• To Scratch Your Heart - Early Recordings From Istanbul

To Scratch Your Heart - Early Recordings From Istanbul

Honest Jon's

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"From the first three decades of the twentieth century, the music here is so transfixing, intensely devotional and sublimely beautiful, that some contemporary listeners thought they were levitating.

Drawn from recordings made in Istanbul by the Gramophone Company and HMV, amidst the ruins of the Ottoman Empire, To Scratch Your Heart crosses and mixes the folk and classical heritage of Turks, Greeks, Armenians and Gypsies, Muslims, Christians and Jews, urbanites and country-people, and the demands of tradition and modernity, musical improvisation, composition and system.
Most of the singers here are 'hafiz', versed in a musical reading of the Koran, and renowned for mastery of the exalted, improvisatory form of the 'gazel': there are several magnificent examples here, by legendary artists. Three gazelhans beautifully interpret folk songs, and another contributor, the folklorist Agyazar Efendi, sings a long Armenian air with utter authenticity, but in the style of a gazel. Exemplifying the new political freedoms of the Republic, there are two heart-melting female vocal performances of a kind of art-song called 'sarki'. Also featured is the 'taksim', a kind of improvisation in which one-off musical fireworks, designed to ravish the listener's soul, illuminate deep fluency in the 'makam': a who's who of the pre-eminent instrumentalists of this first half-century of Turkish recording, in performances which are simply stunning — breath-taking, exquisite and other-worldly. "
Brilliantly restored at Abbey Road, fully annotated with rare photographs, and luxuriously presented 4 x 12" box set.

UDI NESET BEY – Setaraban Taksim / SELANIKLI APTI EFENDI – Sende Acep / AGYAZAR EFENDI – Murat Kenarinda / EYYUBI MUSTAFA SUNAR BEY – Evc Ara Taksim / HAFIZ CEMAL BEY – Feryat / FIKRIYE HANIM – Ateslik Eder / HAFIZ ASIR EFENDI – Kesik Kerem / UDI NEVRES BEY – Aksam Oldu / EYYUBI MUSTAFA SUNAR BEY – Huzzam Taksim / ALEKO BACANOS EFENDI – Segah Taksim / MUSERREF HANIM – Kim Derdi Ki / KAMIL EFENDI – Hicaz Taksim 1 / HAFIZ SAMI - Derdime Vakif Degilim / NUBAR BEY AND IBRAHIM BEY – Hicazkar Pesrev / HAFIZ MAHMUT BEY – Bulbulun Ezeli / EMIN TANINMIS EFENDI – Rast Taksim / NEYZEN TEVFIK EFENDI – Huseyni Taksim / UDI NESET BEY – Nihavent Taksim / BALIKESIRLI TANBURI FUAT BEY AND NEZIHE HANIM – Ninni / NAFI BEY – Derdime Vakif Degilim / KANUNI ARTAKI EFENDI – Sehnaz Taksim / MUNIR NURETTIN BEY – Madem Ki Vardi Hicran / YOZGATLI HAFIZ SULEYMAN BEY – Ben Nasil Ah Etmeyeyim / TANBURI IBRAHIM BEY – Huzzam Taksim / HAFIZ CEMAL BEY – Yare Varsin / ANASTAS EFENDI – Nihavent Taksim / UDI MARKO COLAKOGLU EFENDI – Hacer-ul Esved Imis / YORGO BACANOS EFENDI – Huseyni Taksim / BELKIS HANIM – Eyvah O Benim Talihime / REFIK FERSAN BEY – Milli Yegah Taksim / SEVKET BEY – Huseyni Kuzu / EYYUBI MUSTAFA SUNAR BEY – Hicaz Taksim

Udi Neset Bey – Setaraban Taksim

Fikriye Hanim – Ateslik Eder

Tanburi Ibrahim Bey – Huzzam Taksim

Belkis Hanim– Eyvah O Benim Talihime