Symphonic Dances


His Symphonic Dances are strongly influenced by Turkish music, with Say using a typical alternating 8/8–7/8 meter in the first dance. The second movement features Say’s characteristic string glissandi, before a slow third movement and a wild and ecstatic finale. In the spirit of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Bartók, Say has often incorporated the dance music of his homeland into his chamber music; Symphonic Dances is his first orchestral work to use traditional dance elements so explicitly.

It’s my nature and desire to unite people through music without any borders, not even in the mind. Music is very powerful. Music needs no translation. Everyone understands it, whether Chinese, Turkish or German. A great musician is someone who is able to reach people in a positive or dramatic way. When talking about human nature, music plays an important role. – Fazıl Say


I (without movement title)
II Moderato
III Lento
IV Allegro assai · Andantino espressivo · Allegro assai


2 · 2 · 2 · 2 – 2 · 2 · 1 · 0 – P. S. (Tamb. · Bong. · Tomt. · gr. Tr.) (1 Spieler) – Str. (8 · 6 · 5 · 5 · 3)



  • Opus No: 64
  • Duration: 24 minutes
  • Year of Composition: 2015
  • Commissioned by: Musikkollegium Winterthur
  • Word Premiere Date: September 9, 2015
  • World Premiere Location: Winterthur (CH) Stadthaus - Conductor: Douglas Boyd · Musikkollegium Winterthur
  • Schott Music