We present this work in honor of the Turkish holiday, Republic Day.
The great Itri has of old been called
The Patron of our music;
How he leads the people far and near,
That conqueror of the day-break,
On how many holiday mornings early
Rattling the heavens with their voices massed together,
Have they chanted the magnificent Tekbir.
From Budapest to Iraq, even unto Egypt,
From the furthest conquered lands,
The breeze free-flowing o’er the homeland,
Brought with it sound from every blossoming spring.
This man of genius collected them
So that from the plane trees he heard us,
Heard our tale of seven centuries.
In his music flowed on one hand Faith,
On the other, all of Life;
From every side that brightness of the city, the Bosphorus
Flowed with the blue Tunca, and proud Euphrates.
With what voices, with our sky and earth,
With our sadness, our passion, our victories,
Flowed that creation, which resembled us.
How many times have I listened to the Neva-Kâr,
A refrain which is both broad and lively:
While scattering the secrets of the mode Neva,
Brightness shines from the horizons of the Orient;
Drunk with every syllable of his words,
By night, one by one they set out,
Toward the dawn go fifty million souls.
But Chance and Fortune enviously
Have hidden more than a thousand of his works,
As his inheritance there remain to us but twenty.
His Hymn to the Prophet, most awesome and profound,
Then appear the flute and kettle-drum,
And while the turning of the dervishes grows wilder,
His liturgy ascends the seven-tiered Celestial Throne.
He who was the master of a splendid world
Of voice and string,
Remains to us a mystery.
Our learned men know not, who was he?
Who hides his works today?
Are they a treasure kept by Eternity?
Does someone know? Where might they be today?
Death, which covers up such music
Leaves no consolation to mankind.
My heart still is blind
As in exile it passes many hours,
It falls into a pleasant revery:
Perhaps those compositions are yet played,
On an Ocean which never ship shall pass.