Fazil Say is one of the world’s most prominent pianists but he is also a much-admired composer with a substantial catalogue of works. He combines both these accomplishments in his two Violin Sonatas, the first of which is suffused with Turkish motifs and dances, such as the horon. The second sonata takes as its theme the abuse of nature and the need to resist despoliation. His Violin Concerto is subtitled ‘1001 Nights in the Harem’ and is full of rich melodies and atmosphere, and features an array of Turkish percussion instruments. One of the most creative and versatile artists of his generation, German-born Friedemann Eichhorn’s artistic activities range from performing early Baroque music on period instruments to classical and contemporary works with renowned orchestras and chamber music partners. Among many other pieces, Eichhorn rediscovered and first recorded the complete violin concertos by French virtuoso Pierre Rode. He studied with Valery Gradow, Alberto Lysy and Margaret Pardee and graduated from the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts, the International Menuhin Music Academy and The Juilliard School. He also earned a PhD in musicology at the University of Mainz.
BBC Music Magazine November 2020
The results comprise on the one hand an exciting interweaving of cultures but, on the other, a raid on the store cupboard of musical clichés. Both extremes co-exist in these four works, which are in effect a throwback to and inverting of 19th-century orientalism. There’s no doubting the brilliance and commitment of the performers…[Eichhorn's] violin alternately dances, skitters, pleads and beguiles with astonishing ease. *** (Performance) / **** (Recording)
Gramophone Magazine October 2020
[Mount Ida] is fervently played by Friedemann Eichhorn, for whom it was written. His immersion in Say’s violin-writing pays strong expressive dividends...The First Sonata (1997) is probably Say’s most recorded work and Eichhorn has its measure, relishing its vibrant blend of influences from central Europe as much as Turkey.
The Strad November 2020
Turkish pianist-turned-composer shows his talent in writing for the violin.