[:en]1 Anonymous, Adon Haslihot
Michal Elia Kamal Singing
A prayer recited during the Yom Kippur

2 Walter von der Vogelweide, Palestinian Song
Walter von der Vogelweide (1170-1230) is regarded as the most important poet of the Middle Ages. After the first crusade (1096-1099) by Pope Urban II with the words Deus lo vut (God wills it) 6 more followed. During Walter’s lifetime, the crusades were highly topical (Fourth Crusade 1202, Constantinople,
Jerusalem). Here is an instrumental version.

3 Anonymous, Morenica
Michal Elia Kamal Singing
In 1494 the Moors and the Sephardic Jews were expelled from Spain and Portugal. The Reconquista and the Inquisition began. With a decree of the Sultan Bayeziz II. (1448-1512), the Ottoman Empire took in the homeless Jews, who brought their medieval songs from Ladino to the Muslim Empire and Jerusalem. The largest Sephardic community in the Ottoman Empire was in Thessaloniki, which was called the Jerusalem of the Balkans.

4 Alfonso el Sabio X, Des oge mais
İbrahim Suat Erbay Singing
The Cantigas de Santa Maria are a collection of Marian songs that were composed during the reign of Alfonso el Sabio X (1221-1284), King Leon and Castile. These are the largest collection of medieval songs, the authors of which are unknown but attributed to Alfonso. The Cantigas also stand for the Golden Age in Spain, where Christians, Muslims and Jews in Al Andalusia of the Moors from 711 to 1492 represented a light in the darkness of the Middle Ages. A heyday of science, culture and art, tolerance and dialogue between religions.

5 Alfonso el Sabio, Por nos de dulta
Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli, Filippo Mineccia Singing

6 Anonymous, Surah As-Saff 61:13. İbrahim Suat Erbay Singing

Anonymous, Neva Çeng-i HarbThe attack march of the elite troops Janissaries of the Sultan from the 16th century.
The music of the Janissaries was imitated in the Baroque period up to Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven with many marches. This piece comes from the collection of the Polish Wojciech Bobowski (1610-1675). Abducted by invading Tatars from his homeland, he was sold as a slave to the High Gate in Istanbul. Here he worked as a musician, interpreter and later, after his release as a slave, also as a consultant for European diplomats. He converted to Islam and called himself Ali Ufki. Ufki s collection of compositions of his time with his own works often served as a source for the Pera Ensemble. His knowledge about the life at the imperial court and the Ottoman culture he could pass on to foreign ambassadors in Constantinople and thus contribute to a better understanding.

Ali Ufki found his place in the hearts of lovers of Turkish music. His efforts and work are still unprecedented and some of the Europeans who stayed in Istanbul and wanted to learn Oriental languages benefited from Ali Ufkî’s language skills. His most important language students were Antoine Galland (1646-1715), who first translated a thousand and one nights into a European language, and the diplomat and Orientalist François Mesgnien (Meninski).

7 Yeuda & Ebu Bekir Aga, Ye’oru libbi/Nühüft Yürük Semai

Ibrahim Suat Erbay Song
The Sephardic Jews in Istanbul took courtly Turkish music and put Hebrew lyrics on it, which were then sung in the synagogues. Here a mix of the Hebrew copy with the original by Ebu Bekir Aga a 17th century composer Nühüft is the name for the mode Maqam. From 1516 until the First World War Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. Oriental music is still an important part of Jerusalem’s culture today. Not only music, but also the Mediterranean oriental cuisine is a beautiful example of the culture in the Levant. Jerusalem, Cairo, Damascus, Baghdad and Istanbul could hardly be distinguished from each other culturally.
8 Sances, Stabat Mater
Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli Soprano

The Stabat Mater is a medieval poem that tells the story of Mary the Mother of Jesus. The crucified Jesus in Jerusalem…This poem served as a model for many composers like Scarlatti and Pergolesi.
In between an improvisation of the reed flute Ney. This bamboo flute is the most important instrument in the spiritual Islamic music, the Sufi music. It embodies the soul of man and the separation from the Creator. Mother Mary has a special position in the Quran (the Surah 21 bears her name) “O Mary, behold, God has chosen you and purified you and chosen you before the women of the worlds”. (Surah 3:42)

9 Salomone Rossi, Gagliarda Norsina
Rossi (1570-1630) came from a Jewish family in Mantua and was a close friend of Claudio Monteverdi. He was the first to compose sacred music in Hebrew for the synagogue. Numerous instrumental works were published during his lifetime. He was probably murdered during anti-Semitic riots in the Mantua ghetto. This piece is an example of Jewish life in Italy, which flourished in music and art in the early Baroque period.

10 Stefano Landi (1587-1639), Dirindin
Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli-Soprano, Filippo Mineccia-CounterHis career began in childhood as a boy soprano in Rome. This cheerful, folkloric song Dirindin comes from the opera Il Sant’Alessio. This opera deals with a historical theme from the 5th century. Saint Sant’Alessio returns to Rome from the Holy Land and leads the life of a beggar. This role was taken over by a castrato (Marco Pasqualini) at the premiere in 1631. Castrati were the superstars of the baroque opera. Allessandro Moreschi (1858-1922) is considered the last known castrato singer.

11 Pallavicino (1630-1688). From Gerusalemme liberata the Sinfonia
The liberated Jerusalem of Torquato Tasso (1544-1595) served as a model for numerous operas (including Handel’s Rinaldo)Glorified story about the 1st Crusade. Tasso spent a large part of his life in the lunatic asylum. These two recordings are first recordings and thus performed again for the first time since the 17th century.

12 Pallavicino, Armidas arie: In amor from Gerusalemme liberata
Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli Soprano
The sorceress Armida is in love with the knight Rinaldo and tries to dissuade him from the right way with magic.

13 Giovanni Legrenzi (1626-1690), Belta from Il Giustino. First recording.
Filippo Mineccia Counter
Il Giustino is Legrenzi’s most successful opera, premiered in Venice in 1683.
This pseudo-historical drama in the imperial palace in Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire, was set to music by Vivaldi, among others.

14 Antonio Caldara (1670-1736), Ahi! Come quella
Filippo Mineccia Counter
From the oratorio Sedeci Re di Gerusalemme. Sedecia King of Jerusalem. (Zedekiah) This is an Old Testament story about Sedecia dazzled by the Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar. Originally composed for salterion (dulcimer) and voice, here in a version with Qanun a kind of oriental box zither.

15 Anonymous, Maoz-Tzur
Michal Elia Kamal Singing
Maoz Tzur is a medieval folk song of the German Jews who brought this song to Italy and Marcello used this melody as a model for his aria Della vita. Marcello included this piece in Hebrew script as Intonazione degli Ebrei Tedesci sopra in his psalm collection Estro poetico-armonico.

16 Benedetto Marcello (1686-1739), Del la vita
Filippo Mineccia Counter

17 Anonymous, Gazel vocal improvisation
Ibrahim Suat Erbay Song
The improvisation of vocals and instruments is an essential part of Ottoman music. Here is a symbiosis that Ali Ufki would have liked. Vocal improvisation to a bass line of Monterverdi’s Lamento della Ninfa.

18 Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759), Scherzano from the opera Rinaldo
Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli soprano, Filippo Mineccia counter.
This duet is from the opera Rinaldo by master G. F. Händel. Another crusade theme, the libretto of which was written by Giacomo Rossi.

19 Anonymous, Halleluya avdei adonai
Michal Elia Kamal.
A Jewish Yemenite Halleluya at the end of the concert


Mehmet C. Yeşilçay-Oud, medieval lute, Colascione
Massimiliano Toni harpsichord
Serkan Mesut Halili-Kanun
Volkan Yılmaz-Ney
Derya Turk-Kemençe
Dmitry Lepekhov Violin
Margherita Pupulin Violin
Maria Pache-Viola
Elisabeth Ragaller nyckelharpa
Felix Stross-Cello
Rüdiger short double bass
Daniel Zapico-Theorbe, baroque guitar
Ozan Pars Percussion
Joss Turnbull Percussion
Francesca Lombardi Mazzulli Soprano (Milan)
Filippo Mineccia Counter (Florence)
Ibrahim Suat Erbay Song (Istanbul)
Michal Elia Kamal Singing (Jerusalem)

Live recording of the concert on 31 March 2017 at the Heidelberger Frühling.
Recordings by Michael Sandner SWR.
A co-production of Pera Ensemble and the Heidelberg Spring.

All arrangements by Mehmet C. Yeşilçay

Thank you:

Dr. Thomas Bimmler
Dr. Michael Gassmann

In Memoriam to Prof. Şehvar Beşiroğlu

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