Bach, Gluck, Couler, Ungar, Ibert, Miyagi, Morlacchi, Ravel, Piazzolla, Briccialdi, Traditional Turkish songs

The Turkish Consulate in Salzburg invited me to a concert in celebration of the proclamation of the Turkish Republic on this day in 1923.  Bülent Evcil, second flute of the Istanbul Symphony Orchestra played a selection of music from around the world accompanied by Çağatay Akyol on the harp in the Salzburg Gwandhaus hall (a nice walk right out into the countryside).

Evcil was dextrous enough, but his tone was nasal and thin.  The concert improved enormously when I started focussing my attention instead on Akyol’s accompaniment.  Akyol played with a twinkle in his eye and had altogether more personality even while trying to stay in the background.  The musical styles on the program – from Bach and Gluck to composers writing in the traditional styles of everything from Ireland (Phil Coulter) to Japan (Michio Miyagi) to Argentina (Astor Piazzolla) to an arrangement of traditional Turkish songs that had some in the audience singing along – required great diversity and charm, and Akyol switched from one to the next with little stress but much feeling.

At the reception afterwards, everyone assumed I was Turkish.  The Turks (about two thirds of the people there) all tried speaking to me in Turkish and the Austrians (none of them younger than about 60) all asked me apologetically if I spoke German before they would converse.  This was extremely weird.  Salzburg in general is quite peculiar.


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