Conducted by Howard Griffiths, the hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra) performs Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say’s Symphony No. 1 op. 28, also known as the “Istanbul Symphony”. Recorded at the hr-Sendesaal, Frankfurt on November 10, 2012.

Conducted by Howard Griffiths, hr-Sinfonieorchester performs Turkish pianist and composer Fazıl Say’s Symphony No. 1 op. 28, also known as the “Istanbul Symphony”. Recorded at the hr-Sendesaal, Frankfurt on November 10, 2012.

In the beginning of the video, the Turkish composer is introducing the traditional Anatolian instruments to the audience.

Fazıl Say’s Istanbul Symphony

Say’s first symphony, the Istanbul Symphony, premiered in 2010 after his five-year residency at the Konzerthaus Dortmund and it was a great success. The work constitutes a vibrant and poetic tribute to the metropolis on the Bosphorus (see notes 1) and its millions of inhabitants.

Movements of Istanbul Symphony

  1. Nostalgia
  2. Religious order
  3. Blue Mosque (see notes 2)
  4. Merrily Clad Young Ladies aboard the Ferry to the Prince’s Island (see notes 3)
  5. About the Travellers to Anatolia departing from the Haydar Pasha Train Station (see notes 4)
  6. Oriental Night
  7. Finale


1. The Bosphorus

The Bosphorus (or Bosporus) is a natural strait and internationally significant waterway located in northwestern Turkey, in Istanbul, that forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey.

2. The Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Mosque is a historic mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul
The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) has one main dome, six minarets, and eight secondary domes.

3. The Prince’s Islands

The Prince’s Islands, officially just Adalar in Turkish (“Islands”), are an archipelago off the coast of Istanbul, in the Sea of Marmara. During the summer months, the Prince’s Islands are popular destinations for day trips from Istanbul. As there is no traffic on the Islands, the only transport being horse and cart, they are incredibly peaceful compared with the city of Istanbul. They are just a short ferry ride from Istanbul.

Büyükada, İstanbul
Prince’s Islands

4. Haydar Pasha (Haydarpaşa) Train Station

Built in 1909 by the Anatolian Railway (CFOA) as the western terminus of the Baghdad and Hedjaz railways, Haydar Pasha Train Station is a railway terminal in Istanbul. Until 2012 the station was a major intercity, regional, and commuter rail hub as well as the busiest railway station in Turkey. Haydarpaşa, along with Sirkeci Terminal (on the other side of the Bosphorus), are Istanbul’s two intercity and commuter railway terminals. As of 19 June 2013, all train service to the station has been indefinitely suspended due to the rehabilitation of the existing line for the new Marmaray commuter rail line.

On 28 November 2010, a fire caused by carelessness during the building’s restoration destroyed the roof and the 4th floor of the terminal building.

Haydarpasa train station (2007)
Haydar Pasha Train Station. Photo from 2007, before the fire in 2010. Source: Wikipedia


M. Özgür Nevres

Published by M. Özgür Nevres

I am Özgür Nevres, a software engineer, a former road racing cyclist, and also an amateur musician. I opened to share my favorite music. I also take care of stray cats & dogs. This website's all income goes directly to our furry friends. Please consider supporting me on Patreon, so I can help more animals!

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