Review: Françoise Atlan - Sephardic Songs - Romances Sefardies


Album Cover - Romances Sefardies
Romances Sefardies
 Artist: Françoise Atlan
 Album: Sephardic Songs - Romances Sefardies
 Date of Release: 1995/09/01, 1996/03/19
 Label: Buda - Musique Du Monde
 Cat. No.: Buda Musique 92529
 ASIN: B000001N7G
 Country of Release:  
 Genre/s: World | Jewish

 Sub-Genre/s: Ladino, Sephardi, Contemporary
 Type: Studio
   Time: 59:00
   Date of Review: 2003/04/16
   Web Site:  

Purchasing Info

Françoise Atlan - Sephardic Songs - Romances Sefardies

Françoise Atlan's Sephardic Songs - Romances Sefardies was released in 1995 and re-issued in 1996 on the Buda - Musique Du Monde label, and was the first installment of a three disc series of Ladino (or Judeo-Spanish) song by Francoise Atlan. (Reviews of the other two volumes will follow shortly.)

Francoise Atlan is one of Morocco's leading singers not only of Sephardi but also Arabic song and enjoys huge popularity among both Jewish and Muslim communities. Ms. Atlan is gifted with a most outstanding voice, sweet but not overly so, at once firm and strong and delicate, and endowed with a great spiritual quality. This lady could sing gangsta rap and make it sound good!

On Sephardic Songs - Romances Sefardies, Françoise Atlan puts her vocal gifts to fine use to present a collection of Ladino kantigas and romancas. Now, some Ladino song afficionados, especially those not familiar with this singer, might somewhat hesitate at seeing a guitar credit on this album. Don't be misled by this, there isn't a hint of "flamenco" guitar anywhere. Think of it substituting for an 'ud (Arabic, "lute", also oud), where it is used. Some of the other instrumentation might also be considered somewhat "unconventional" in the context of Ladino song, but far from being detracting, it is used with utmost sensitivity. More often, the instrumentation is very conventional, consisting of only frame drum or ney (Middle Eastern reed flute) by way of example. The arrangements on Sephardic Songs - Romances Sefardies often have a contemporary touch to them, but they are most tasteful and sensitive, beautiful and elegant, subtle, even understated. In her own distinct way, Francoise Atlan breathes new life into these ancient (at any rate, the lyrics tend to be medieval) kantigas and romancas. These songs come straight from the heart, and a deep spirituality pervades. This is music for the heart and soul, as well as the ear. It goes straight to your innermost being, sending tingles up and down your spine. Its beauty is as that of a delicate flower bathed in dew and the early morning sunshine, its delicate scent carried on the cool refreshing morning breeze, reawakening long-lost memories, gently rousing some indefinable nostalgia.

A thoroughly consistent album, there isn't a weak track in sight on Sephardic Songs - Romances Sefardies. Together with its two companion volumes, it should be considered essential in any Ladino/Sephardi collection, and even on its own Françoise Atlan's Sephardic Songs - Romances Sefardies makes for an invaluable addition in any such collection. Of course, as always, great music such as this is universal and thus has a place in any comprehensive collection. I certainly wouldn't be without it.

NB - Please note that both "Françoise Atlan" and "Francoise Atlan" spellings have been used in order to better facilitate searches.

© 2003 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

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Track List:

 1. Una Matica De Ruda - 2:12
 2. A La Una Yo Naci -  2:30
 3. Tres Hermanicas Eran - 1:37
 4. Sol La Saddika - 3:53
 5. Cuando Veyo Hija Hermoza - 1:08
 6. Durme, Durme Mi Angelico - 2:31
 7. Asentada En Mi Ventana - 1:18
 8. Esta Montana D'enfrente - 2:59
 9. Como La Rosa En La Guerta - 3:09
10. Avre Este Abajour - 1:45
11. Avre Tu Puerta Carrada - 1:21
12. Entre Las Huertas Paseando - 2:41
13. Mama Mia - 3:51
14. Para Que Quero Yo Mas Vivir - 3:15
15. Adijo Kerida - 2:27
16. Por Que Llorax Blanca Nina - 1:52
17. Yo M'enamori D'un Aire - 1:43
18. Mama Yo No Tengo Visto - 1:53
19. Morenica A Mi Me Llaman - 4:01
20. Mi Pudra Lleva Mi Color - 3:11
21. Yo Era Nina - 2:35
22. Cuando El Rey Nimrod - 2:35
23. Arvolicos D'almendra - 2:31
24. Dos Amantes Tengo Mama - 2:02

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Francoise Atlan - vocals
Pierre Bonnet - guitar
Juan Carmona - vocals


Purchasing Info:

Sephardic Songs - Romances Sefardies can be purchased:
From Jewish Music Distribution JMD UK

From Hatikvah Music International (US)

From most general CD stores and online sources such as Amazon etc.

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