Search - Syrian Traditional, Christmas Traditional, Leonel Power :: On the Way to Bethlehem (Music of the Medieval Pilgrim)

On the Way to Bethlehem (Music of the Medieval Pilgrim)
Syrian Traditional, Christmas Traditional, Leonel Power
On the Way to Bethlehem (Music of the Medieval Pilgrim)
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Special Interest, Pop, Classical
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1


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Exotic, exciting and fun!
Brianna Neal | USA | 11/28/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If Ensemble Unicorn is great, Unicorn combined with the Middle-Eastern-inspired Ensemble Oni Wytars is even better! Actually, the two groups seem to share many of the same members, along with Ensemble Accentus (which focuses on Spanish and Sephardic music), but with different directors for each: Michael Posch for Unicorn, Marcos Ambrosini for Oni Wytars, and Thomas Wimmer for Accentus. This CD brings the musicians together to offer a stimulating combination of western and eastern-influenced music that might have been heard or played by medieval Pilgrims making the journey eastward. The European tunes focus on the Christmas season, while the Balkan and Near Eastern selections are traditional, handed down orally through the centuries and interpreted here with a zeal that should be as appealing to belly dancers as to early music enthusiasts (and I know many people who fall into both categories!). Instruments used include chalumeau, cheremia, cornemuse bechonnet, darbukka, davul, def, gayda, gittern, kaval, nyckelharpa, sackpipa, tamburello, tombak, vihuela d'arco, and a number of others that you actually might have heard of before--bagpipe, rebec, recorder, rebec, shawm, ud and the like. Ellen Santaniello also contributes vocals. I was surprised and delighted when I played this CD for the first time, and I continue to be each time I hear it again. If you like this recording, be sure to check out the other collaboration between Ensemble Unicorn and Ensemble Oni Wytars, "Music of the Troubadours", also from Naxos."
Exotic jams
S. Gustafson | New Albany, IN USA | 02/26/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Yes, fortunately, this record does not contain anything you'd recognise as depressing Xmas kitsch.
Instead, the record wishes to envisage a journey of mediæval pilgrims, beginning in Western Europe, and moving through the Balkans towards the Holy Land. As such, the disk contains a mixture of Western European, Balkan, and Islamic melodies.
The strength of Ensemble Unicorn and Oni Wytars is their ability to use early music as the basis for extended jam sessions. This recording is framed by two such jams, each more than twelve minutes in length, the opening -Dinaresade- and the closing -Mevlana-. Based on Middle Eastern themes, these are excellent performances, rich in atmosphere. Fans of contemporary groups who make use of similar material, from Loreena McKennitt to Dead can Dance, may find this record interesting, and well worth the Naxos price.
FWIW, Ensemble Unicorn and Oni Wytars also collaborate on the -Black Madonna- recording, another Naxos release I can highly recommend."
S. Gustafson | 06/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Great melodies, better instrumentation....INCREDIBLE MUSIC!!! I find western-europe music by ensemble Unicorn great, but the oriental part by Oni Wytars is simply amazing, both the balkanic and oriental songs. My only regret is that I loved the ensemble too much to bear the fact that no other record by them is anywhere to be found..."