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The Bosphorus by Moonlight

Performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra
Directed by Emre Araci
Produced by Ates Orga

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£9 /US$14.40
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Sultan Portreleri: The Bosphorus by Moonlight
Kalan Müzik CD 303

Review by Ates Orga
Cornucopia 31

The Prague Symphony Chamber Orchestra with Cihat Askin, violin
Director, Emre Araci

Music by Guatelli, Pisani, Selim III, Mahmud II,
Mehmed Burhaneddin Efendi and Emre Araci

Bosphorus by Moonlight (Bogazici Mehtaplarinda Sultan Portreleri) is Emre Araci's third Euro-Ottoman CD and takes its title from his 1997 Violin Concerto, which was inspired by Abdülhak Sinasi Hisar's wartime novel of the same name.

Moonlight, memory and dream suffuse many of the numbers, nine of which are musical cameos of the Ottoman royal household published in the mid-1850s by the Sultan's Italian music director, Guatelli Pasha.

As producer of this album, I chose Prague as a location: I wanted somewhere that would release the romantic within us. How could we fail, wandering the narrow streets of the Old Town under a full moon, touched by the medieval aura of the Charles Bridge and the Jewish cemetery across the river from the floodlit castle? The neo-Renaissance Rudolfinum hall did the rest.

Portrait or military quickstep, exotic refrain or Sibelian solitude ˇ every minute in that room was special. Cihat Askin's violin lent a manly tone to the Balkan Adagio of the Concerto. Pisani's fateful, forgotten Funeral March for the death of Abdülmecid all but stopped time as the Prague Symphony strings imbued it with a gravity to match the thunder of the night beyond

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Other articles by Ates Orga:
Return of the Native
Cornucopia 22

Ates describes his return to Istanbul after five decades of exile

Singing in the Seraglio
Cornucopia 20
A review of the DVD Mozart in Turkey, a docudramatic production
of Die Entfurung aus dem Serail

Two books are available by Ates Orga's father Irfan Orga:
Portrait of a Turkish Family and The Caravan Moves On

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Other articles by Ates Orga:
Return of the Native
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Ates describes his return to Istanbul after five decades of exile

 

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Singing in the Seraglio
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A review of the DVD Mozart in Turkey, a docudramatic production of Die Entfurung aus dem Serail