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String Quartet Op. 29 'Divorce'

Fazil Say (b. 1970)

Borusan Quartet

Borusan Quartet

Composer
Fazil Say (b. 1970)
Composition Year
2010
Work Movements
1. Allegro maestoso
2. Andante
3. Presto
Artists
Borusan Quartet (Esen Kıvrak, Olgu Kızılay [violins], Efdal Altun [viola], Cağ Ercağ, [cello])

Programme Note Writer:
© Kerry Smith

Fazil Say is one of the most high profile musicians of modern day Turkey, not only as a result of his technical facility as a pianist, but also for his natural tendency for outrageously emphatic expression. Say’s String Quartet (titled Divorce) dives into the pain, anger and uncertainty of a separation. On the subject of his string quartet, Fazil Say comments, I have permitted myself to be led by my personality and experiences and have attempted to relate experiences such as divorce, separation and the failure of a relationship in the language of music with the aid of notes and rhythms.

The Quartet begins, like an earthquake, with the rumbling drama of unison rhythms. The anguish propelling the music forward is interrupted by major jumps in register paralleling the emotional instability of the relationship in question.  The eerie harmonics of the second movement create a nebulous aura with an air of uncertainty. The movement builds in volume but never quite reaches a climactic resolution and fades away, leaving the listener with a feeling of hopelessness for the situation.

Throughout the piece, the violins play back and forth in melodic exchange and in the fourth movement this conversation evolves into the final argument.  The last movement, like the first, begins in identical rhythms at a heightened pace. The sense of urgency is overwhelming, until finally the second violin breaks apart from the fray by repeating the same motive until the first violin enters with a counter-motive. The breaking point has been reached and the separation has finally sunk in, both in terms of texture and the narrative of the piece.

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String Quartet Op. 29 'Divorce'

Composer: Fazil Say (b. 1970)
Performance date: Tuesday 5th July 2016
Venue: Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,

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Composer Fazil Say (b. 1970)
Work Title String Quartet Op. 29 'Divorce'
Composition Year 2010
Work Movements 1. Allegro maestoso
2. Andante
3. Presto
Artist(s) Borusan Quartet (Esen Kıvrak, Olgu Kızılay [violins], Efdal Altun [viola], Cağ Ercağ, [cello])
Performance Date Tuesday 5th July 2016
Performance Venue Bantry House Library, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland,
Event Main Evening Concert
Duration 00:15:25
Recording Engineer Richard McCullough, RTÉ lyric fm
Instrumentation Category String Quartet
Instrumentation 2vn, va, vc
Programme Note Writer © Kerry Smith

Fazil Say is one of the most high profile musicians of modern day Turkey, not only as a result of his technical facility as a pianist, but also for his natural tendency for outrageously emphatic expression. Say’s String Quartet (titled Divorce) dives into the pain, anger and uncertainty of a separation. On the subject of his string quartet, Fazil Say comments, I have permitted myself to be led by my personality and experiences and have attempted to relate experiences such as divorce, separation and the failure of a relationship in the language of music with the aid of notes and rhythms.

The Quartet begins, like an earthquake, with the rumbling drama of unison rhythms. The anguish propelling the music forward is interrupted by major jumps in register paralleling the emotional instability of the relationship in question.  The eerie harmonics of the second movement create a nebulous aura with an air of uncertainty. The movement builds in volume but never quite reaches a climactic resolution and fades away, leaving the listener with a feeling of hopelessness for the situation.

Throughout the piece, the violins play back and forth in melodic exchange and in the fourth movement this conversation evolves into the final argument.  The last movement, like the first, begins in identical rhythms at a heightened pace. The sense of urgency is overwhelming, until finally the second violin breaks apart from the fray by repeating the same motive until the first violin enters with a counter-motive. The breaking point has been reached and the separation has finally sunk in, both in terms of texture and the narrative of the piece.