Thursday 5 April 2018

Can Atilla's Symphony No. 2 'Gallipoli – The 57th Regiment'

Gallipoli Friendship Concert - Cadogan Hall
The Turkish composer Can Atilla is not a name well known in Western Europe, he has written for film and television and his output has included electronic and new-age music. His Symphony No. 2 'Gallipoli – The 57th Regiment' was written for the 2015 centenary of the Gallipoli campaign and is dedicated to all those who died, both the soldiers of the 57th Turkish regiment, all of whom perished in one of the worst battles of World War I, but the Australian and New Zealand (ANZAC) troops who died on the other side. There is a chance to hear the symphony live tonight (5 April 2018) at Cadogan Hall performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Burak Tüzün (Director of the Haceteppe University Symphony Orchestra and lecturer at the Ankara State Conservatoire) with Angela Ahıskal (soprano) and Onur Şenler(cello).

The symphony is being performed as part of a Gallipoli Friendship Concert, presented by the Yunus Emre Institute (a body which promotes Turkish culture), which commemorates those who lost their lives in the 1915-16 Gallipoli Campaign, and build on the enduring legacy of friendship it inspired between Turkey and the Commonwealth. The evening also included in the concert is music by Vaughan Williams, Butterworth and Elgar, plus a reading from Louis de Bernieres from his novel Birds Without Wings, which is partly set in Gallipoli.

Can Atilla's symphony is a substantial piece (the recording on Naxos lasts nearly 55 minutes), which takes the form of two movements forming a sinfonia concertante for cello, and then two movements setting texts, Atatürk’s words, committing the fallen 'Johnnies and Mehmets' to Turkish soil; and a poem by the First World War Australian writer John le Gay Brereton.

Burak Tüzün's recording of the symphony is available on Naxos and you can read a review on the MusicWeb International website.

Further details from the Cadogan Hall website.

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