NEC Chamber Orchestra + Donald Palma: Contrasts

NEC: Jordan Hall | Directions

290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
United States

Consider this program as a study in contrasts, an exploration of the endless coloristic possibilities of a string orchestra. Elgar’s beautifully constructed Serenade evokes the English countryside in warm and heartfelt hues. Rodolf Barshai’s masterful transcription of Shostakovich’s 10th string quartet serves to amplify the expressive powers of this deeply personal work. And finally, Fazil Say’s Chamber Symphony sets out as a portrait of Turkish life in all its complexities inspired by Turkish as well as Turkish-Roma musical sources.

This performance is open to in-person audiences, and can also be viewed below via livestream.

Watch livestream from Jordan Hall:

  • NEC Chamber Orchestra
  1. Edward Elgar | Serenade in E Minor, op. 20

    Allegro piacevole

  2. Dmitri Shostakovich (transcr. Rudolf Barshai) | Chamber Symphony, op. 118a

    Allegretto furioso
    Allegretto - Andante

  3. Fazil Say | Chamber Symphony, op. 62


    Program note

    I composed the Chamber Symphony in 2015 and it is entirely inspired by Turkish music. This 20 minute-long composition dwells on the complexities of modern day Turkey as well as a certain introspection, where I attempt to convey the story with rhythm and time signatures. The time signature of the first movement is the 7/8 “devr-i hindi” which is widely used in Turkish music of old. The middle section of the first movement is much slower, inspired by classical palace music in the hecaz makam and hints at a certain nostalgia for “old Istanbul.” However, the movement reverts back to and ends with the 7/8 archaic rhythm. 
            The second movement is calm and quiet, and it is here that I particularly wanted to underline the need for romanticism in our age. The final movement is a very fast-paced dance. It no longer exists, but Istanbul’s old gypsy neighbourhood of Sulukule housed places of dance and entertainment; and this final movement incorporates all the energetic and effervescent elements of Turkish-Roma music and is to be played in the Balkan style.                                                                                                     

    – Fazıl Say


  4. Personnel

    Joshua Brown *
    Tiffany Chang §

    Tong Chen
    Youngji Choi 

    Isabelle Ai Durrenberger
    Jeein Kim
    Boxianzi Vivian Ling **

    Jaewon Wee §§
    Rachel Yi ‡‡

    Chiau-Rung Chen §
    Cara Pogossian ‡
    Lisa Sung

    Santiago Vazquez-Loredo *

    Bennet Huang *
    Claire Deokyong Kim ‡
    Soobin Kong §

    Diego Martinez

    Principal players

    * Elgar
    § Say

    Double symbol for principal 2nd violin