Volume II delves into the mysterious world of the köçek dancers, the boys dressed in women's attire who for over two centuries entertained at courts and taverns in Istanbul. Castigated for their ambiguous sexuality by early Western travellers and banned by imperial authorities in the 19th century because of the riots they provoked among fans and their descent into prostitution, many köçek dancers eventually emigrated to Egypt. Still, the köçek repertoire, an intoxicating mix of classical, Sufi, Anatolian and Balkan elements, has been one of the most enduring, finding its way into popular Turkish music today.
Lalezar - Music of the Sultans, Sufis, and Seraglio
An extraordinary revival of the music of the Ottoman Empire is currently under way in Turkey, spearheaded by the Istanbul-based Lalezar Ensemble. Traditional Crossroads presents a historic 4-volume collection of new performances of Ottoman repertoire--from art songs to extended suites, 17th-century masters of the Seraglio to renowned 20th-century minority composers. Each CD contains a 40-page booklet with extensive notes and pictures.