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"Kurdilihcazkar Pesrev"
Mesut Cemil
Volume 1 - Early Recordings
Volumes 2 & 3 - Instrumental & Vocal Recordings

Golden Horn (

cd cover For many, Turkish folk instruments such as the tanbur (fretted, long-necked lute) kemen�e (three-stringed violin), lavta (fretted ud), ud, and baglama, are as unfamiliar as the Turkish Classical music composer Mesut Cemil, born the son of an accomplished tanbur player in Istanbul in 1902. His first instrument was the kemen�e, but what is most presented on these recordings are his performances on and compositions for the tanbur, which he took up after his father's death. Drawing from both Ottoman and indigenous repertoires to interpret and influence Turkey's national music, Cemil built his reputation as a stylistic innovator, beginning with the Cairo Eastern Music Congress (1932). Through his prominent Turkish radio career, he was a musical activist well-known for fostering performing ensembles that provided musical opportunities for other musicians, involved with reviving and interpreting classical pieces, and influencing the use of low-pitched instruments (e.g. cello) in concerts and ensembles.

Classical Turkish Music Chorus, Directed by Mesut Cemil (cello) recorded on 7/23/1963. Announcer: Mesut Cemil
The wonderful thing about this 3-CD collection is that it demonstrates what digital technology and passionate commitment by a special label can accomplish. Now six years old, Golden Horn has found recordings from an era of radio that have never been commercially available and were rarely heard outside their area of origin.

"Hisarbuselik Sarki by Tanburi Mustafa Cavus"
These are the kinds of recordings that give the word 'independent' meaning. The music presented on these three discs offers a wide range of the Turkish maqqam, the modal expositories that are the musical vehicle through which such classical works are given their form. These recordings are phenomenal documents and an unqualified contribution to a growing catalog of music that precedes "world music" by decades. The authentic and unfamiliar modal structures can make for some auditory challenges, so listen before you buy. But as so often is the case, careful listening has its rewards; these are wonderful and important recordings. - Richard Dorsett

CDs are available at

Audio ©2000 Golden Horn Records and used by permission

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