Anatolian-Portuguese Suite for 2 pianos by Christopher Norton
Christopher Norton is well-known throughout the world for his compositions for piano, particularly the Microjazz series, published by Boosey & Hawkes, and Connections for Piano, published by CN Connections Music. His music is popular with piano students as well as professional performers, because he writes well for the piano, has a subtle blend of jazz, pop and classical influences and has a distinctive style of writing that appeals to a wide range of audiences.
The Anatolian-Portuguese Suite for 2 pianos was written for the Basgöze-Pinto Piano Duo - Pinar Basgöze and Susana Pinto, colleagues at the MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis. Pinar is Turkish, Susana is Portuguese, so it seemed appropriate to write them a suite utilizing the music of their respective countries. The suite has 4 movements - in style terms Anatolian Folk, Fado, Anatolian Folk, Fado.
1. Hey Onbesli, Onbe.li is an Anatolian Lament from the Tokat region of Turkey and references the Battle of Canakkale, known in other parts of the world as Gallipoli. Young men, between the age of 15 and 19 enlisted or volunteered going off to war is the theme and the piece has a melancholy opening and closing section, with a more rhythmic central section. Quarter-tone tuning is hinted at with certain harmonic clashes.
2. Estranha Forma de Vida, literally Strange way of living, is a heart-felt traditional Portuguese song popularised by the most famous Fado singer, Amalia Rodrigues. This movement weaves a fantasy around the beautiful tune.
3. Zeynep, full title Zeynep Zeynebim, Zeynebim, another Anatolian lament is an evocative (and tragic) love song:
Zeynep, famous in 5 villages
I cannot go to her because the paths are way faraway.
They sent her of as a bride this week, therefore I am burning inside, though I seem cool-headed.
This suite contains a free arrangement of it.
4. Vôo Para a Liberdade, literally Flight to Freedom, is a Portuguese melody that has revolutionary sentiments. The arrangement in this suite starts fast and builds in excitement to a thunderous and virtuosic finish.
The Suite was first performed by Angela Turner and Suzanna Hlinka at the 4MBS Festival of Classics, Brisbane, Australia on 18 June 2017.