Borusan Quartet

String Quartet has somewhat of a cult status in Turkey, which is embodied by the Borusan Quartet. The quartet plays both traditional Turkish and Western repertoire.

Selected by / Borusan Quartet

  • 17:00
  • 28.01.2020
  • Grote zaal
  • € 27

Borusan Quartet
Esen Kıvrak violin
Özgür Baskın violin
Efdal Altun viola
Çağ Erçağ cello

Pēteris Vasks String Quartet no. 4
Giuseppe Verdi String Quartet

Each day in Selected By a quartet will present two major works of its own choice in a one-hour performance without interval. The juxtaposition of the two pieces creates a strong contrast or tension, while in some cases their musical impact is reinforced by their relationship to each other.

Verdi is above all renowned for his operas, but not everyone is familiar with his small chamber music oeuvre; a single string quartet. And even though it is now considered as a unique canonic work, he himself spoke deprecatingly of it: ‘I composed it simply as a way to pass the time […] I attach no importance to the work and I do not wish to have it published or distributed in any way at the moment.’

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The contrast with Vasks could scarcely be greater. His fourth string quartet is a personal monument, dedicated to his mother on the occasion of her 90th birthday. He reflects upon her life and the past century that she has lived through: ‘I saw an angel flying over the world; the angel looks at the world’s condition with grieving eyes, but an almost imperceptible, loving touch of the angel’s wings brings comfort and healing.

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Extending string quartet

  • 14:15
  • 29.01.2020
  • Grote zaal
  • € 25

Borusan Quartet
Esen Kıvrak violin
Özgür Baskın violin
Efdal Altun viola
Çağ Erçağ cello

Serhan Bali speaker

Works by Fazıl Say, Ulvi Cemal Erkin, Ahmed Adnan Saygun and Hasan Uçarsu

The string quartet has been in existence for two-and-a-half centuries so far. All these years the genre has been in contact with other cultures, languages, art forms and styles. Extending String Quartet falls somewhere between a concert, lecture-recital and crossover; it creates and rediscovers these connections. From American West Coast composers to encounters between East and West; from pop music to video art – all the boundaries are explored, expanded and blurred in the process. 

The string quartet enjoys great prominence in Turkey, on the border between East and West – one could say it has attained cult status. The Borusan Quartet is the embodiment of this success. Huge concert halls are regularly sold out for their performances, which draw young and old alike. What lies behind the great popularity of the string quartet in Turkey? 

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In the 19th century there was an exchange between the musical cultures of Europe and the Ottoman court – Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca is a prime example. However, it was only in the 1920s that the first Western style conservatories were established in Turkey. The composers who studied there on the border of East and West united the two traditions. The results varied from western instrumental combinations in the Turkish traditional style, to Turkish music in a completely westernised style. The string quartet is alive and well in Turkey – now the Borusan Quartet and the presenter, writer and musicologist Serhan Bali bring the Turkish string quartet to life in the Netherlands.

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Bali_Serhan(c)SinanÇakmak

Early Beethoven

  • 09:30
  • 30.01.2020
  • Kleine zaal
  • € 18,50

Borusan Quartet
Esen Kıvrak violin
Özgür Baskın violin
Efdal Altun viola
Çağ Erçağ cello

Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 5, op. 18/5
Burhan Öçal Eski Istanbul

In a subtle reference to Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, six festival days kick off with an Early Beethoven, in place of the previous festival’s Early Haydn series. Characterised by clarity, tension, humour and elegance, these quartets do not reflect the mature Beethoven’s complex and contrary character; instead, they reveal a young, ambitious Beethoven, embarking on the creation of an unparalleled quartet oeuvre.

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Beethoven modelled his string quartet on Mozart’s KV 464, which Mozart in turn had dedicated to Haydn. This quartet is thus rooted in the Viennese tradition. The Borusan Quartet performs Eski Istanbul as encore – a popular Turkish song – arranged for string quartet in an almost nostalgic, high Romantic style.

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Early Beethoven

Borusan Quartet Esen Kıvrak violin Özgür Baskın violin Efdal Altun viola Çağ Erçağ cello Ludwig van Beethoven String Quartet no. 5, op. 18/5 Burhan Öçal Eski Istanbul