-year-history, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has commissioned over 40 pieces of music, currently three a year. On the latest of them, Fazil Say's Chamber Symphony, violinist Laura Frautschi of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra told DW: "It's a great orchestra showcase because Fazil's music is very much rooted in folk and ethnic elements. It's rooted in fundamental rhythms particular to Turkey that give the audience a solid grounding from the first hearing. We've had great response to it and have really enjoyed learning it."

With hints of classical palace music, rapturous melodic lines suggesting the summer heat, the aromas and mysteries of Old Istanbul and the catchy melodies of the gypsies who once lived there, this work is filled with nostalgic feelings for an earlier era in Turkey. "Today Istanbul's old Roma district is gone," writes Say, "but it once was the home of dance and entertainment."

As Fazil Say‘s coming-to-terms with Turkey past and present, the Chamber Symphony has structures that seem to fall apart - suggesting an increasingly polarized society.

Composer and pianist Fazil Say. Photo: Bernd Thissen dpa/lnw

Say's compositions have a strong element of ethnic Turkish music - and of surprise

This hour, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra also turns to a piece that showcases Joseph Haydn’s love of experimentation. His Symphony No. 80 has a first movement sparkling with wit, a second movement both expressive and singing, a staccato third-movement minuet and a Presto finale with a syncopated motif and snappy rhythms.

This orchestra has toured 50 countries on four continents and maintains a renowned concert series at its home base: Carnegie Hall in New York. Several of its over 70 CD releases have won Grammys, a credit to a sound that has been described as crisp, transparent and lively.

Fazil Say (1970-)
Chamber Symphony, op. 62
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Symphony No. 80 in D Minor, Hob. I:80
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

Recorded by DeutschlandRadio Kultur, Berlin (DLR) in the Heidelberg City Hall and Convention Center on April 19, 2015

Rebroadcasting rights: one broadcast before September 3, 2016

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