Violin Sonata Op.7

Composer: Fazil Say (b. 1970)
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Composer: Fazil Say (b. 1970)

Performance date: 07/07/2019

Venue: Bantry Library

Composition Year: 1996

Duration: 00:15:18

Recording Engineer: Ciaran Cullen, RTÉ

Instrumentation: fl, ob, cl, bn, hn

Instrumentation Category:Duo

Artists: Alexei Grynyuk - [piano]
Mairead Hickey - [violin]

Mairéad Hickey [violin], Alexei Grynyuk [piano]

Fazil Say [born 1970] 

Violin Sonata Op.7 [1996]

1)   Melancholy 

2)   Grotesque

3)   Perpetuum mobile

4)   Anonym

5)   Melancholy 

Born in 1970, composer Fazil Say may be one of the outspoken musical voices of today’s living composers. A classically trained pianist, Say is deeply influenced by a myriad of styles including the folk music of Turkey, his native country. In Violin Sonata, Say explores Turkish folk themes juxtaposed with jazz influences. The piece is brief (just under fifteen minutes) and episodic, showing the spectrum of characters inside of Say’s imagination. 

The first movement, Melancholy, is characterized by its languorous melody and punctuated by trills, ultimately setting a mysterious tone for the piece. The Grotesque movement amps up in energy as the violin and piano trade the jazzy, circular motive back and forth. This movement becomes increasingly wild as prepared piano techniques and fierce tremolo in the violin add an abrasive quality giving the movement its grotesque style. The Perpetuum mobile follows with a similar insatiable energy that builds to a climactic exclamation point. 

The Anonym movement, in contrast to the action-filled movements prior, is dreamlike and nostalgic like a Gershwin ballad. However, Say makes Anonym distinctly his by added plucking of the piano’s inner strings to mimic a stringed instrument like the Turkish Oud. The final Melancholy movement brings the listener back to back to the beginning, to the sweet and unsettled melody that slowly diminishes to nothing.  

Kerry Smith