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Koyunbaba, Suite for Guitar Op. 19
Moderato, Mosso, Cantabile, Presto
Watch movie clip of the guitar Suite Koyunbaba Op. 19 performed by Alberta on June 12, 2008.
Koyunbaba Suite for Guitar Op. 19 / Carlo Domeniconi
Performed Jun 12, 2008
(12:24 / 9.2 MB)
Watch movie clip of Koyunbaba, Moderato performed by Alberta on June 12, 2008.
Koyunbaba, Moderato
(03:03 / 2.3 MB)
Watch movie clip of Koyunbaba, Mosso performed by Alberta on June 12, 2008.
Koyunbaba, Mosso
(01:43 / 1.3 MB)
Watch movie clip of Koyunbaba, Cantabile performed by Alberta on June 12, 2008.
Koyunbaba, Cantabile
(03:38 / 2.8 MB)
Watch movie clip of Koyunbaba, Presto performed by Alberta on June 12, 2008.
Koyunbaba, Presto
(03:56 / 2.9 MB)
Koyunbaba is a really enjoyable piece, and I couldn’t wait until I recorded it.
When I heard it performed, it felt complete, bringing together so many nuances and melodies. Carlo Domeniconi must’ve been truly inspired.
My interpretation of the music is of course based on various encounters with “classical” Arabic music. And I was also influenced by different interpretations by Christopher Parkening, William Kanengiser and Thibault Cauvin. Each one of these great guitarists brings an interesting musical idea of how it should be played. A very interesting approach to the piece was by the American guitarist Andrew Leonard. Andrew's version is quite a contrast in speed and suspense. Slower than usual in the beginning, then the real Presto storms in with so much control. And of course, Carlo Domeniconi doesn’t mind this at all. He suggests for the piece to be played freely, with the musicians’ own artistic choice as long as the Turkish flavour is maintained throughout.

I came across Koyunbaba about six weeks ago. I started by learning the Moderato and Presto, guided by Christopher Parkening’s recording. Then progressed into the Mosso and Cantabile. But I wasn't enjoying the Cantabile as much as the others.

My first performance of the complete Suite was last week at the Wednesday Lunchtime Concerts organised by Ms. Isobel Ferrier at St James’ Anglican Church, and it turned out really good. While on the 3rd movement, I began to realise that the Cantabile was just as lovely, but it needed time to simmer in my mind.

However, the making of this recording tended to get frustrating at times, especially performing the whole Suite without any mistakes. I did few takes and it was especially frustrating when I was going very well throughout the whole thing until I slip a note on the second last page. Ahhhr! Take it from the top maestro.
But on a special night, I made it through and I was quite happy with my achievement.
But then again, another take to fine-tune some bits wouldn’t have hurt. But I hope you enjoy it for now.

Imagine yourself surrounded by a desert at night-time, sipping black tea around a wild campfire and listening to tales, old legends and myths while a oud player plucks his heart out, with music going on and on, almost hypnotising. That’s Koyunbaba for me.

The Koyunbaba legend
The name Koyunbaba literally translates as “sheep-father or shepherd”. Some even translate it to "the spirit of the sheep”.
The name also refers to a 13th century mystical saint-like figure whose grave is decorated with coloured bits of cloth by Turkish villagers seeking his help with family problems.
Koyunbaba is also the family name of the saints' descendants, who still live on a piece of land in a wild, dry region of Southwest Turkey. According to local legend, this land is cursed. People who have attempted to rent or purchase the land from the Koyunbaba family have died or fallen ill (Source Wikipedia.)
Copyright © 2005 - 2008, Illustrations by Alberta Khoury
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