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De Castille À Samarkand / Constantinople


Release Date: 12/26/2006 
Label:  Atma Classique   Catalog #: 22383   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Kiya TabassianGuy RossKorkutAcemler,   ... 
Performer:  Matthew JennejohnGuy RossZiya Tabassian
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 9 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

In this unusual and wholly engaging program, the instrumental ensemble Constantinople undertakes a musical journey that draws inspiration from a 15th-century travel diary. The group's aim is to explore "the musical richness and traditions" of the time and places eloquently described in colorful detail by Clavijo, an emissary from Castile to the court of Tamerlane in the Asian capital, Samarkand in 1403. These five excellent musicians accomplish their purpose both with existing music from early manuscripts and with their own creations based on traditional styles and rhythmic/harmonic/modal structures, in this case from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern regions from Spain to Greece, Turkey, and Persia.


They also
Read more make their artful impression with authentic instruments, including lute, recorders, cornetto, viola da gamba, and vielle, along with varied percussion and ancient Iranian instruments such as oud, setar, santur, and tombak. Vocalist Guy Ross (who also plays lute and oud) contributes stylish renditions of several songs, including his own creations and selections from the famous Spanish collection, the Cantigas de Santa Maria. His song "Barabam" is a lively, infectious dance; his "Vermiculus" begins with a slow, mysterious yet inviting tune that grows in intensity before suddenly shifting to a festive scene where you can imagine the entrance of dancers who begin a wild, swirling entertainment. (Even the sound of Celtic fiddle makes a couple of appearances, courtesy of gamba and vielle player Elin Söderström, which is not out of place, considering the ancient Celtic connections with Galicia and Asturia.)


Most of the program is instrumental, much of it improvised to some degree, and the sound, created by the distinct timbres of various combinations of the above-mentioned instruments and by the use of different Middle Eastern modes, will strike most Western ears as pleasingly exotic, familiar from the traditional music played in certain Middle Eastern restaurants and in movies. Much of this music's appeal to those same ears is related to a kind of innocent, naive wonder tied to ignorance of the music's origins, structure, and meaning, its effect being a fascinating strangeness and a sort of enchanted, romantic atmosphere, the kind that captured the imagination of 19th-century composers like Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov.


Whatever the source of its effect on Western listeners, the result of this music rendered by these performers most likely will be a positive experience, and I highly recommend Constantinople's effort as one of the more successful of many similar "East-meets-West" conceptualizations on disc.
--David Vernier, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Cantigas de Santa Maria: In Praise of the Sea by Kiya Tabassian
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Period: 20th Century 
2. Barabam by Guy Ross
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Period: 20th Century 
3. Vermiculus by Guy Ross
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Period: 20th Century 
4. Parfums des steppes by Guy Ross
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Period: 20th Century 
5. Kürdi pishrow, Devr-é kebir by Korkut
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
6. Beyâti pishrow, düyek by Acemler
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Period: Renaissance 
7. Ossoul by Traditional
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
8. Châhâr-gâh by Kiya Tabassian
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Period: 20th Century 
Notes: This work is an improvisation by Constantinople. 
9. Hodi "Cho fardâ barâyad..." by Traditional
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
10. Cantigas de Santa Maria: L’ivresse du koumiss by Kiya Tabassian
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Period: 20th Century 
11. Gachiari Garalar by Traditional
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
12. Ranolan Masun by Traditional
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
13. Cantigas de Santa Maria: Con razon nas creaturas / Non pod’ome pela Virgen by Traditional
Performer:  Matthew Jennejohn (Recorder), Guy Ross (Lute), Ziya Tabassian (Percussion)
Conductor:  Kiya Tabassian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
14. Beyati by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Period: Medieval 
Written: Spain 
15. Cantigas de Santa María: no 127, Non pod' ome pela Virgen by Alfons X (El Sabio)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 
16. Cantigas de Santa María: no 52, Mui gran dereit'é by Alfons X (El Sabio)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Constantinople
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Spain 

Featured Sound Samples

Cantigas de Santa Maria (Tabassian): In Praise of the Sea
Cantigas de Santa Maria (Tabassian): L'ivresse du koumiss

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Storytelling at its best! December 25, 2012 By Joan W. (Vancouver, BC) See All My Reviews "This CD takes you on an extraordinary trip during a time that sets the imagination going at top speed. The playing is excellent and certainly provides an atmosphere for time-travelling." Report Abuse
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