Sephardic Journey


Debuted at #2 on the Billboard World Music Chart
and #7 on the Billboard Classical Chart
(February 2016)

“Best 10 Classical Albums of the Year” – Chicago Tribune, 2016

Jeannette Sorrell, artistic director & conductor
Nell Snaidas, soprano & guest co-director
Karim Sulayman, tenor
Jeffrey Strauss, baritone
with Apollo’s Singers

“Revelatory and first-class”

SKU: AV2361 Category:

“Revelatory… convivially theatrical… The soloists and instrumentalists are first-class, and Sorrell’s arrangements are full of zip and color.”
–BBC Music Magazine [full review]

“Recommendable right off the bat… Sorrell combines music of several centuries in a convincing thematic way that has rarely been matched, whether dealing with Jewish music or some other tradition. This is something of a heartland American counterpart to the thematic albums of Jordi Savall, and it works remarkably well.”
– [full review]

“Another impressive disc from Apollo’s Fire… energy, colour, atmosphere and, indeed, fire. Impressively wrought, full of wonderful Middle Eastern inflections… beautifully shaped and full of life… Vividly recorded, with excellent booklet notes by Jeannette Sorrell.”
–The Classical Reviewer (UK) [full review]

“An absorbing collection of early music, beautifully performed”
– Chicago Tribune (Best 10 Classical Albums of the Year) [full review]

“The care with which Sorrell and guests have curated these twenty tracks shows. After several lifetimes in exile, the music of the Spanish Jews may finally have found the perfect home.”

Reviews from the premiere concerts (2014)

“Under its founder and director Jeannette Sorrell, Apollo’s Fire has developed a local, national, and international reputation for its vivid and passionate interpretations. Now, Sorrell has taken her programming to a new level in a showcase of Jewish music from Spain and Italy. With performers of such reliable quality and a director who choreographs the proceedings down to the tiniest detail, Apollo’s Fire always puts on a good show…. ‘Sephardic Journey’ is a keeper.
–Classical Voice of North America (Journal of the Music Critics’ Association of North America)

“Baritone Jeffrey Strauss delineated, with decorative elaboration worthy of a great cantor, the intense longing in the hearts of an exiled people to return to their homeland… Sorrell and company have a new favorite on their hands… Sephardic Journey certainly has the potential to be the ensemble’s biggest hit since their long-running ‘Sacrum Mysterium – Celtic Christmas Vespers’ presentation.”
–The Cleveland Plain Dealer

Another innovative and brilliant new program: a magic carpet that swept Sunday afternoon’s large audience away. It was often a deeply moving journey.”

“Apollo’s Fire sets Cleveland aflame… Who says American early music bands can’t play European music? Apollo’s Fire… took local fans on a journey to medieval Spain this past weekend with delightfully authentic songs of the Sephardic Jews. The spirit and sound of the music could have come straight out of a Middle Eastern bazaar, mixed with spices ranging from ancient prayer chants to Italian Baroque. …In all, a scholarly, imaginative program that only a skillful and adventuresome ensemble could pull off. The packed house it attracted suggests that for both players and audiences, there are fascinating worlds to explore beyond the traditional borders of Baroque.”
– (international classical music website based in Europe)

O Jerusalem!

1. Ir me kero, Madre, a Yerushalayim
Jeffrey Strauss, baritone; with Nell Snaidas & Karim Sulayman
traditional Sephardic, arr. J. Sorrell

2. Kuando el Rey Nimrod
Jeffrey Strauss, Karim Sulayman & Nell Snaidas, vocals
traditional Sephardic, arr. J. Sorrell

The Temple

3. Avinu Malkeinu
Jeffrey Strauss, baritone
traditional Sephardic liturgical chant, arr. J. Sorrell

4. Lecha Dodi
Jeffrey Strauss, baritone
traditional Sephardic liturgical chant, arr. J. Sorrell

5. Sonata in dialogo, detta la Viena (instrumental)
Salamone Rossi Hebreo (c. 1570-1630)

6. ‘Al Naharot Bavel from the Songs of Solomon
by Salamone Rossi Hebreo

7. Yitgaddal v’yitkaddash from the Songs of Solomon
by Salamone Rossi Hebrew, arr. J. Sorrell

Love & Romance

8. Ah, el Novio no kere dinero!
traditional Ladino, arr. J. Sorrell

9. La Rosa enflorese
Nell Snaidas, soprano; Susanna P. Gilmore, violin; with Amanda Powell, mezzo-soprano
traditional Ladino, arr. J. Sorrell

10. Adio kerida
Karim Sulayman, tenor; Karina Schmitz, violin; with Nell Snaidas, soprano
traditional Ladino, arr. J. Sorrell

11. La Komida la Manyana (instrumental)
traditional Sephardic/Turkish

12. A la una yo nací
Karim Sulayman, tenor; with Nell Snaidas & Jeffrey Strauss
traditional Ladino, arr. J. Sorrell

The Sabbath

13. Ki eshmera Shabbat
Jeffrey Strauss, baritone
words by Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra, 12th c. Spain, arr. J. Sorrell/J. Strauss/R. Schiffer

14. Halleluyah. ‘Ashrei ‘Ish from the Songs of Solomon
by Salamone Rossi Hebreo

15. Taksim (improvisation)
Brian Kay, oud

16. Tzur mishelo akhalnu
Jeffrey Strauss, baritone; with Karim Sulayman
sacred Hebrew poem for end of Sabbath meal, arr. J. Sorrell

Feasting & Celebration

17. Sonata sopra la Bergamasca
Salamone Rossi Hebreo

18. Sinfonia settimadecima & Galliarda detta la Zambalina
Salamone Rossi Hebreo

19. Hazeremos una merenda | Kita’l tas
Nell Snaidas & Karim Sulayman, vocals
traditional Ladino feasting songs, arr. N. Snaidas

20. La Komida la Manyana
traditional Ladino folk song, arr. R. Schiffer, J. Sorrell, N. Snaidas

“The U.S.A.’s hottest baroque band.” –CLASSICAL MUSIC MAGAZINE (UK)