It has been six years since the birth of Golden Horn Productions. Following the release of our first album, we have produced projects in various musical styles. With "Ahenk" in 1996, we produced our first Turkish classical music recording. This album featuring two young players, Derya Türkan on kemençe and Murat Aydemir on tanbur, was our way of announcing our intentions to produce recordings in this musical genre, commonly referred to as "Turkish Classical Music." Soon after the release of "Ahenk," we began collaborations with the teacher of Derya Türkan, a true master of kemençe, Ihsan Özgen which resulted in the production of two recordings, "Masterworks of Itri and Meragi" and "Remembrances of Ottoman Composers" as well as several concert tours in North America. As our focus on classical music widened, my personal interest in this genre grew and I found myself increasingly intrigued by Turkish and Ottoman composers, compositions and performers of their works.
Through my own research, I met another ardent admirer and undoubtedly one of the few experts in the United States of Turkish classical music, Ercüment G. Aksoy. I was so impressed with his knowledge and taste for this music that together we decided to issue recordings under a new series we call "Heritage." With Mr. Aksoy as the director of "Heritage", we plan to release historically and/or artistically significant recordings by past and contemporary Turkish and Ottoman masters.
Among the past masters, Mesut Cemil was identified by Mr. Aksoy as someone, despite his huge significance in the 20th century Turkish musical environment, whose works have never been commercially available. Mesut Cemil was largely responsible for shaping this environment beginning in the 1940s. These were the radio days before television when Turkish classical music had a very significant place in daily life, and listeners were able to enjoy live broadcast of concerts and studio performances. Therefore, we decided to release this collection of performances by Mesut Cemil and his most talented musician friends of the time. The CD we put together contains definitive examples from Mesut Cemil's career. Mr. Aksoy deserves all the credit in putting together these first recordings in the Heritage series. He went through hours of recorded material from Mesut Cemil and selected the most significant performances which are now for the first time universally commercially available. The detailed liner notes for this production were also researched and written by Mr. Aksoy.
The collection of recordings by Mesut Cemil and other master performers constitutes the first installment in the Golden Horn Heritage series. We believe strongly that these recordings are of great cultural and historical significance and as such need to be made available to all those who are learning, studying, performing and/or merely enjoying them. This music is truly a part of our heritage.
Ates M. Temeltas