Saygun’s father was a mevlevi (mawlawi, a follower of sufism) and he has been brought up with mystic ideas and philosophy so he grew interest in Yunus Emre’s works and ideas since he was a child. He composed pieces on Yunus’s poems and ruminated over his ideas while researching musicology so it was only natural that Saygun’s spiritual world took shape as his grand piece “Yunus Emre” in 1942.
His oratorio intellectually based upon Yunus’s humanistic mysticism. Deeply affected by the World War II’s chaos, he emphatized furthermore with Yunus’s humanist and spiritual reaction to the massacres and mayhem caused by Crusades and Mogul raids in Anatolia. This was the way of communicating with God through rumination. Saygun’s ultimate goal was to communicate with the listeners by using Yunus’s language of friendship and peace. Yunus interpreted death as a way to reach to God and Saygun interpreted death as a new beginning. Sufism praised affection and tolerance against fear and Saygun praised the love towards God and God’s creations. In the oratorio the three phase of sufism is observed; “hamlık” (crudeness, immatureness) as the first act, “pişme” (to mature, to ripen) as second, and “yanma” (to be consumed by God’s love/ renouncing the ego and the self) as the third act.
In this research oratorio’s identification and intertexuality with the sufism are mentioned. It should also be noted that the oratorio paved the way for Saygun to compose furthermore with this mystic context. The elements that shaped this oratorio, its credentials and its sufist context are mentioned.
Key Words: Ahmed Adnan Saygun, Yunus Emre, republic period, oratorio, sufism, philosophy