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From Byzantium To Andalusia / Oni Wytars Ensemble


Release Date: 03/21/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8557637   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  TraditionalAnonymousJohannes of Oppido
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 0 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The music of the Mediterranean is among the most multinational of any region. This may have been even truer in the medieval period when Christian, Islamic and Jewish cultures all met for trade. Inevitably the cross-pollination extended into the realm of music, liturgical and secular; choral and instrumental. The resulting sounds are amazingly resonant, especially coming down to us from ages so far removed.

The album consists of selections of music from all three major religious groups of the period, though due to the performances it would be difficult to determine which tradition each individual piece is following. The goal is probably to show the commonality through musical traditions. At best this goal is accomplished. At
Read more worst, there is a lack of scholarship as to appropriate instrumentation for each individual song. “Laude novella” in particular is an Italian song that sounds as if it is from Syria.

On the other hand, the Islamic tracks are magnificent. It can be difficult to find early music from the Islamic traditions, and here we find three works from Turkey and one from southern Spain during Muslim rule. These selections are particularly engaging, and seem to have been the pieces that the musicians latched onto as their particular favorites.

The recording quality is excellent. There is applause provided by an audience, but otherwise this would seem to be a studio recording. Each instrument is individually well recorded, and the mix is beautifully done. The performances display remarkable consistency and musicality.

The program notes are well researched and provide both a complete text for the listener and suitable background notes explaining the cross-pollination of musical traditions. In fact, they do a fairly commendable job of convincing the listener that all the music should be heavily tinged with the Islamic influences that it here displays. Given that instrumental accompaniments during the medieval period were all improvised, it is at least a valid viewpoint.

The only complaint about the selections would be that they are a bit unfocused. The fifteen tracks consist of music that spans three centuries from areas as diverse as southern Spain, Italy and Lebanon. Were either the time period or geographical region more tightly encapsulated this might be a perfect album for the music historian. For the casual fan of early music, this can still be highly recommended.

-- Patrick Gary, MusicWeb International
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Works on This Recording

1. Kyrie "Ya Rabbanaa" by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Written: Lebanon 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001)
This selection is sung in Arabic and Greek. 
2. Laudario di Cortona: Fa mi cantar l'amor di la beata by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Cortona 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 6 Minutes 47 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
3. De la crudel morte de Cristo by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Written: Italy 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 1 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
4. Laude novella sia cantata by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Italy 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 3 Minutes 49 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
5. Segáh Ilâhî: Sâllâllâhu alâ Muhammed...Bir gece by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Written: after 1250; Turkey 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 4 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: Turkish 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
6. Hüseynî Ilâhî: Ey derviçcsler ey kardeçcsler by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Written: after 1250; Turkey 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 4 Minutes 59 Secs. 
Language: Turkish 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
7. Plangiamo quel crudel basciare by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
8. Venite a laudare by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Written: 15th Century; Italy 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 2 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
9. Piyyut leh Moshe "Keh Moshe" by Johannes of Oppido
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Written: after 1102; Egypt 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 1 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
10. Adon haselihot by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
11. Galeas las mis galeas by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Written: Greece 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 3 Minutes 48 Secs. 
Language: Ladino 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
12. Jalla man qad sagha badran by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Written: by 1492; North Africa 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 4 Minutes 7 Secs. 
Language: Arabic 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
13. Llibre Vermell de Montserrat: Stella splendens by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Written: 14th Century; Spain 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 8 Minutes 23 Secs. 
Language: Latin 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
14. Laudario di Cortona: O Maria d'omelia by Anonymous
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Period: Medieval 
Written: 13th Century; Cortona 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 5 Minutes 0 Secs. 
Language: Italian 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 
15. Pesrev by Traditional
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ensemble Oni Wytars
Written: Turkey 
Venue:  Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Fra 
Length: 1 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Notes: Large Broadcast Hall, Hessian Radio, Frankfurt (12/14/2001 - 12/16/2001) 

Sound Samples

Kyrie eleison (Christian-Arabic Tradition, Lebanon)
Fa mi cantar l'amor di la beata (Laudario di Cortona (Ms. 91, Biblioteca Comunale di Cortona)): Fa mi cantar l'amor di la beata (Laudario di Cortona (Ms. 91, Biblioteca Comunale di Cortona))
De la crudel morte de Cristo (Laudario di Cortona (Ms. 91, Biblioteca Comunale di Cortona))
Laude novella(Laudario di Cortona (Ms. 91, Biblioteca Comunale di Cortona)): Laude novella
Sallalahu ala Muhammed: (Yunus Emre (Ilahileri), Turkey, 13th century)
Pesrev: (Yunus Emre (Ilahileri), Turkey, 13th century)
Ey Derviccsler: (Yunus Emre (Ilahileri), Turkey, 13th century)
Plangiamo quel crudel basciare(Laudario di Cortona (Ms. 91, Biblioteca Comunale di Cortona))
Venite a laudare (Laudario di Cortona (Ms. 91, Biblioteca Comunale di Cortona))
Keh Moshe (Traditional Jewish, 12th century): Keh Moshe (Traditional Jewish, 12th century
Adon Haselihot (Traditional Sephardic, pre-1492)
Galeas, mis galeas (Traditional Sephardic, pre-1492)
Jalla man (Traditional Andalusian School)
Stella splendens in monte (Llibre Vermell de Montserrat, Catalonia, 14th century)
O Maria, d'omelia (Laudario di Cortona (Ms. 91, Biblioteca Comunale di Cortona)): O Maria, d'omelia (Laudario di Cortona (Ms. 91, Biblioteca Comunale di Cortona))

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