Sheherazade: A Great Love
Vladimir Ivanoff and Sarband tell the story of a yearning approach
and discover Europe in Turkey and the Orient in Paris


Compositions and piano music by the last Sultans,
Callisto Guatelli Pasha and Franz Liszt
Ernest Chausson: La Caravane
Maurice Ravel: Shéhérazade


Dilek Geçer: Soprano / Christopher Miltenberger: Piano
Celaleddin Biçer: Ney & Kanun / Uğur Işık: Cello
Ahmed Kadri Rizeli: Kemençe
Vladimir Ivanoff: Percussion, Artistic Director


It was a great love: Sultan Abdülaziz, one of the last rulers of the Ottoman Empire, 
enthusiastically composed elegant
European-style music. 
At the same time, western artists mostly saw in the Ottoman Empire the mysterious Orient,
an imaginary landscape, 
full of dark desires, surpassing each other with ever new exotisms.

Ottoman Turkey understood itself as a political and cultural part of the European alliance, 
but was only tolerated by the
western powers as the «sick man of Europe». At the same time, in European culture, the geographical Orient increasingly
became an undetermined place, 
an «Orient Imaginaire», resource for unstilled longing, dark desires and debauched fantasies
which were forbidden in Europe.

Therefore the Orient could not become a part of Europe but had to remain an alien culture in order 
to further fire the collective
European imagination. The great love was unrequited, and Sheherazade still has to knock in vain on the door of Europe.

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«… an intoxicating evening … » Monika Köhler, (Germany), 24.10.2009

«Closeness and distance were the two poles of this enchanting evening … With her colorfully shaded soprano,
Dilek Geçer lent great intesity to Callisto Guatelli Pasha's song settings. In the second half, the audience was simply
enthralled by this erotically charged singing. Celaleddin Biçer on ney and kanun, Ahmed Kadri Rizeli (kemençe) and Uğur Işık (violoncello) created magical moments in their joint improvisations.»
fg, Main Post, 30.12.2008

«Enchantingly sweet bridgings … Dilek Geçer's many shaded, lyrically sweet soprano was the connecting element …
indeed amazing as a stylistic balancing act … 
Director Vladimir Ivanoff preserved this evening's narcotic sweetness.» 

Matthias Wagner, Kronenzeitung, Graz (Austria), 15.07.2007


M. Ravel: «L'Indifferent»
(Shéhérazade No.3)
Live, Bad Kissingen 12-08