Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|The Renaissance Players|
The Sephardic Experience, Volume 3: Gazelle & Flea
The Sephardic Experience quadrilogy, is a priceless sound document in which The Renaissance Players present their own performance versions of well- and lesser-known romansas (ballads), kantigas (religious songs) and muw... more »
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The Sephardic Experience quadrilogy, is a priceless sound document in which The Renaissance Players present their own performance versions of well- and lesser-known romansas (ballads), kantigas (religious songs) and muwashshahat (poetical forms) which have survived for centuries entirely via oral/aural transmission by parents, grandparents, friends and acquaintances within the family circle, while working, or as a form of ad hoc entertainment in Sephardic communities of the West and East. Sadly, as the end of the 20th century draws near we are witnessing the alarming disappearance of Spanish-Jewish culture due to vast, worldwide changes in social circumstances. In fact, these songs are no longer a part of the rich, musical fabric of the everyday life of the Sephardim.The collection of Spanish-Jewish songs in this third volume, Gazelle and Flea, include satire, a panegyric addressed to a minstrel, wedding songs, laments, coplas, kantigas, and romansas. These are placed cheek-by-jowl with traditional dances from the Sephardim's host countries, Bulgaria, South Yugoslavia and Macedonia. The text covers themes of love from literal and figurative references involving animals, humans and insects (e.g. gazelle and flea) to more direct faces of love - courtships which are frustrated, sadly disappointed and sea/siren connected, and weddings, specifically the traditional marriage preparations with their expectations of nuptial bliss and love's frightful sufferings in a cycle of destruction-famine-exile. The songs and dances are performed with improvised decoration as the melodies to which these originally Hebrew texts were sung are lost forever in the ancient folk-memory.The four volumes of The Sephardic Experience (Thorns of Fire, Apples and Honey, Gazelle and Flea and Eggplants) can be purchased individually or together in a beautiful hand-wrapped black linen box.
Elise Jan Gates | 01/07/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This whole series ought to be a part of everybody's library, first for the music but also for the invaluable booklets that accompany each CD. This is a part of history few really understand. And the songs are ravishing. Every time you listen you'll hear something new. Truly a classic CD and a classic series."
New twist on old songs
John H. Uhlemann | St. Louis, Missouri USA | 07/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I must admit to a guilty pleasure in listening to this CD. On the surface it is wrong in so many ways - Sephardic "music" has no written record, so all the musical adaptations of this wonderful poetry are fantasies of the modern mind; and playing Balkan music that the Sephardim would not have identified with, on medieval instruments at that, could just be amusing at best - purists beware! - but it all just sparkles here due to the musicianship of these very talented singers and instrumentalists. I really had a good time listening to it. It is worth the price of the CD just to hear the 25-beat per measure dance at the end. (It is based on "Sedi Donka" rhythm, and those who know the dance can do it to this recording.)"