Music from the three world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam
“An idyllic adventure a journey into the world of religion.” (SR2 Kulturradio)
Its previous albums “Baroque oriental” and “Café” and numerous concert appearances have established the Pera Ensemble as a pioneer in the forging of musical links between Orient and Occident. They offer far more than attractive but ultimately arbitrary “crossover”, thanks to the work of ensemble director Mehmet Yesilcay, who has been inspired in his programme planning by his awareness of shared historical roots between East and West. The resulting combinations of otherwise distant sound worlds create a sense of the associations that might really have existed in past centuries – on the streets of Levantine ports, for example. The new album “Trialog” enters new, religious terrain, again with a common, Abrahamic root, through which the various confessions of faith have approached the one and only God. This is why “Trialog” includes Jewish music alongside the chants and melodies of Christendom and Islam. This family of beliefs is exemplified by Istanbul, the city which for over 1000 years has been a melting-pot and cradle of cultures: Byzantium as the centre of Christian faith and subsequent capital of the Ottoman empire, which gave a home to the Sephardic Jews after they were expelled from Spain at the end of the 15th century.
In his booklet-note, Mehmet Yesilcay has this to say about his inspirations in sound: “A world in which words are no longer enough, in which words are no longer needed. Music for the ONE, speaking the language of the heart: Baroque perceptions of the Deity and Sufi music. Aramaic hymns and Byzantine choirs. Sephardic prayers, a Hallelujah and Armenian sacred music. Oriental instruments for Vivaldi, a Baroque soundscape for Sufi music. – The hub of these various musical directions is always the same: a musical credo, surmounting boundaries and transcending confessions.”
The awareness that results from this experience leads to a more profound ideal of cultural encounter, as Yesilcay explains: “Not integration in the sense of assimilation. Meeting the supposed stranger on equal terms of respect. Daring to break through the barriers in one’s head and tread new paths together, because the longer you stand outside another’s door, the harder it is to go in. We want to learn from history with music and meet the challenges of our day.”
In meeting these challenges, the ensemble has far exceeded its previous achievements both in the variety of its repertoire and in its line-up of musicians, including various soloists and several choirs. A detailed and tastefully designed booklet with valuable supporting information and copious illustration offers a worthy setting for the visionary content – a gem for all listeners with open ears and hearts.
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