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Jewish Baroque Music / Joel Cohen, Boston Camerata


Release Date: 07/10/2001 
Label:  Harmonia Mundi Musique D'abord Catalog #: 1951021   Spars Code: ADD 
Composer:  Louis SaladinSalomone RossiLuigi GrossiCarlo Grossi
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 0 Hours 41 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This record, made in the USA but issued by a French company, has the title "Musique JudeoBaroque". It assembles three seventeenth-century works written for Jewish ceremonial; only one of them is liturgical, or para-liturgical, for the use of music within the ritual of the synagogue has always been very restricted at least as far as the admission of contemporary secular idioms is concerned. The three works differ widely in style. The longest is Salomone Rossi's—a group of pieces from his 1622 publication Shi rim Asher Li'Shlomo, in which traditional Hebrew prayers are set in a rather conservative but finely-wrought Palestrina-like, imitative style; on this disc they are interspersed with instrumental movements in a more modern, Read more early Baroque manner, one or two of them containing vivid, rhetorical writing but for the most part infused with a grave, restrained beauty. Rossi was himself a Jew; Carlo Grossi was not, and indeed held various musical posts in north Italian cathedrals. He composed church music and operas, and three books of miscellaneous vocal and instrumental pieces of which the third (1681) contains this dialogue between a tenor soloist and a choir, the tenor singing in a florid, expressive recitative style (similar to that in Monteverdi's operas), the choir in quite simple four-part writing. Joel Cohen suggests in his sleevenote that it may have been commissioned by members of the local Jewish community for some festivity. The work by the obscure Louis Saladin was written for circumcision festivities somewhere in Provence where, as in parts of Italy, Jewish communities flourished at this date. It is a happy, tuneful work, with airs, duos and Sir David Willcocks with the Chapel Choir in front of the screen in King's College, Cambridge during a recording session in July 1969 for "Messiah" excepts. photo: EM//Wilson choruses intermingled with dance movements; not all the invention is distinguished, and the musical phraseology is rather four-square, but it is harmonically and orchestrally adept and altogether a cheerful, enjoyable piece. It is curious to hear the idioms of the French and Italian Baroque married to Hebrew words, but the composers do not seem to have been troubled by any apparent disparity between the musical styles and the actual sound of the verbal texts. The excellence of the performances here doubtless help cover any such problems: the Boston Camerata use original instruments and play them with real skill and polish. String textures are light and airy, the recorders are in tune, the oboe is charmingly perky in the French dances. The singing too tasteful and skilful, some but not all of it more than that. Coupled with a good recording (if with a few vagaries of balance—a bass soloist in the remote distance at one point, for example), all this makes the disc well worth trying for anyone inquisitive about this little tributary of seventeenth-century musical history.

-- Stanley Sadie, Gramophone [10/1980]
reviewing the original LP release
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Works on This Recording

1. Canticum Hebraicum by Louis Saladin
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Baroque 
Date of Recording: 02/1978 
Venue:  Emmanuel Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 13 Minutes 54 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
2. Il primo libro delle sinfonie et gagliarde: Sinfonia grave by Salomone Rossi
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1607; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/1978 
Venue:  Emmanuel Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
3. The Songs of Solomon: Barchu by Salomone Rossi
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/1978 
Venue:  Emmanuel Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 1 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
4. Sonate a 6 by Salomone Rossi
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/1978 
Venue:  Emmanuel Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
5. The Songs of Solomon: Eftach na sefatai by Salomone Rossi
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/1978 
Venue:  Emmanuel Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
6. Sonata in dialogo by Salomone Rossi
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/1978 
Venue:  Emmanuel Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 59 Secs. 
7. The Songs of Solomon: Psalm 118 by Salomone Rossi
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/1978 
Venue:  Emmanuel Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 50 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
8. Sinfonia by Salomone Rossi
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance 
Written: Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/1978 
Venue:  Emmanuel Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 1 Minutes 43 Secs. 
9. The Songs of Solomon: Adon Olam by Salomone Rossi
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Renaissance 
Written: by 1623; Italy 
Date of Recording: 02/1978 
Venue:  Emmanuel Church, Boston, Massachusetts 
Length: 2 Minutes 32 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
10. Cantata ebraica by Carlo Grossi
Conductor:  Joel Cohen
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Boston Camerata
Period: Baroque 
Written: by 1681; Italy 

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