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Café: Orient meets Occident / Valer Barna-Sabadus: countertenor; Pera Ensemble

Audio Samples

>Lully, Jean-Baptiste : Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
>     Marche pour la cérémonie Tures
>Porpora, Nicola : Polifemo
>     Alto giove, è tua grazia e tuo vanto
>Sanz, Gaspar : Canarios
>Aga, Ebu Bekir : Geldi cevher tigi ates barina ay (Evic Karce), song
>Strozzi, Barbara : Che si puo fare, cantata, Op. 8
>Vivaldi, Antonio : Giustino
>     Ho nel petto un cor si forte
>Corelli, Arcangelo : Sonatas (12) for Violin and Basso Continuo, Op. 5
>Handel, George Frideric : Delirio amoroso
>     Un pensiero voli in ciel
>Anonymous, Turkish : Makam Rast "Murass'a" usul Duyek, traditional melody (Ms. de Kantemiroglu)
>Fux, Johann Joseph : Turcaria
>     Janitschara
>Porpora, Nicola : Semiramide Riconosciuta
>     In bracio a mille furie
>Murad IV : Uzzal Pesrev
>Handel, George Frideric : Agrippina
>     No, no, ch'io non
>Vivaldi, Antonio : RV 540
>     Largo

Album Summary

>Lully, Jean-Baptiste : Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
>Porpora, Nicola : Polifemo
>Sanz, Gaspar : Canarios
>Aga, Ebu Bekir : Geldi cevher tigi ates barina ay (Evic Karce), song
>Strozzi, Barbara : Che si puo fare, cantata, Op. 8
>Vivaldi, Antonio : Giustino
>Corelli, Arcangelo : Sonatas (12) for Violin and Basso Continuo, Op. 5
>Handel, George Frideric : Delirio amoroso
>Anonymous, Turkish : Makam Rast "Murass'a" usul Duyek, traditional melody (Ms. de Kantemiroglu)
>Fux, Johann Joseph : Turcaria
>Porpora, Nicola : Semiramide Riconosciuta
>Murad IV : Uzzal Pesrev
>Handel, George Frideric : Agrippina
>Vivaldi, Antonio : RV 540
Performers Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The aroma of coffee links East and West in a mysteriously sensual manner. Equally sensual are the sounds of the Pera Ensemble, and their latest CD brings to life the enthusiasm of earlier centuries for the mystic East. The musicians, who have long established an enthusiastic following at major festivals, bring great vigor and spirit to their playing. European and Eastern compositions are fascinatingly contrasted and vividly conveyed to the listener, and the subtle combination of instruments from both cultures brings the seemingly different styles of music amazingly close together.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: CRR Istanbul (2011).

Several musicians, including Jordi Savall, have tried to get a grip on the substantial musical interchange between western Europe and the Ottoman Turks that took place in the 17th and 18th centuries, culminating in no less a work than Beethoven's Ninth. This release is among the most interesting in this vein, partly because it comes from a Turkish perspective. Istanbul's Pera Ensemble under Mehmet C. Yesilcay offers a wide-ranging program that touches on many facets of the European-Turkish relationship. The majority of the music is Western, but is played on a mixed ensemble of Western and Turkish instruments, with subtle, delightful effects. The performers do not seem to be suggesting that settings like this were actually terribly frequent during the period under discussion, but sometimes, with a fresh area of musical performance, the best way to make things clear is to do something a bit speculative. The interaction occurred on both sides: several Western musicians, by choice or by necessity, lived in Turkey and began to notate what they heard. But the cultural influence was wider in the other direction and even included the popularity of coffee, which was introduced to Austria after Turkish troops left sacks of it behind during the Siege of Vienna in 1683. Thus the program includes not just Turkish-style pieces, like Fux's "Janitschara" (track 11) and the "Marche pour la cérémonie Turcs" of Lully (track 1, written for the most important Western manifestation of the cultural clash, Molière's play Le bourgeois gentilhomme), but also opera arias linked to the Turkish theme by no stronger bond than that the composer might have been inspired by drinking coffee. It sounds a bit off the wall, but the listener comes away with a new sense of the cultural mixtures involved in this early stage of "orientalism." And who's to say that the Turks did not at times arrange performances of Western music, which their diplomatic corps would have known well? Novel and highly recommended. ~ James Manheim

Includes air des espagnols (from "le bourgeois gentilhomme" by various composers.



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Works Details

>Lully, Jean-Baptiste : Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme :: Marche pour la cérémonie Tures
  • Performer: Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 1 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Ballet

>Porpora, Nicola : Polifemo :: Alto giove, è tua grazia e tuo vanto
  • Performers: Valer Barna-Sabadus; Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 4 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta

>Sanz, Gaspar : Canarios
  • Performer: Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 2 min. 44 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1674

>Aga, Ebu Bekir : Geldi cevher tigi ates barina ay (Eviç Karçe), song
  • Performers: Valer Barna-Sabadus; Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 3 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Vocal

>Strozzi, Barbara : Che si può fare, cantata, Op. 8
  • Performers: Valer Barna-Sabadus; Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 5 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Cantata/Oratorio
  • Written: 16th Century

>Vivaldi, Antonio : Giustino :: Ho nel petto un cor si forte
  • Performers: Valer Barna-Sabadus; Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 7 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1724

>Corelli, Arcangelo : Sonatas (12) for Violin and Basso Continuo, Op. 5
  • Performer: Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 7 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Handel, George Frideric : Delirio amoroso :: Un pensiero voli in ciel
  • Performers: Valer Barna-Sabadus; Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 4 min. 13 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1707

>Anonymous, Turkish : Makam Rast "Murass'a" usul Düyek, traditional melody (Ms. de Kantemiroglu)
  • Performer: Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 4 min. 8 sec.

>Fux, Johann Joseph : Turcaria :: Janitschara
  • Performer: Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 1 min. 38 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Porpora, Nicola : Semiramide Riconosciuta :: In bracio a mille furie
  • Performers: Valer Barna-Sabadus; Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 3 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1729

>Murad IV : Uzzal Pesrev
  • Performer: Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 3 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque

>Handel, George Frideric : Agrippina :: No, no, ch'io non
  • Performers: Pera Ensemble Istanbul; Valer Barna-Sabadus
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Notes: Composition written: 1709.
  • Running Time: 3 min. 20 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Form: Opera/Operetta
  • Written: 1709

>Vivaldi, Antonio : RV 540 :: Largo
  • Performer: Pera Ensemble Istanbul
  • Ensemble: Pera Ensemble
  • Running Time: 3 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Baroque
  • Written: 1740