3 Ballads


Fazıl Say’s Ballads are romantic, meditative piano pieces with cryptic literary and biographical associations. The first ballad “Nazim”, played exclusively on the white keys, is in memory of the well-known Turkish writer Nâzim Hikmet (1902-63). Inspired by the Communist body of thought (and for this reason repeatedly persecuted and imprisoned in Turkey), the writer left Istanbul in 1921 to settle in Anatolia in order to seek contact with “simple people”. The title of the second ballad “Kumru” is Turkish for “dove”, but is also a popular girls’ name in Turkey. “Sevenlere Dair” can be translated as “for lovers”. In both of these ballad titles, Fazıl Say makes reference to the oriental tradition of the minnesong: “The Ring of the Dove. On Love and Lovers” is the title of the treatise written as early as 1030 in Spain by Ibn Hazm al-andalusi who is also referred to as the “Ovid of the Arabs”.


I Nazim
II Kumru
III Sevenlere dair (For Lovers)