Songs Of Love And Exile

Album cover art for upc 5028421956527
Label: BRILLIANT CLASSICS
Catalog: BRI95652
Format: COMPACT DISC

Malkin, Channa; Elias, Izhar

Having made her operatic debut at the age of 16, singing Barbarina with the Dutch National Opera, Channa Malkin has since made solo appearances with Mariss Jansons and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra as well as early-music luminaries such as Andrew Parrott and Joshua Rifkin. For her first recording, she has chosen to explore her Jewish heritage with songs from her childhood: ‘Underneath the seemingly simple melodies telling life’s usual stories,’ she writes in the album’s introductory notes, ‘I felt the longing of generation upon generation for a homeland left long ago but never forgotten.’ Channa Malkin is joined here by her regular duet partner, the guitarist Izhar Elias, who is well known to collectors of Brilliant Classics recordings for his imaginative choice of repertoire and vivid performances. Gramophone lavished praise on his ‘sympathetic accompaniment’ to Erik Bosgraaf in their recording of the lute book by Jakob van Eyck (BC93391): ‘As a reference work this set should be considered indispensable; as one to be dipped in for pleasure, highly desirable.’ The selection of Sephardic songs they have made ranges between subjects of love, war, birth and death: epic tales sung by medieval Spanish bards, Jewish liturgical melodies and texts, and Arabic styles of melodic ornamentation. Malkin and Elias have made their own arrangements, letting the music guide them intuitively and drawing inspiration from their backgrounds in early music, Jewish cantorial singing and Spanish folk song interpretation, as well as their personal family histories. Their selection also includes several Sephardic songs arranged by contemporary composers, in order to explore the ways in which this music can be performed as classical art song. Israeli composer, guitarist and Sephardic song expert Daniel Akiva, Spanish composer and conductor Lorenzo Palomo and Joaquín Rodrigo each offer a unique take on the Sephardic song idiom. So does the Italian-American composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: his collection of The Divan of Moses-Ibn-Ezra sets the poetry of an 11th-century rabbi from Grenada.

Price: $11.99