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Work of the Week – Fazıl Say: Violin Concerto No. 2

Work of the Week – Fazıl Say: Violin Concerto No. 2

With his first violin concerto “1001 Nights in the Harem” from 2007, Turkish composer Fazıl Say wrote one of the most successful concertos of our time. The successor is his Violin Concerto No. 2 “Spring mornings in the days of quarantine” awaiting its world premiere this week on 6 May at Konzerthaus Berlin. Friedemann Eichhorn (violin) will be accompanied by the Konzerthausorchester Berlin under Christoph Eschenbach.


Self-discovery of composer Fazıl Say in solitude with Violin Concerto No. 2

The four-movement Violin Concerto No. 2 was composed in April 2020 from Say’s home in the Turkish town of Urla on the Agean Sea. He incorporated his lonesome encounters with nature, which motivated an inwards reflection during the COVID lockdown. The work opens with the pastoral Ballad of Aurora. The ensuing Jazz Dance is followed by a slow movement entitled Quiet Morning. The epilogue of the final movement Sunrise presents a meditation by the solo violin, whose monophony captures the atmosphere of deserted streets and beaches, ultimately fading away through ppp.

During lockdown, I always went for a walk on the empty beach very early in the morning. Each sunrise had its own colour, texture and atmosphere which subsequently flowed into the composition.” – Fazıl Say

On 7 May, a second performance of the new Violin Concerto No. 2 will take place at Konzerthaus Berlin. Already in 2020, violinist Friedemann Eichhorn alongside conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach and the Konzerthausorchester Berlin presented the album “Fazıl Say: Complete Violin Works”on the Naxos label. It contains not only the first violin concerto but also both violin sonatas, alongside the solo piece Cleopatra. Eichhorn will also perform the first violin concerto on 9 and 10 June at Anhaltisches Theater Dessau.

photo Say: Marco Borggreve · Background: Akin Ozcan / Adobe


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