August 2023CD ReviewsFeaturedIssuesReviews

Bülent Evcil CD Release of Fazil Say’s Flute Concerto Op. 76

Bulent Evcil is an exceptional flutist who is devoted not only to his craft but also to the creation of programs featuring the traditional Turkish repertoire. Evcil is internationally-acclaimed for his expressive skills, had been invited as a guest artist. He is currently positioned as solo flute of Turkeys two best Orchestras; Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic and as well as İstanbul State Symphony Orchestras.

Fazıl SayFlute Concerto No. op.76 that was composed forflute player Bülent Evcil, was released on all digital platforms on March 31, 2023.

Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say brought a new concerto to the flute world. Written with the sponsorship of The Borusan Kocabıyık Foundation, world premiere of this work was performed at the season opening concert of The Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra on October 4, 2018.

The recording was made with Camerata Salzburg Orchestra on 30 November 2019 under the baton of conductor Nil Vendetti and it was recorded by ORF Austria Radio and Televisionduring the concert at the Stiftung Mozarteum in the Dialoque Festival that was held in Salzburg.

List of all collaborators and composers:

Flute: Bülent Evcil

Conducter: Nil Venditti

Orchestra: Camerata Salzburg

Composer: Fazıl Say

2023 Released by ACM Production

Recording Engineer: Thomas Schitter

Production Coordinator: Gertrude Mittermeyer

Mastering Engineer: Pieter Snapper

Music Publisher: Schott Music

Fazil Say's Flute Concerto Op. 76, 1. Movement :  Introduction First movement

How did the concept for this album evolve?

This is a project that dates back four years. Actually, I have a friendship with Fazıl that comes from my childhood. Thanks to him, he always preferred me when he had a flute his other pieces. There was the Mesopotamian Symphony project and there was also a bass flute in it. He called me and ask “Can a virtuoso bass flute be played for this project?”  I answered excitedly, I'll never forget it. I said, "I can play, the bass flute is bulky it may not be very virtuosic, but I try, we can do.” Later on, something spilled from his lips, saying, “I want to compose a piece for you” Fazıl Say is one of the greatest musicians and the best composers our Republic has raised in my eyes.

I always say our locomotive is Fazil. He is very inspiring on the path he opened. I followed him with ambition. Both my friend and colleague, Fazil is a very valuable person for me. Both with his ideas, his personality and his stance. I said, “If you write a flute concerto right away, it will be like the Mozart Flute Concerto written 150 years ago, 150 years from now. You are the Mozart of this period, if you write a flute concerto, I will see my mission accomplished.” Because to have succeeded in leaving a flute concerto behind us; moreover, I thought that this would be a very happy achievement that I will leave behind, if it will happen with my insistence, my advice, my rush. Of course, Fazil was also very positive. Thanks to Borusan Holding and Borusan Board of Directors, Ahmet Erenli, Zeynep Hamedi and Ahmet Kocabıyık financially provided the necessary budget for the production of this work; thank you very much to all of them. Now we have this real Turkish music flute concerto alive in the world.

Can you tell us about the recording experience?

It was a truly amazing experience. l had to play and record it with first-rate partners under supervision of Fazil Say himself.

Conducted by Nil Venditti and Accompanied by Camerata Salzburg.

Camerata Salzburg is a great Orchestra. The work was recorded in live concert at the festival in Salzburg Mozarteum. Camerata, an extremely high-level orchestra, was a great accompaniment. Of course, half Italian half Turkish young conductor Nil Venditti worked very well for the orchestra to understand the whole spirit of the piece and crowned this beautiful work with a good recording and concert. Of course, Fazıl, me and Nil also worked together. Fazıl Say has always supported us. This beautiful recording came out on a truly historic concert night.

What did you like best about your project?

The best is the real Turkish music of Turkey described in this flute concerto.

The mountain, stone, plain, river of the country; it has all. There is also a spiritual mystical deep soul called “Sufi”. You feel as if you are experiencing the old nostalgic state of Istanbul in a ritual. This feeling brings you back to those days with all the mysticism. It's an effect that makes me play like I'm in that spirit, enchanted. There is nothing missing in my opinion. It could have been just a little bit longer. Because I can't get enough of playing this piece.

I believe that this work will be one of the most beautiful works that describe Turkish culture and art as a flute concerto. I even hope it will be among the desired works of competitions and professional exams 100 years later. This is also worthy of the flute concerto of Fazıl Say, one of the best composers of our time. It is a challenging and interesting piece for flutists with its rhythm-based taste and teaching. These intriguing features are what every flutist should taste. I truly believe that this beautiful concerto will be of great value in the world of flute. The concerto is already the star of my heart right now.

What did you find the most challenging?

Actually, there are a lot of things to remember about of challenge of this wonderful Flute concerto, but let's get out of the music a little bit. I had a tendon tear on my shoulder due to a wrong move, actually it was very difficult to even play the flute, but how could such an important concert and recording be postponed and given up? I managed that process by living my pain inside without telling anyone much, and by directing all the trouble to making good music. The bass flute was the hardest to carry. Because it made the pain worse. Especially when rehearsing alone, I developed a playing technique by resting my elbow on the chair, it allowed me to work in a painless position. Sometimes, when I think about it, there is not much difficulty that cannot overcome what one wants. Thankfully, I did one of the best jobs of my life in a difficult time. It will live with me as a memory.

Fazil Say's Flute Concerto Op. 76, 2. Movement : Nostalgia Second Movement


Bülent Evcil's thoughts on this work:

"I am very happy that a great pianist and composer like Fazıl Say has brought a new concerto to the flute world and I wishthat this beautiful piece of work, which is a great effort, will be listened to and loved by all flutists in Turkey and all over the world. I hope that all flutists will be interested in this beautiful concerto.

The work is a complete Turkish flute concerto. The air, water and soil from our country found a voice in the notes, thanks to Fazıl's superior talent, and it has remained me the happiness and prideto breathe life and paint all these beautiful Turkish maqams with my flute, with the all the soul and heart that one can give.

Heartfelt thanks to all the Borusan family and friends for sponsoring this workespecially Zeynep Hamedi, Ahmet Kocabıyık and Ahmet Erenli who was Borusan Art's Manager at the time of the recording.

The recording was made with Camerata Salzburg which is a great orchestra, conducted by rising conductor Nil Vendetti and it was recorded by ORF Austrian Radio and Television during the concert at the Dialoque Festival held in Salzburg.

I would like to say that I am very proud and happy that this magnificent concerto, which we performed the world premiere on October 4, 2018 with conductor Sascha Goetzel, accompanied by BIFO, is published on all digital platforms.

I also would like to thank Fazil Say's awesome team; Senem Tekinkoca, Taner Zadsan, Eren Yağmuroğlu and Toygun Özdemir for their efforts, with my sincere love and friendship."

Listen on Spotify:

Listen on Apple:

Fazil Say's Flute Concerto Op. 76, 3. Movement : Bass Flute Third Movement

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