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A Mediterranean Christmas / Cohen, Boston Camerata, Et Al


Release Date: 11/08/2005 
Label:  Warner Classics   Catalog #: 62560   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Isak VaronAlfons X (El Sabio)AnonymousTraditional
Performer:  Equidad BaresKareem RoustomBoujemaa RazguiHayet Ayad,   ... 
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 11 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

It's at least moderately interesting that although the birth of Christ was a Middle Eastern event, almost none of the music that Westerners associate with the celebration of Christmas originated in that region. When the shepherds sing, it's a relatively modern Italian or English, French or American tune they repeat; the Three Kings could be from 20th-century Germany, Mary and Joseph from the Czech Republic or Poland of the 1800s. But what of the very ancient musical traditions celebrating Christmas that were born and cultivated along the Mediterranean, from Northern Africa to Spain, whose roots spring from cultures with languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, Occitan, or numerous Latin dialects? Here, in Joel Cohen's typically well-organized, Read more thoughtfully chosen program, the singers and players of the Boston Camerata and its instrumental partners, the Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble, give us a taste of some of this music, its melodies rich in ornamented melisma and colored with the sounds of vielle, guitar, shofar, oud, and all manner of percussion.


While some of the songs come from the more commonly referenced collection of cantigas de Santa Maria by the Spanish King Alfonso, most of the selections come from more diverse and obscure sources--and of course the interpretations by these vocal and instrumental specialists are appropriately unique, insightful, and entertaining, attending to each song's character and subject, whether a dance, a processional, a narrative, or a prayer. Cohen has brought together some very fine musicians for this project, including vocalists Hayet Ayad, Equidad Barès, and Anne Harley, and percussionists Karim Nagi and Boujemaa Razgui. The sound from Boston's Church of the Covenant is bright and resonant, complementing the reedy timbres and unvarnished sonorities of the instruments and voices. Be prepared for a truly different experience of Christmas when you hear this--but it's also one that will take you far closer than usual to the ancient time and place where it all began, reminding us in another way of the mystery and enduring power of the Christmas story and tradition.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Ferahfeza Taksim by Isak Varon
Performer:  Equidad Bares (Voice), Kareem Roustom (Oud)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Turkey 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: Spanish 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Respondemos, Dio de Abraham."Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
2. Cantigas de Santa María: no 422, Madre de Deus, ora por nòs by Alfons X (El Sabio)
Performer:  Boujemaa Razgui (Percussion), Hayet Ayad (Voice), Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 3 Minutes 25 Secs. 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005)
This selection is sung in Catalan, Latin, Provencal and Spanish. 
3. Gregis pastor by Anonymous
Performer:  Anne Harley (Soprano), Anne Azéma (Soprano), Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion),
Boujemaa Razgui (Percussion)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 3 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
4. Gloria in cielo by Anonymous
Performer:  Anne Harley (Soprano), Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion), Boujemaa Razgui (Percussion)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 2 Minutes 38 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
5. Lux refulget by Anonymous
Performer:  Anne Harley (Soprano), Anne Azéma (Soprano), Equidad Bares (Spoken Vocals)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 3 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is preceded by a reading of Folquet de Marseille's "Senher Dieus."
Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005)
This selection is sung in Latin and Provencal. 
6. Cantigas de Santa María: no 100, Santa María, Strella do dia by Alfons X (El Sabio)
Performer:  Boujemaa Razgui (Percussion), Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Ladino 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
7. Llibre Vermell de Montserrat: Polorum regina by Anonymous
Performer:  Hayet Ayad (Voice)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Spain 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 2 Minutes 24 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
8. Cantigas de Santa María: no 119, Como somos per conssello by Alfons X (El Sabio)
Performer:  Boujemaa Razgui (Percussion), Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 5 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Ladino 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
9. O Maria Deu maire by Anonymous
Performer:  Anne Harley (Soprano), Anne Azéma (Soprano)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Written: 12th Century; France 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Ave maris stella."
This selection is preceded by a spoken recitation of a New Testament passage in Spanish, beginning "En el sexto mes, el ángel Gabriel fue enviado por Dios...".
Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005)
This selection is sung in Latin, Provencal and SpanishLatin, Provencal and Spanish. 
10. Mei amic e me fiel by Anonymous
Performer:  Anne Harley (Soprano), Anne Azéma (Soprano)
Period: Medieval 
Written: 12th Century; France 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: Ladino 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
11. Cantigas de Santa María: no 28, Todo logar mui ben pode by Alfons X (El Sabio)
Performer:  Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion), Boujemaa Razgui (Percussion)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Taouchia "Naubat gribt lahcine"."
Arranger: Joel Cohen.Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
12. Taouchia "Naubat gribt lahcine" by Traditional
Performer:  Boujemaa Razgui (Percussion), Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Written: Morocco 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 5 Minutes 36 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Cantigas de Santa María: no 28, Todo logar mui ben pode."
Arranger: Joel Cohen.
Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
13. Quando il rey Nimrod by Traditional
Performer:  Boujemaa Razgui (Voice), Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion), Kareem Roustom (Percussion)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 4 Minutes 37 Secs. 
Language: Ladino 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
14. Pastres placatz vòstre tropèu by Traditional
Performer:  Anne Azéma (Soprano), Joel Cohen (Voice)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Written: France 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Provencal 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
15. En belen tocan a fuego by Traditional
Performer:  Equidad Bares (Voice), Hayet Ayad (Voice), Anne Harley (Soprano),
Kareem Roustom (Guitar)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 4 Minutes 31 Secs. 
Language: Spanish 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
16. Duermete, niño duérme by Traditional
Performer:  Equidad Bares (Voice)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Written: Andalusia, Spain 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 1 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Spanish 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
17. Nani ya srira by Anonymous
Performer:  Hayet Ayad (Voice)
Written: Egypt 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 1 Minutes 19 Secs. 
Language: Arabic 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
18. Borea by Anonymous
Performer:  Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion), Kareem Roustom (Oud), Boujemaa Razgui (Percussion)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Written: Morocco 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 9 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: Ladino 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Cantigas de Santa María: no 315, Tant aos peccadores."Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
19. Cantigas de Santa María: no 315, Tant aos peccadores by Alfons X (El Sabio)
Performer:  Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion), Boujemaa Razgui (Percussion), Kareem Roustom (Oud)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Written: by 1284; Spain 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 9 Minutes 34 Secs. 
Language: Ladino 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Borea."
Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
20. Respondemos, Dio de Abraham by Anonymous
Performer:  Kareem Roustom (Oud), Equidad Bares (Voice)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Written: Spain 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 3 Minutes 58 Secs. 
Language: Spanish 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "Ferahfeza Taksim."
Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
21. Ave maris stella by Anonymous
Performer:  Anne Harley (Soprano), Anne Azéma (Soprano)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 4 Minutes 15 Secs. 
Notes: This selection is part of a medley which also includes "O Maria Deu maire."
This selection is preceded by a spoken recitation of a New Testament passage in Spanish, beginning "En el sexto mes, el ángel Gabriel fue enviado por Dios...".Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005)
This selection is sung in Latin, Provencal and Spanish. 
22. Noi siamo i magi de l'oriente by Traditional
Performer:  Karim Nagi Mohammed (Percussion), Boujemaa Razgui (Percussion)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Romantic 
Written: 19th Century; Italy 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 2 Minutes 8 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 
23. Play of Herod: Heu, heu, heu by Anonymous
Performer:  Anne Harley (Soprano)
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; France 
Venue:  Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA 
Length: 1 Minutes 57 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Church of the Covenant, Boston, MA (06/29/2005 - 07/03/2005) 

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