One of the most grown-up review sites around

52,000 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

  Founder: Len Mullenger             Editor in Chief: John Quinn               Contact Seen and Heard here  

Some items
to consider

Yes we are selling
Acte Prealable again!
£11 post-free

we also sell Skarbo

and Oboe Classics


100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas

Book 1 Book 2 Book3
Mota The Triptych: -Website

WYASTONE releases

The Birth of Rhapsody in Blue
A superlative recreation

such a success

An outstanding performance

make acquaintance without delay

Violin Concerto
This is an impressive disc

Strong advocacy
for a British composer

Piano Music - Martin Jones
agreeably crafted

Piano Music 5CDs

Consistently fine

Rare and interesting repertoire

An excellent introduction

A Celebration on Record

An issue of importance

A splendid disc

both enlightening and rewarding
additional review


REVIEW Plain text for smartphones & printers

Support us financially by purchasing this from

Ulvi Cemal ERKİN (1906-1972)
Köçekçe – Dance Rhapsody for Orchestra (1943) [9:20]
Violin Concerto (1946-47) [30:50]
Symphony No. 2 (1948-58) [27:49]
James Buswell (violin)
Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra/Theodore Kuchar
rec. Fulya Cultural Centre, Istanbul, Turkey, 29-30 November 2014. DDD
NAXOS 8.572831 [67:59]

Who were the Turkish 'five'? Fortunately Aydın Büke tells us in his essential liner-note. They are the composers Cemal Reşit Rey (1904–1985), Hasan Ferdi Alnar (1906–1978), Ulvi Cemal Erkin (1906–1972), Ahmed Adnan Saygun (1907–1991) and Necil Kazım Akses (1908–1999). We have heard quite a lot of Saygun as a search of this site will demonstrate courtesy of CPO; the others hardly at all. One wonders what other Turkish masters lie outside this convenient echo of the nineteenth century Russian 'kouchka'.

The 1943 Köçekçe is a highly spiced piece of nationalistic brilliance and is Erkin's most performed work. You can think broadly in terms of Enescu's Rumanian Rhapsodies. I can imagine this being taken up by a Turkish conductor with whom London audiences have been becoming familiar these last few years: Sasha Goetzel with his Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic.

Erkin was a student of Nadia Boulanger in Paris (1925–30). His presence there was attributable to the modernising element that was in the ascendant as the Republic of Turkey was formed by Kemal Ataturk in the wake of the Great War. He returned to Turkey in 1930 to work as a teacher of piano and harmony at the Musiki Muallim Mektebi in Ankara. Major works followed, including a Piano Concerto and a First Symphony. The next was the Violin Concerto which is a bright spark of a thing. It is easily accessible and without obviously nationalistic aspects except in the skirl and janissary jingle of the finale. Its ideas are catchy - a hinterland between Barber and Walton but a degree cooler than both.

James Buswell, the soloist here, will be remembered first for his RVW Concerto Accademico with Previn in the 1960s (review) but there have been some recentish tasty outings for him on Naxos: Piston, Barber and Lees. Buswell revels in this romantic-athletic music and there is gripping shared attack between him and the orchestra in the finale.

The Second Symphony (also Erkin's last) began its life in 1948 and was completed three years later. The orchestration was finished in 1958. It was premiered on 2 July 1958 in Munich under the baton of Karl Öhring. Like the other two works it is strongly tonal but the nationalistic elements are more vibrant, as they were in the Köçekçe, with a first movement full of crunching cataclysmic protest alternated with romantic reflection. There are moments that recall RVW's Fourth Symphony. At those points it feels like a true symphony of strife - a wartime statement in reminiscence. Its spirit is comparable with Rubbra's Fourth and Stanley Bate's Third although those two works were written contemporaneously with the war. The second movement Adagio starts in a relaxed way but becomes increasingly intense with woodblock impacts and a steadily rising gale of despair. The finale is in some measure a let-down; rather than developing the war-time trauma of the first two movements it adopts a dancingly nationalistic celebratory tone akin to the dance music of Bartók.

Naxos (here with sponsorship from DenizBank) introduce us to some major works from a Turkish composer that not even CPO have explored. Other Naxos CDs of Turkish music include Kamran Ince's Symphony No. 2 (8.572554) joining a disc of that composer's Third and Fourth Symphonies (8.557588) and Saygun's piano music (8.570746).

Rob Barnett



We are currently offering in excess of 52,000 reviews

Advertising on

Donate and keep us afloat


New Releases

Naxos Classical

Nimbus Podcast

Obtain 10% discount

Special offer 50% off
15CDs £83 incl. postage

a vibrant slice of life

stylistically assured

About Every Hill and Valley
Swedish Songs

Hallberg and Dente
interesting and most welcome

An inspired partnership
additional review

A valuable document

Musicweb sells the following labels

Altus 10% off
Atoll 10% off
CRD 10% off
Hallé 10% off
Lyrita 10% off
Nimbus 10% off
Nimbus Alliance
Prima voce 10% off
Red Priest 10% off
Retrospective 10% off
Saydisc 10% off
Sterling 10% off

Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Seen & Heard
Editor Emeritus
   Bill Kenny
MusicWeb Webmaster
   David Barker
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger