Search - Montserrat Figueras, Arianna Savall, Paul Badura-Skoda :: Ninna Nanna: Lullabies (1500-2002)

Ninna Nanna: Lullabies (1500-2002)
Montserrat Figueras, Arianna Savall, Paul Badura-Skoda
Ninna Nanna: Lullabies (1500-2002)
Genres: Classical, Children's Music
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

This is a formidable collection of lullabies, spanning 500 years, 18 of them (from almost as many countries) in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Catalan, English, and more, each one lovely, each one in its own idiom. Some are anonymo...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Montserrat Figueras, Arianna Savall, Paul Badura-Skoda, Jordi Savall, Hesperion XXI
Title: Ninna Nanna: Lullabies (1500-2002)
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Alia Vox Spain
Release Date: 2/11/2003
Album Type: Import
Genres: Classical, Children's Music
Styles: Opera & Classical Vocal, Lullabies
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 400000000886, 7619986098265

This is a formidable collection of lullabies, spanning 500 years, 18 of them (from almost as many countries) in Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Catalan, English, and more, each one lovely, each one in its own idiom. Some are anonymous; others are by composers as different as Byrd, Mussorgsky, Milhaud, and Arvo Pärt. The disc shouldn't be listened to in one setting--no matter how interesting they are, they're still lullabies and can mellow the listener into torpor--but in three-or-so chunks, the contents are fascinating. Figueras can make her sound move from folk to classical, from a mother who is passionate about her child's safety to one who merely wants to entertain into slumber. The anonymous Greek lullaby (track 3) contains the oddest little vocal quirk--a whipping up of the tone at the close of some phrases--which only an artist like Figueras could pull off. And Savall and soloists accompany on various instruments--flute, harp, viols, etc.--with pianist Paul Badura-Skoda playing on three of the lullabies. The CD is a wonderful tour of the world through the centuries with only one subject in mind: sleep. And sleep is something, after all, that takes up a third of our lives. This CD keeps getting sweeter the more you listen. Recommended. --Robert Levine

CD Reviews

Sweeping, seductive, and superlative!
Stephen A. Haines | Ottawa, Ontario Canada | 01/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Figueras offers the listener a triumphant collection of evocative songs. Let's dispense with a possible concern. This CD is sub-titled "Lullabies". Anyone going to sleep listening to Figueras should see either a hearing or a brain specialist. While they may pacify children, adult listeners will be exhilarated by the sweeping range of her voice and exquisite presentation. Figueras' expressive style simply transcends descriptive praise. From soaring appeals to the heavens to quiet, soothing reassurances, she demonstrates the magnitude of her evocative skills. One can sense constrained passion in each song as she moves from one culture to another through the collection. That one of the pieces was commissioned for this collection is further proof of the extent she provides the listener - she's not confined to neither time nor place. What is most clearly manifest in this musical anthology is Figueras' professionalism and her Catalan background. Unlike the operatic divas who have deigned to release popular renditions, she demonstrates how someone who truly understands the music of mountain villages or plains communities in any nation can elevate even the most "common" music. The selections range over five centuries or more, reinforcing the impression that nothing exceeds the capacity of her elegant voice to convey feeling to the enraptured listener. Each of us will likely settle on a favourite selection. Predictably, my own is a Catalan piece of an anonymous composer. Perhaps because the lullaby is in her native tongue, the richness of Figueras' rendition evokes intense emotional response. Would that i'd been born a Catalan! Alia Vox was launched to give fresh impetus to the recordings of Figueras, her husband Jordi Savall and the groups they have created together. This CD will remain a testimony to their efforts to produce the highest quality discs. The sound is excellent, clearly imparting voice and background instruments alike. With 18 selections from a variety of eras and locations, the notes for this CD are extensive. The text of each tune is given in the original and seven other languages. Could scholarship and the universality of music be given finer endorsement? [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]"
Amazing doesn't come close...
Friederike Knabe | 02/19/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I originally heard a review of this album on NPR and was blown away by the depth and beauty of the music. I immediately had to run out and purchase it. It's almost hypnotic. Enjoy!"
Mesmerizing music for the heart
Friederike Knabe | Ottawa, Ontario Canada | 10/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Rarely has there been a more beautiful collection of lullabies than those presented in Ninna Nanna. Clearly a labour of love of Montserrat Figueras and her family, it brings together songs that mothers have been singing to their infants over the centuries - whatever their culture or language. "It is like food for the young child" reflects Montserrat Figueras in her dedication, the most intense reflection of affection and tenderness. Lullabies in this collection, come from cultural backgrounds as diverse as Russia, Morocco, Greece, England and, of course, the Iberian Peninsula. They span from the Renaissance to contemporary music. Most of the musical versions have been masterly arranged by Jordi Savall, suited to fit the extraordinary voice of his wife. We also find some arrangements by well-known composers such as Moussorgski, Reger or de Falla. Being lullabies, the songs show similarities: above all their tunes are beautifully soft and melodious. Yet, the tunes show considerable diversity in rhythm and tonality. Some are melancholy and almost haunting, others joyful and jubilant. Montserrat Figueras' voice is, as always, in a class of her own, radiating with richness and intensity. The music touches the deeper cords in the listener's consciousness. Her voice is superbly and sensitively accompanied by Hesperion XXI, the accomplished team of musicians under the leadership of Jordi Savall.The informative booklet accompanying the CD is well presented and includes the songs' texts in eight languages, including the original. This is a CD you will not get tired to listen to many times, whether you play it for your children, your family and friends, or just for yourself. [Friederike Knabe, Ottawa, Canada]"