Yunus Emre, Naci Özgüç, Osnabrück Symphony Orchestra & Youth Choir, Birgül Su Ariç, Aylin Ateş, Aydin Uştuk, Tevfik Rodos, Dreyer Gaido 11796
The Yunus Emre Oratorio is, certainly for Western ears in search of a grand romantic statement from Saygun, his most important work.
Piano Concertos, Howard Griffiths, Bilkent Symphony, Orchestra, Gülsin Onay (piano), CPO 777 289
Cello Concerto, Viola Concerto, Howard Griffiths, Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Tim Hugh (cello), Mirjam Tschopp (viola), CPO 777 290
The Cello Concerto is particularly appealing in its melodiousness and late romantic orchestral exoticisms. The accompanying Viola Concerto is also an intriguing work, if not as immediately accessible as the Cello Concerto. It contains an abundance of marvelous, mysterious murmurings.
String Quartets 1–4, Danel Quartet, CPO 999 923
The Quatuor Danel (also redoubtable champions of Mieczysław Weinberg’s quartets) on CPO has given us very fine recordings of the three quartets and the fragments of the unfinished Fourth. Good as those are, wouldn’t it be great if there were also recordings by Turkish musicians (I am thinking of the Borusan Quartet, specifically) of Saygun’s string quartets, seeing that there exists only one of the First Quartet?!?
Symphony no. 4, Violin Concerto, Ari Rasilainen, Rheinland- Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra, Mirjam Tschopp (violin), CPO 777 043
The Fourth Symphony is highly sophisticated, densely rich music that repays, in fact requires, repeated listening. It becomes clear, listening to this and indeed all of Saygun’s brilliantly orchestrated and harmonically complex Symphonies, how the idea of the Turkish Bartók and Hindemith rolled into one, peppered with his county’s indigenous folk influences, can be quite irresistible.
Symphonies nos. 1 & 2, Ari Rasilainen, Rheinland-Pfalz, State Philharmonic Orchestra, CPO 99 819
Symphonies nos. 3 & 5, Ari Rasilainen, Rheinland-Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra, CPO 999 968
Piano Works, Kathryn Woodard (piano), Albanay 1168
Piano Works, Zeynep Üçbasaran (piano), Naxos 8 570746
Suite op. 3, Sonata op. 20 (+ Béla Bartók, Sonata no. 2, Rhapsody), Tim Vogler (violin), Jascha Nemtsov (piano), Profil Hänssler 9001