Golden Horn Releases Cantemir
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
18 March 2004
GOLDEN HORN RELEASES "CANTEMIR"
BY IHSAN ÖZGEN AND LINDA BURMAN-HALL WITH LUX MUSICA
Golden Horn Records is very pleased to announce its release of Cantemir:
Music in Istanbul and Ottoman Europe around 1700, an authoritative album
celebrating the musical life of Prince Dimitrie Cantemir (1673-1723).
The album features co-directors Ihsan Özgen and Linda Burman-Hall,
and the Santa Cruz-based quintet Lux Musica.
Prince Dimitrie Cantemir (1673-1723) was born in Moldavia, then at the
rule of the Ottoman Turks. Dimitrie was sent to Istanbul as a guest of
the court to ensure Moldavia’s loyalty. Here Cantemir studied the
tanbur, a long-necked Turkish lute, earning a reputation for his knowledge
of the historical Ottoman repertoire and theory. Cantemir’s Kantemir
Edvari was a major contribution to musicology preserving 352 works in
a unique notation style he developed to document his music study, known
as ebcet. Many of these works were composed in the Ottoman pesrev and
saz semai forms.
Cantemir examines three repertoires. The section titled “The World
of Cantemir: Istanbul and Ottoman Europe around 1700” explores music
composed by Cantemir and also traditional Moldavian dances, such as Cantemir
might have heard back home at his wedding. The section “New Music
in Honor of Kantemiroglu (Prince Cantemir)” features a kemençe
taksim (solo improvisation for the bowed instrument, kemençe),
a form that had just gained popularity when Cantemir was in Istanbul,
and a beraber taksim (collective improvisation), a contemporary experimental
form of improvisation pioneered by Ihsan Özgen. The new music section
debuts two compositions inspired by Cantemir’s musical legacy. “In
Honor of Prince Cantemir” (track 14) was composed by internationally
celebrated composer Lou Harrison and arranged for this recording by Linda
Burman-Hall. “Andante from Concertino per Kemançe”
(track 16) was composed by Yalçin Tura, a devoted scholar of Cantemir
who recently published a full transcription of Cantemir’s Book of
the Science of Music. The third section, “Turkish Images, European
Reflections,” presents English and French music in the alla Turca
style, a style popular in the 18th century that included Turkish-inspired
percussion, rhythms, and “exotic” melodies. One such work
is Ben Jonson’s “The Turks’ Dance” (track 20).
Ihsan Özgen (kemençe, tanbur, co-director) is a self-taught
musician, composer, and teacher of the Classical Ottoman music of Turkey.
He is famous for his kemençe performances and for his improvisation
of melodic taksims. In 1991, Özgen was awarded the Abdi Ipekçi
Peace Award in recognition of his work with the Bosphorus ensemble, a
group composed of Turkish and Greek musicians. He is also the leader of
the well-known ensemble Anatolia. An instructor at the Istanbul Turkish
Music Conservatory and former guest lecturer at University California
at Santa Cruz, Özgen is a leading specialist and interpreter of Tanburi
Cemil Bey, an early 20th century Turkish composer.
Linda Burman-Hall (early keyboards, bendir, co-director) is a musicologist/ethnomusicologist
best known as a performer of historic keyboard works. Burman-Hall’s
interests and skills are wide-ranging, including: performances with contemporary
music artists Steve Reich and Meredith Monk; premiering and editing new
works by contemporary Indonesian composers; and performing the works of
medieval mystic Hildegard von Bingen. Burman-Hall is a faculty member
of the University of California at Santa Cruz music department, a founder
and artistic director of the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, and the musical
director of Lux Musica.
Lux Musica is the quintet of Lars Johannesson, David Wilson, Amy Brodo,
Mesut Özgen, and Linda Burman-Hall. Dedicated to presenting interesting
and beautiful works from the Enlightenment, Lux Musica draws on a versatile
combination of historical flutes, violin or viola, violoncello or viola
da gamba, and historic keyboards with percussion. A mainstay of the Santa
Cruz Baroque Festival, their work can also be heard on several CDs, including
their debut recording Haydn and the Gypsies: Music in the Style Hongrois
and their recent Celtic Caravans: The Road to Romanticism.