This is a project I’d been thinking about for some months now but just haven’t had the time to get around to for various reasons. With the recent publication of Eric Siblin’s The Cello Suites as well as the general lacunae in conservatory Music History education regarding the music in portions of Europe during the Arabic, Byzantine, and especially the Ottoman Empire, I thought the new year might as well be the time to start.
It’s been nearly a year since I starting seriously considering doing solo recitals again. One of the ideas I had back then was to do a program of just Ottoman compositions. Over the past few months of reading and research I’m finding good structural parallels between the Bach cello suites and what are ostensibly called “suites” in Ottoman music (fasıl) and I thought that it might be an interesting experiment to take an Ottoman fasıl and give a solo cello performance of it. There are any number of Ottoman pieces that I just absolutely adore, but working from an outsider’s perspective [of Ottoman music] makes it difficult to decide how to negotiate a number of the issues that come from such a project.
I don’t have the time to sort through (or even list) some of these issues in this post, but I think I will be using my blog as a sounding board for them as well as just a place to document some of my solutions as good or as bad as they may be.