KASSEL. Musik für Geige, Cello und Klavier stand im Fokus beim Eröffungskonzert der Meisterkonzert-Reihe des Harleshäuser Musikfests. Und was für ein Auftakt!
Der Geiger und Bratschist Atilla Aldemir präsentierte zusammen mit dem Cellisten Friedemann Ludwig und dem Pianisten Zhora Sargsyan ein Programm, dessen Auswahl und Qualität kaum Wünsche offen ließ. Feinfühlig und nobel..
Feinfühlig und nobel begann der Abend mit dem B-Dur Klaviertrio von Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, einem der ersten großen Beiträge zu dieser Gattung. Zwischen zwei bewegten, spührenden Ecksätzen stand ein leuchtender Mittelsatz voller inniger Gesanglichkeit.
Danach wurden die spieltechnisschen Ansprüche in Felix Mendelssohns Klaviertrio d-Moll noch einem gesteigert, die Stimmungen gerieten drängender und romantischer. Vor allem Sargsyan brillerte in unzähligen rasend schnellen Läufen mit einem kultuvierten, aber auch kraftvollen Anschlag. Aldemir und Ludwig standen immer wieder im Blickkontakt und schufen mit sicherem Gespür große Linien und Akzente. Das zeigte sich auch nach der Pause, womit Bratsche und Cello der erste Satzaus Beethovens "Duo mit zwei obligaten Augengläsern als humorvolles Intermezzo erklang. Der Abschluss gehörte Antonin Dvoraks berühmten Dumky-Trio: Eine elegische Welt für sich, durchzogen von folkloristischem Kolorot genauso wie gespickt mit abwechslungreichen Spieltechnicken. Mit agogischem Spiel und mitreißender Virtuosität loteten die Musiker die Höhen und Tiefen, die bewegten und verklärten Passegen dieser zelitlos reizvollen Musik aus.
Über 150 Zuhörer spendeten danach Begeisterten Applaus.
Von Felix Werthschulte, KulturKreisKassel, HNA Zeitung.
Coinciding points of Schubert and Sevki Bey
ISMAIL BAYER" – Franz Schubert is a composer who lived in Vienna in the 19th century. Sevki Bey used to live in the same century in Fatih. Different countries, different cultures, different music styles. However - there are numerous confluences, love and music figuring the most prominently.
Atilla Aldemir - I got to know him with his violin for the first time coincidentally at an event in Düsseldorf. They were like lovers. He had a classical music education and made his name in Europe. So many competitions, awards, and concerts with various orchestras, in various cities and towns. A line between Istanbul and Berlin.
He is assistant principal of the violas in Konzerthaus Orchestra since 2013. In this concert, he has a different function. As soloist, he alternates between Schubert and Şevki Bey. He is in connection with cities, countries, historical periods and musical styles. Resonances coming from the historical depths of the city (Istanbul) where he was born and raised, resonances he carries to his life and classical career in Europe. It is a pure love, a simple enthusiasm he conveys to the audiences. Sometimes he becomes Schubert and sometimes Şevki Bey – as we shared his love with his work.
Opus Amadeus Festival opens with delightful duo
I initially thought that beginning a classical music festival with an unaccompanied string duo would be a disappointing experience, but American violinist Ellen Jewett and Turkish violist/violinist Atilla Aldemir's extraordinary performance on March 7, the first of seven concerts in the second edition of the Opus Amadeus International Chamber Music Festival, confirmed that my reservations were unnecessary.
At the Besiktas Fulya Art Center that evening, their captivating program of selections by seven composers provided a virtuosic show… they each took on a solo piece: Jewett played A. Adnan Saygun's Prelude from the Partita for Solo Violin while Aldemir played Henri Vieuxtemps' Capriccio (Homage to Paganini) for Viola… Aldemir, who is chiefly established as a violinist, displayed a brilliant faculty for the viola with the introspective Vieuxtemps.
Aldemir switched to the violin for two of Henryk Wieniawski's Etude-Caprices for Two Violins, reminiscent of Paganini's infamous caprices. Jewett and Aldemir alternated between melody and accompaniment, with fire and passion.
New to my ears was Three Madrigals for Violin and Viola by early 20th-century Czech composer Bohuslav Martinu. The artists explained from the stage that Martinu had heard the violin/viola duo of Joseph and Lillian Fuchs play the same Mozart duos in the 1940s, and was thus inspired to write his own. The first Madrigal was a moto perpetuo whirlwind; the second was an inspired use of soft tremolos for both instruments which provided intense orchestral color; and the third toyed with one of the well-known Bach solo violin Partitas in a modernistic way before ending in a dancing frenzy.
It was a treat to hear this rare gem by Martinu and the programming, drawn from several centuries of esoteric but fascinating repertoire, was excellent.
“Fascinating sounds from Istanbul” concert with Mikkeli City Orchestra
Vivaldi's Four Seasons hail, in many ways, from another world. Everyone knows the composer and the piece, and there are hundreds of recordings and thousands of violinists trying to do justice to this piece.
Atilla Aldemir won the Mikkeli Special Prize at the Brahms Competition in Austria last autumn and was invited to play with the Mikkeli City Orchestra. Making the decision to perform the Four Seasons, a top-ten classic, must not have been easy – yet there are valid reasons why certain works remain relevant for many centuries; Aldemir proved this beyond any doubt.
Imagination, personality and charisma – these are absolutely necessary to breathe life into a piece that some would say has been played to death. The impossible occurs, and a fresh interpretation is born. As though Atilla Aldemir was born purely to bring the beauty and joy of the music with his audience, the warm-hearted and dynamic virtuoso has played his way back onto the Finnish stages.
...conductor Renchang Fu explained why they started the marathon with Aldemir with these sentences “I had almost 50 concerts with Aldemir. Because he gives the orchestra and me new ideas every time, not monotonous, doesn't bore. In this kind of a marathon, it is very important for the orchestra and the audience, Aldemir has a very good concentration and strong nerves”
Culture Service – Atilla Aldemir, who llived in Vienna and has been continuing his work in Europe, performed Tchaikowsky, Mozart and Paganini's violin concertos on January 31 in Berlin Philharmony Hall at one concert. In this marathon, Berlin Symphony Orchestra accompanied him under the Chinese conductor Renchang. Aldemir said; “This was the second most meaningful and long concert that I gave till today, last year again in this hall, I performed Beethoven, Bruch and Mendelssohn's violin concertos with Berlin Symphony Orchestra where I have been performing as a soloist since 1999. There is a tradition of a marathon like this in Germany and I became a part of this. Audiences and organizers, who invited me to the stage many times, started immediately to talk about the third concert. I will pull out all the stops to include a Turkish composer in the next marathon.”
Furthermore, conductor Renchang Fu explained why they started the marathon with Aldemir with these sentences “I had almost 50 concerts with Aldemir. Because he gives the orchestra and me new ideas every time, not monotonous, doesn't bore. In this kind of a marathon, it is very important for the orchestra and the audience, Aldemir has a very good concentration and strong nerves”
'A BRILLIANT PERFORMANCE BY ALDEMIR'
2 days ago (…) Atilla Aldemir took to the stage in the “Cemal Resit Rey” concert hall in Istanbul with the Devil's Trill Sonata, Op. 1 by Giuseppe Tartini and Edvard Grieg's Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano. The second half of the concert opened with the Märchenbilder by Robert Schumann, followed by Brahms' Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 120. The encores were Tchaikovsky's Waltz and the Hungarian Dance by Brahms.
Aldemir's performance, along with pianist Itamar Golan, who has been working with the renowned musicians of our time for almost two decades both as soloist and as accompanist, was one of the most unforgettable concert experiences at the CRR. The personality of the instruments on which he played, an 1840 J.B. Vuillaume violin and a 1560 Zanetto Peregrino viola, only added another dimension to his artistry.
Many luminaries of the Turkish classical world were in attendance. While Ayla Erduran praised the concert as “grandiose”, Professor Çiğdem Iyicil and Ceyda Uzgören thus expressed their delight: “We listened with great pleasure to each and every note of his exceptional musicality with great pleasure. Aldemir handles both instruments as confidently as he commands the stage; his natural ability to speak to us through the medium of his instrument and his mastery of the program were immediately apparent. Golan's accompaniment demonstrated a singular ability to support and understand Atilla Aldemir's intentions.
An extraordinary talent
Atilla Aldemir, who at the age of five started to play the mandolin, ranks among Turkey's one of the greatest musical talents. At the age of 15, he had his first solo performance with an orchestra. In 1991, he played at a concert given in honor of Pope John Paul II, and subsequently performed with the Sinfonie Orchester Berlin in the Berlin Philharmonic. Aldemir just finished recording his CD “The Contemporary Voice of Turkish Music”, published by Dreyer & Gaido. Aldemir dedicated the album to his teacher Barbara Gorzynska and the great Turkish violinist Ayla Erduran. The famous Ara Güler contributed his talents for the cover photos.
The CD is the result of the first international collaboration between Aldemir and the pianist Sevki Karayel, and features the works of Ahmed Adnan Saygun, Ilhan Usmanbas, Muammer Sun, Fazıl Say and Meliha Doguduyal.
Aldemir eagerly awaits the International Fritz Kreisler Violin Competition to be held in Vienna on September 21, in which extraordinary talents from numerous countries are expected to participate. An interesting anecdote – it is necessary to have a quality instrument before considering participation in such international competitions. Cognizant of this fact, Aldemir turned to the Turkish state for support in acquiring an 1840 „J.B. Vuillaume“, with a value of 100,000€. When he received the reply from the then Ministry of Culture – “That much money just for a piece of wood?“, Aldemir naturally turned to private sponsors. The endeavor was successful, and Aldemir looks forward to competing with such a fantastic instrument.
“I want to kick the perception of elitism out of chamber music. No need for formal clothing.
It's really like listening to a fascinating conversation among a small group of people. It's almost like ordinary group gossip, television chat show chatter or an animated committee meeting. When my neighbor hosts her large family in the flat above me, it's like a chamber music concert: there's a polyphonic rhythm, many tone levels, a rise and fall of tension and resolution.
While an orchestra makes a larger solid collective sound at a distance, a group of three or four gives us a chance to see the real details of music-making up close, blood and sweat, mistakes and moments of perfection. Sometimes funny stuff happens, like somebody's chair collapses, or the music pages fall down. Sometimes the group makes a false start, so they simply start over -- no apologies needed. But usually, things go well and the raw excitement they generate spins magic; the audience gets to witness a one-time miracle, because no two performances are exactly alike. Here are two chamber music occasions this week: one dynamic trio conversation about loss and another quintet that will make its dynamic debut.”
Russian trios and a Turkish tango to commemorate loss
On Jan. 11 at the Süreyya Opera House, violinist Atilla Aldemir, cellist Benyamin Sönmez and pianist Sabri Tulug Tırpan played a concert of deeply affecting trios that were each dedicated to the loss of a friend. Youthful, passionate, a little scrappy around the edges, the trio put their hearts and souls into two Russian masterpieces and a new piece by the pianist.
They started with Trio No. 2 by Dmitri Shostakovich, a piece in four movements written in 1944, in memory of a close friend who had recently died. In so many ways, it's almost like a textbook of Shostakovich's muscular style echoed in his many symphonies. The musicians illustrated the dramatic tension in the moments of eerie melancholy and those of percussive bombast with vigor and venom. This piece was followed by Tırpan's own Tango, also written to commemorate the death of a friend and colleague, a Russian violinist. For this, Tırpan began inside the piano by quietly plucking the strings before they launched into a bittersweet mix of mourning and a vehement tango that seemed like an attempt to stomp out the feelings of grief.
The final selection was Tchaikovsky's majestic Trio in A minor, a piece that doesn't often get played because it's so challenging. Tchaikovsky himself admitted it was symphonically conceived, and he didn't know if he had succeeded in writing something more intimate. What it demands of the players is drama and endurance: drama because it reflects the agony of the death of a dear friend and endurance because its physical demands include being able to encompass and execute a 50-minute symphony, essentially. The three musicians were up to the task, even if a note or two often slipped here and there -- it didn't matter because they firmly embraced the grand sweep of Tchaikovsky's funereal sorrow and exalted emotion. Their body language mirrored the music's anguished collapse at the final moments, their ethereal unison trailing off into the dust. A few small things could be tweaked: it would be helpful to have the cellist facing more to the audience, as his sound was aimed sideways and often covered by the piano, which could have been half-closed instead of fully open. As this trio refines their fire, we should keep an eye out for them as an up-and-coming ensemble of indomitable interpreters.
THE CONTEMPORARY VOICE OF TURKISH MUSIC
This CD presents works of composers from different periods, who could justly be said to represent .the contemporary voice of Turkish music.. The selection of works for Violin and Piano does justice to the technical peculiarities of each individual work and gives a hearing to Turkish music of the 20th century as a whole.
Contemporary Turkish music has its roots in traditional Turkish music, which reflects a rich culture, from the traditions of the Shamans in central Asia, via the cultures of those areas through which the Turks wandered on their trek to Anatolia, up to the interchanges with Persian and Arabic art after embracing Islam, and with those cultures which came within the sphere of influence of the Ottoman Empire. Structurally, the music is monophonic, using very individual scales (makam) and melodies. The intervals used are smaller than whole or semitones. Traditional Turkish music is a combination of classical music (artistic music) and folk music. .Artistic music. is music which uses the texts of the court Divan literature as its basis and was performed at court and in religious circles. Folk music however, is music which is based on folk literature and folklore, and is performed by the ordinary people. Polyphonic modern music has received official recognition in Turkey since the foundation of the Republic, and has found its own identity. During the first years of the Republic, a group of young composers, who became known as the .Turkish Five. and who received their musical training in the cultural centres of Europe, took on the role of advancing new Turkish music.
Their names were Cemal Resit Rey (1904-1985), Hasan Ferit Alnar (1906-1978), Ulvi Cemal Erkin (1906-1972), Ahmed Adnan Saygun (1907-1991) and Necil Kazım Akses (1908-1999). This group created a new art form by combining their own tradition and western techniques and they prepared the way for the next generations of composers.
On this CD we find the work .Demet. by Ahmed Adnan Saygun, in which he, like other composers of his generation, uses mainly traditional elements. The generation of composers which followed the .Turkish Five. had a rather more avant-garde approach. This generation, which is represented on this CD by Ilhan Usmanbaþ, turned its back on traditional notation and used instead 12 tone music, sequences, accidentalness, minimal elements and clusters; instead of exploring the flow of the sound, they explored more its height and density. The generation which followed them tried to include innovations to the traditional methods, and used the principles of Kemal Ilerici.s four tone harmony.
The representative of that generation on this CD is Muammer Sun. By keeping to a certain melody and the language of folksongs they tried to get a wider audience accustomed to a universal music. Later generations have created a new contemporary language for Turkish music by building on the dialectic contradictions of the previous three generations. Meliha Doðuduyal und Fazýl Say are representatives of this contradictory generation. No matter which currents influence the modern composers or what techniques they use, the specific characteristics and national elements of Turkish music are apparent in all of their works.
Most of the younger composers were trained abroad and some of them still live and work outside Turkey. It is a fact that the number of Turkish composers has increased dramatically since 1950. And it can be observed that the new generation have become composers by choice rather than by chance. Some composers, such as the pianist Fazýl Say, are also virtuoso instrumentalists. They are therefore able to play their own works in concert and therefore reach a wider audience. Meliha Doðuduyal, as a Turkish composer living abroad, has all the possibilities for putting into practice the innovations of modern composition. In other words, she offers a resumé of mystical Turkish music. The compilation on this CD presents the creators of a polyphonic, universal music, who experienced a golden age after the formation of the Republic in Turkey. Through their well-balanced and brilliant interpretation, the violinist Atilla Aldemir and the pianist Sevki Karayel, show contemporary Turkish music to its best advantage.
Turkish musicians in Berlin
Optimistic, however, describes three Turkish musicians who live in Berlin, a city where there are eight top-level orchestras. Violinist/violist Atilla Aldemir and French hornist Cenk Sahin work with the Konzerthaus Orchestra and bassoonist Selim Aykal performs regularly with the Deutsche Oper.
On Sept. 1, Aldemir accepted the position of assistant principal violist at the Konzerthaus Orchestra, which performs in their newly restored home venue, Konzerthaus Berlin, in the old eastern sector. “There were initially 340 applicants for this position,” he told me in a post-concert interview. “Then it was narrowed down to 35, then two, then they chose me. I'm overjoyed!”
“The basic difference between what musicians know here and what they know in Turkey is what I refer 'orchestral system',” says. “There's a European way of doing things that is very different from Turkish orchestras.” Aldemir agrees, as he has also played for many years in Germany. Both Aldemir and Aykal return to Istanbul periodically to perform and teach; both also state emphatically the same thing: “Turkey needs to learn to put systems in place. If Turkish musicians want to play abroad, they will be shocked at how different it is. It's extremely disciplined.”
Violist Atilla Aldemir brings a touch of Berlin to Istanbul
Turkish violinist-violist Atilla Aldemir will perform on Oct. 23 at the Cemal Resit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul. (Photo courtesy of Atilla Aldemir)
October 21, 2014, Tuesday/ 16:58:42/ ALEXANDRA IVANOFF / BERLIN
On Thursday at Istanbul's Cemal Resit Rey concert Hall (crr), Atilla Aldemir, one of Turkey's top young musicians, will bring a touch of Berlin, his recently adopted city, back to Istanbul.
Aldemir has spent the last year undergoing a trial period for a coveted position in the Konzerthaus orchestra Berlin. On Sept. 1, 2013 he was chosen, out of hundreds of auditionees, to be assistant principal viola. The position required 12 months of intense scrutiny in order to be granted a permanent contract. The reason he was successful will be evident in Thursday evening's program at CRR when he performs a viola concerto by 18th century composer Franz Hoffmeister with a select ensemble of his colleagues from the Konzerthaus Orchestra.
“The first year with a German orchestra appointment is basically a test,” Aldemir told Today's Zaman. “A very tough test! There were 340 applicants for this position initially. Then it was narrowed down to 35, then 2, and then they chose me. I felt so honoured. But then the real work began. First of all, you must prepare all the parts by heart [to prevent making mistakes]. If you make a mistake, you can correct it, but the third time you're out. Secondly, you cannot be late! If you are even five minutes late, you're fined 30 euro. Thirdly, if someone corrects you, you cannot react. And you cannot talk at all during rehearsal. It's German discipline. There are several officers within the orchestra who are watching you. All that was very stressful. But if you succeed, you'll get to enjoy the next 30 years playing with a great orchestra.”
The Konzerthaus Orchestra is, based on the German tiered rating system (using letters A, B, and C), an A level ensemble - only the Berlin Philharmonic has a higher rating of A+. The Konzerthaus Orchestra has the internationally renowned Iván Fischer as its Chief Conductor. At this point in Aldemir's life, he's living his dream. “It's a fantastic atmosphere here,” he says. “I love Maestro Fischer and this orchestra.” But what about all that stress? “It creates a good orchestra!” he exclaims!
Aldemir's very special viola
A graduate of the Mimar Sinan State Conservatory of Music in Istanbul and the Conservatories of Music in Detmold and Essen (Germany), Aldemir was awarded Istanbul's Donizetti Music Award, ”The Year's Best String Performer”, in 2011. Prior to that, he had won several prizes in the Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria – in both violin and viola categories. After ten years of freelance work in Europe, the USA, Israel and Egypt, he was invited to audition for the Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin.
On Oct. 23, the Konzerthaus Orchestra, led by its concertmaster Michael Erxleben, will show Istanbul audiences the results of all that German discipline. They will perform Mozart's Symphony in A Major and Bruckner's Quintet in F major for strings, in addition to the Hoffmeister concerto. One of the unusual features of this concert is the instrument that Aldemir will be playing -- a Zanetto Pellegrino viola, made in 1560.
I had the opportunity to hear Aldemir play this 454 year old viola in concert on Oct. 19 in a special “Kiez Konzert” (District Concert), one of a series organized by the Konzerthaus Berlin in various areas of the city. With one of the members of the orchestra's first violin section, Adriana Porteanu, Aldemir performed duos by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and Martinu's Three Madrigals and Ahmet Adnan Saygun's Demet (Bouquet) Suite for Violin and Piano, based on Black Sea dances, and arranged for violin and viola by Aldemir himself.
While a program performed by only two people may sound tame on paper, it was in reality a tour de force. All 15 compositions were strenuous tests of agility, ensemble precision and stylistic demands. The live acoustics and ultra-intimate setting of the Schloss Schönhausen, a restored Baroque palace in the Pankow district, provided additional challenges.
Both players met all the challenges with plenty of confidence and energy, flying through hundreds of intricately woven phrases, creating tonal beauty -- especially the lovely serenade with sublime muted fluttering in Martinu's Second Madrigal. The icing on the cake was the voluminous tone of Aldemir's extraordinary viola. His performance on it, in those particular acoustics, was a delicious experience in voluptuous richness coupled with expressive acumen.
“This viola is worth around $2 million dollars,” Aldemir explained. “It's not mine, it's on loan from my former teacher who has been granted access to it by the owners. I recently played it for a special ceremony that celebrated 65 years of the press in Germany - I sat next to the President of Germany, Joachim Gauch, and the Turkish EU Minister, Volkan Bozkır. I played music by Mozart [with colleagues], and President Gauch spoke very eloquently about music and thanked us all by name. I also proposed a pilot program to Minister Bozkır to get Turkish children more involved in music.”
As an educator, Aldemir found sponsorship in Istanbul last year to start the Efes Anadolu Music Academy where he taught scores of young students alongside one of Istanbul's esteemed violinists, Ayla Erduran. That fostered his ambition to undertake similar projects in Berlin. “I want to go to the Turkish Ambassador to discuss designing a teaching program for Turkish children in Berlin. I wish for orchestral principal players to have the opportunity to build bridges between the Turkish community and the classical music community. I think Turks here are still too shy to come to hear classıcal concerts.”
In Berlin, Aldemir continues to distinguish himself in the Konzerthaus' schedule of chamber concerts that are part of a busy season that lasts until the end of June. On November 29, he will team up with two other string colleagues for a trio concert of Beethoven, Martinu, and Schubert. Until then, Aldemir is happy to bring the Konzerthaus -- and his special viola -- to Istanbul to share a touch of Berlin.