Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|La Rondinella, Tina Chancey|
Songs of the Sephardim - Traditional Music of the Spanish Jews
Genres: Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
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Hauntingly beautiful simplicity
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A jewel of a recording. Alice Koslozski teamed up with La Rondinella for several more recordings of Sephardic and Spanish Renaissance songs, but this one, the first, is the very best: they are all technically excellent, but this CD has the best song selection.La Rondinella produces great earthy and colorful Medieval timbres. Kozloski's mezzo singing is lyrical and moving, some where on the spectrum between lieder singer and folk singer.The songs have a hauntingly beautiful simplicity - they are a relevant today as they were 600 years ago. The booklet contains all the Ladino texts - if you know a little Spanish, they are quite understandable."
A glorious heritage, well sounded
FrKurt Messick | Bloomington, IN USA | 10/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This music has a distinctive Spanish flavour to it - the guitar introduction on the first track is unmistakably Spanish; this is a tradition that dates back to the time before Columbus discovered the 'new' world, which ironically was the same year Ferdinand and Isabella issued their edict of expulsion to the Jews in Spain. The Sephardic Jews took their musical traditions with them when they left, such that the Spanish influences in their culture permeated the Jewish communities in other parts of Europe.
There are all sorts of music on this disc, that covers the whole range of pieces from the Sephardic culture - there are love songs, lullabies, and storytelling songs. Women feature prominently in the stories, and most likely in the composition, of many of the pieces here. Many pieces, however, have come down to the present time without composer/author credits. These could be the songs of many Mediterranean cultures; that they are Jewish is indicated in some of the details of the lyrics rather than the style of music itself. References to Hebrew Scriptures in certain ways, and certain Jewish customs and officials (such as the Moel, the one who performs circumcision) indicate the kinds of details present here.
La Rondinella makes use of wind and string instruments, most likely the same kinds of instruments used by the folk singers who would have been the original performers. Included here as performers are Paul Bensel (recorder, crumhorn, percussion), Howard Bass (lute, guitar, harp, percussion), Rosalind Brooks Stowe (treble viol, vielle, percussion), and Tina Chancey as a guest artist (treble viol, vielle, rebec, kamenj, recorder, percussion), with the alto vocals of Alice Kosloski. La Rondinella was established in 1987 in Washington D.C. as a group dedicated to older styles of music such as Sephardic, English, Scottish and Italian music.
The performances here are simply stunning, and remarkable in the fullness of sound and one with so few players. The care and spirit infused into the performances is wonderful. The emotion is very strongly present, particularly in pieces that give a sense of longing and wandering, a very well-known feeling among the Sephardim.