<< -- 3 -- Rex Harley DIÁSPORA SEFARDÍ
Now, however, each melody becomes enwrapped in a vocal arabesque of such
complexity that it almost vanishes and, to my ears at least, the sounds
being made are not only intrusive but downright unpleasant. After a while
I find myself wanting to shout, 'For heaven's sake, just sing
the notes!' This repertoire suffers especially, in that the haunting
beauty of much of the material lies in its essential simplicity.
If, unlike me, you are one of Montseratt Figueras's fans -- and they
must exist -- you will love this disc whatever I say. If you do not know
her work, and want to sample both her and Hesperion XX, as they used to
be called before the millennium, then the best way is to get hold of the
ultra-bargain 8 CD set from Virgin: España Antigua. This too
includes Sephardic songs, though from the period prior to the diáspora.
If you simply want an introduction to the music of the Sephardim,
you can do no better than the excellent Naxos disc: Sephardic Romances,
performed by Ensemble Accentus, directed by Thomas Wimmer. The vocalist,
Carmen Cano, has a voice whose timbre and tonal qualities are not very different
from Figueras, but with her it is much easier to concentrate on what
is being sung, rather than the idiosyncrasies of the singer. You also get
the excellent percussion work of Pedro Estevan, the same percussionist who
plays with Hesperion XXI.
It should be said that Diáspora Sefardí is a most
attractively presented set, both visually and in terms of the full texts
and informative essay contained in the accompanying booklet.
Copyright © 10 November 2002
Rex Harley, Cardiff, UK
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM AMAZON
PURCHASE THIS DISC FROM CROTCHET
REX HARLEY'S REVIEW OF 'ALTERA ROMA'
Diáspora Sefardí - Romances & Música Instrumental
AV9809 A+B Stereo (2 CDs) 64'30"/65'18" - TT 129'48" 1999 Alia Vox
Montserrat Figueras, canto, Hespèrion XXI, Jordi Savall, dirección
DISC A, Por que llorax blanca niña - Romances Vocales: El moro de Antequera (Rhodes), Levantose el Conde Niño (Salónica), El Rey de Francia (Esmirna), Por allí pasó un cavallero (Turquía), Por que llorax blanca niña (Sarajevo), La guirnalda de rosas (Rhodes), Nani, Nani (Marruecos), El Rey que tanto madruga (Sofía); DISC B, Las estrellas de los cielos - Música Instrumental: Las estrellas de los cielos / Yo m'enamori d'un aire (Alejandría?), En la santa Helena (Sofía), A la una yo nací (Sarajevo), Improvisación, Paxarico tu te llamas (Sarajevo), Yo era niña de casa alta (Esmirna), Longe de mi tu estarás (Sofí), Hermoza muchachica (Jerusalén), Axerico de quinze años (Salónica?), Improvisación sobre 'Axerico'