Voces de Sefarad: Four Centuries of Spanish and Sephardic Songs

Artist Romina Basso mezzo-soprano
Alberto Mesirca guitar
Vittoria Giacobazzi soprano
Turkish Ensemble
Fahrettin Yarkin artistic director
Format 1 CD
Cat. number 95222
EAN code 5028421952222
Release February 2016

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About this release

The poignant melodies and poetic lyrics of this selection of Sephardic and Spanish songs have been re-interpreted in an exciting new release by Romina Basso and Alberto Mesirca, and the timing could not be better – serendipitously it coincides with the coming into effect of the law granting Sephardic Jews dual citizenship rights in Spain, over 500 years after they were expelled.

The recording came about thanks to an idea, sparked by an encounter between the artists in 2014, to fulfil Basso’s long-cherished dream of making a release devoted entirely to Spanish vocal music. The journeys the Sephardic Jews made on their forced migrations are reflected in the imprints that the various cultures they encountered along the way left on the Sephardic musical tradition. From Turkish lullabies to Hispanic romances, tonos humanos (Iberian secular songs) to traditional Sephardic songs, the traces of the cultures they passed through still resonate in the accompanying instruments and improvised melodies. The works span over 400 years, from 16th-century composer Mudarra’s Triste estaba el rey David to Rodrigo’s Adela from 1951, reflecting Sephardic Jewish migration over centuries.

Romina Basso, although better known forher Baroque opera recordings, is a seasoned interpreter of a variety of vocal music, performing regularly throughout Europe in such prestigious venues as the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Barbican Centre in London. Alberto Mesirca, dubbed ‘prodigiously talented’ by Classical Guitar Magazine and three-time winner of the ‘Golden Guitar’ award, lends his expertise, and the pair are joined by an ensemble of Turkish musicians led by the percussion maestro Fahrettin Yarkın.

This fascinating programme is an homage so Spain (Sefarad in Hebrew), its Moorish roots and its rich Sephardic heritage, a melting pot of the West and the East. Presented are compositions spanning 4 centuries, by Mudarra, Marin, Rodrigo, de Falla and a wealth of traditional Sephardic songs.
Beautifully sung by the great mezzo-soprano Romina Basso, accompanied on guitar by Alberto Mesirca and a Turkish Ensemble playing folk instruments like, Ud, Kanun, Tanbur, Ney and kemence.
Excellent and extensive liner notes written by Alberto Mesirca.

Recorded in Italy and Turkey in 2015.
Contains liner notes written by the artist in Italian and English.
Contains biographies of the artists.
Sung texts available at www.brilliantclassics.com.

Track list

Disk 1

  1. Triste estaba el rey David
  2. Que se lleva las almas
  3. Ney taksim
  4. Tortolilla, si no es por amor
  5. Kemençe taksim
  6. Canta, jilguerillo
  7. Que dulcemente suena
  8. Tanbur taksim
  9. Ojos, pues me desdeñáis
  10. Ud taksim
  11. Sólo es querer
  12. Lloren mis ojos
  13. Tanbur Taksim
  14. El rey de muncho madruga
  15. Kanun taksim
  16. Romance del conde niño
  17. Tanbur taksim
  18. Nani nani
  19. Canciones españolas antiguas: VIII. Nana de Sevilla
  20. Canciones españolas antiguas: V. Las morillas de Jaén
  21. Kanun taksim
  22. Adela
  23. Canción y danza No. 10
  24. 7 Canciones populares Españolas: III. Asturiana
  25. 7 Canciones populares Españolas: V. Nana
  26. 7 Canciones populares Españolas: VII. Polo