CD Review – Fazıl Say

The most famous Turkish musician of the moment, Fazıl Say (born in 1970) has surprised the musical world since the beginning of his career, twenty five years ago, with his out of the ordinary technique and by playing a classical or romantic repertoire in an unorthodox way each and every time. His numerous discs – containing pieces by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, but also Enescu, Musorgski, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Gershwin – have succeeded in dividing the musical world in two sides: the enthusiasm of those open to “original” interpretations and the reluctance of those who consider him an illusionist who just wants to show off. Regardless of what side we take, we cannot help observing the very personal phrasing and a sort of violence (no vulgarity though) capable of capturing the most unusual contrasts. In the Mozart concert he played at the latest edition of the “Enescu Festival”, Mozart was transformed into Beethoven, or even into a romantic – through the use of some perhaps exaggerated contrasts. In the recital of the current edition he suggests two sonatas by Beethoven – the Moon Sonata and Sonata op. 111 (already recorded a year ago), four nocturnals and Sonata nr. 2 by Chopin (never recorded before); all of them will certainly cause many commentaries.