Turkish music in sync with passion for soprano
Efruze has been listening to Turkish classical music ever since she was a little girl, and it was after she received recordings of the singer Nesrin Sipahi as a gift that the genre became her passion.
Her recent album “Assolist,” brings together her years of experience in music from the conservatory to the Turkish State Opera, touching all musicals to operas she has acted in so far. Thus, she brings out the richness of color, voice and technique in her style, with the support of leading names of Turkish classical music in the sector that she had worked in the past.
To make the new generation fall in love with Turkish classical music, Efruze takes the fans of the genre to a nostalgic journey of those good old days with her album, which covers well-known songs of traditional Turkish cinema, or Yeşilçam. The album took one year of meticulous preparation, including song selections and recording process in the studio.
The studio works for the album took five days to complete with 11 songs via a nostalgic ‘’live recording’’ system, in real-time.
The album contains the most exquisite and prominent pieces from Turkish classical music including “Gözleri Aşka Gülen,” “Gizli Aşk Bu,” “İçin İçin Yanıyor,” “Şu Güzeller Güzeli,” “Kalbe Dolan O İlk Bakış,” “İnleyen Nağmeler,” “Ankara Rüzgârı,” “Fikrimin İnce Gülü,” “Ay Beyaz Deniz Mavi”, “Üsküdar’a Gider iken” and “Beyoğlu’nda Gezersin.”
“Clear, refined and exquisite renditions of the songs, which the elders used to listen to, left their places to renditions where the notes are all messed and meddled. I, in my album, tried to present a rendition which is pure and clear,” said Efruze, reflecting a stage presence of the ’50s and 60’s woman in her album’s photoshoots while she keeps the nostalgic spirit of the songs alive.
“As a Turkish artist who got an education in the field of Western music, I feel very proud to perform my own nation’s music and make an album out of it,” the singer said in an interview.
“No matter how different they seem, they both are difficult to sing, and that’s what they have in common. I’ve been on opera stages for years, but I decided on singing Turkish classical music when I thought of releasing my first album.”
Efruze said her biggest dream was to introduce Turkish music to the whole world at international global music festivals.
“I think music is not getting adequate representation, and there aren’t many worldwide examples when it comes to Turkish music,” she said.
“I wish our artists could make themselves heard much more.”
In her opera career, Efruze has performed as Serpina in “La Serva Padrona,” Kate in “Madame Butterfly,” Papagena in “The Magic Flute,” Nurcihan in “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” Dorothy in the musical “Wizard of Oz,” Maria in the musical “West Side Story” and Lisette in “La Rondine.” She has also sung the soprano parts of “Carmina Burana” for three seasons.
The singer, who also plays the piano, believes that playing an instrument enables singers to be performers who understand the music better.
Talking about the differences in the structure, Efruze said, “Western music has a polyphonic structure while it’s monophonic in Turkish music.”
Noting that the monophonic structure makes Turkish music hard to perform and the real perfection comes from its utmost simplicity, Efruze said, “Turkish classical music as a field of art has always been learned by practicing with the masters for years, whereas Western music is the exact opposite as it is perfectly built on math and rules.”
The pandemic, which has created additional difficulties for the arts and culture industry, “feels like a great test both for all of us,” she said.
“If we can get the right lessons from this test, then even though we will have suffered great losses, I do think we all will evolve in a more positive direction. In the following period, I wish, for all of us, to work more and to make up for the days which we spent home, on the stage. Of course, nothing will be the same, but those who work hard and get productive will live through this period as well.”