Emir Gamsız (1973)

Op.1, No.4 - Rhapsody on Istanbul Tunes

Emir Gamsız, piano


This piece is in the album:

"Gamsız Piano"

Read about the album: Click here.

Read about the pianist-composer: Click here.


When Gamsız and his chamber music friends clarinetist Chen Halevi, violinist Marina Chiche, cellist Natalie Clein were engaged to play a concert in Istanbul, they wanted to play different combinations of trios with piano and needed a short piece to finish the concert all together. They decided to play a piece that Gamsız would compose; a musical joke that will combine some famous tunes from Istanbul and passages from classical music composers' pieces. While working on Rhapsody on Istanbul Tunes, his composer friend Erkin Arslan helped him so much that Gamsız refers Arslan as one of the composers of the piece. The piece starts with its own idefix charactered original theme. This Bach like theme is coming from the first notes of the harmonic progression of the three anonymous Istanbul tunes. First we hear Beyoglu'nda Gezersin from the clarinet. While strings are accompanying the tune, Mozartish piano accompaniment transforms to a Lisztian attitude. Chopinesque piano ending leads us to clarinet's cadenza that will start the second tune; Uskudar'a gider Iken played by the cello. Schubert's Impromptu with variations shows up in the piano part. This tune in minor mode brightens up with a funny film music character in major tone and dies dramatically in a humoristic way. The wild cadenza of the piano reminds Rachmaninoff. Chopin's trills from his Second Ballade takes over to start the third tune; "Nihavend Longa". The accompaniment strongly accentuates the original theme of the piece. Mendelssohnish accompaniments, Paganinian and Lisztian glissandos, embellished by the Turkish augmented second intervals; in other words all the fireworks are packed in this bravura ending.