Fazıl Say reinterprets Der Panther
ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Composer Fazıl Say will make the premiere of Der Panther in Germany.In honor of the 10th anniversary of the Dortmund Concert House, world-renowned Turkish composer Fazıl Say has been commissioned to write a setting of Rainer Maria Rilke’s poem “Der Panther.” The work, for lyrical soprano and orchestra, will premiere Sept. 7, performed by soprano Christiane Oelze and the WDR Symphony Orchestra under conductor Pablos Heras-Casado.
“It seems to him there are a thousand bars, and behind the bars, no world,” reads the poem, which deals with the hopelessness of imprisonment and the passivity that results from an unchangeable situation. Written in 1902, “Der Panther” is among the German poet’s most popular works, and it has inspired a multitude of musical settings, including an art song by German composer Karl Marx, and even a pop version by German pop star Udo Lindenberg.
Now for the first time, Say has used the acoustic color of the symphonic orchestra to convey the symbolism of the text. Also on the program for the concert is “Nostalgia,” the first movement of Say’s “Istanbul Symphony,” which had its premiere performance two years ago by the WDR Symphony Orchestra in the same venue.