Along with a love of entertainment and theater, the Jews of Rome, Florence, Venice and Mantua shared a lively view of religion, love, women, and the fragility of life.
This recording is an aural portrait of an era of unprecedented cultural exchange between Jews and their neighbors.
The music of Salamone Rossi and the poetry of Leone Modena, Joseph Tzarfati, Jacob Frances, Moshe ben Joab and Immanuel Frances are products of an Italian Jewish community hemmed in by discrimination and restrictive edicts, yet fully involved in the literary, musical, philosophical and scientific currents of the day.
Salamone Rossi, friend and colleague of Claudio Monteverdi, was the most important Jewish musician and composer of the Italian Renaissance.
His Sonatas and Sinfonie, Gagliarde and Brandi, as fresh today as they were four hundred years ago, are here paired for the first time with the beautiful and evocative words of his countrymen.
An observant Jew, he achieved prominence at the Mantuan court of Vincenzo Gonzaga and with the renowned Jewish theater in Mantua, the UniversitÃ Israelitica.
He published thirteen collections of secular and liturgical music, volumes which were widely distributed throughout Europe.
This disc features performances of his best known instrumental works, as well some which have never before been recorded.
Scheindlin, professor of Medieval Hebrew Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary, has contributed fresh and vivid English translations of some of the most colorful Hebrew poems from Renaissance Italy, a literary record previously known only to scholars of this period.
PERFORMERS Mark Steinberg, Min-Young Kim, violins Benjamin Wolff, violoncello Dongsok Shin, harpsichord Isaiah Sheffer, narrator
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1. Sonata duodecima sopra la Bergamasca
2. 'ÂœYour eyebrow, darling, is a charm...'Â
3. Gagliarda seconda detta l'Incognita
4. Sonata ottava sopra l'Aria 'ÂœE tanto tempo hormai'Â
5. 'ÂœBehold the Lord, my soul...'Â
6. Sinfonia ottava (Libro II)
7. Gagliarda detta La Zambalina
8. 'ÂœI'm in a rage...'Â
9. Sinfonia ottava (Libro I), Gagliarda detta l'Andreasina
10. 'ÂœMy mind is set upon the best of schemes...'Â
11. Brando secondo (Libro III)
12. 'ÂœEnough of girls...'Â
13. Sonata decima sopra l'Aria Romanesca
14. 'ÂœRedeemer, hasten...'Â
15. Sonata quinta sopra l'Aria francese
16. Sonata in dialogo detta la Viena
17. 'ÂœWhy, death, do you tarry so...'Â
18. Sonata prima detta la Moderna
19. 'ÂœAs on this month's last day...'Â
20. Sonata sopra l'Aria di Ruggiero