The Boston Camerata & Joel Cohen | A Mediterranean Christmas

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Classical: Early Music World: Mediterranean Moods: Mood: Christmas
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A Mediterranean Christmas

by The Boston Camerata & Joel Cohen

"Richly varied and inspiring....full of reverence and joy" -- The Boston Globe. An album unlike any other, as Camerata, assisted by the Sharq Arabic Music Ensemble, returns to the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern roots of the Christmas story.
Genre: Classical: Early Music
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Taksim Farahfaza With Respondemos (Sephardic, Balkans)
The Boston Camerata & Joel Cohen
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2. Madre De Deus
The Boston Camerata & Joel Cohen
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3. Gregis Pastor (12th Century)
The Boston Camerata & Joel Cohen
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4. Gloria'n Cielo (13th Century)
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5. Senher Dieus (Text) [With Lux Refulget] [12th Century]
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6. Santa Maria Strella Do Dia
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7. Polorum Regina (14th Century)
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8. Como Somos Per Conssello
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9. Ave Maris Stella (Gregorian) [With O Maria Deu Maire] [12th Century]
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10. Mei Amic E Me Fiel (12th Century)
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11. Todo Logar Mui Ben (With Taouchia) [Arabo-Andalusian]
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12. Noi Siamo I Magi (Istria, 19th Century)
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13. Cuando El Rey Nimrod (Sephardic, Balkans)
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14. Heu, Heu (13th Century)
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15. Pastres, Placatz Vostre Troupèu (Provence, 17th Century)
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16. En Belén Tocan a Fuego (Spain, 19th Century)
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17. Duermete, Niño, Duérme (Spain, 19th Century)
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18. Nani Ya Srira (Egypt, 20th Century)
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19. Borea (Prelude) [Arabo-Andalusian] [With Tant Aos Peccadores]
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Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
A Mediterranean Christmas

Performed by

The Boston Camerata
Joel Cohen, director

Program Order

I. The Sign of Judgement
1. Taksim Farahfaza
Sephardic (Balkans) Respondemos
Kareem Roustom and Equidad Bares

2. Alfonso el Sabio, King of Castille (1221-1284) Madre de Deus
Hayet Ayad and ensemble

II. The Dawn approaching

3. Southern France, 12th c Gregis pastor
Anne Azéma, Anne Harley, and ensemble

4. Tuscany, 13th c. Gloria ‘n cielo
Anne Harley and ensemble

5. Folquet de Marseille (1150-1231) Senher Dieus (text)
Limoges 12th c. Lux refulget
Equidad Bares, and Anne Azéma and Anne Harley

III. Star of the Day

6. Alfonso el Sabio Santa Maria strella do dia

7. Montserrat, 14th c. Polorum regina
Hayet Ayad and ensemble

8. Alfonso el Sabio Como somos per conssello

IV. The birth of Jesus

9. Gregorian Ave maris stella
Occitan, 12th c. O Maria deu maire
Anne Azéma and Anne Harley, Anne Azéma and instruments

10. Occitan 12th c. Mei amic e me fiel
Anne Azéma and Anne Harley

11. Alfonso el Sabio Todo logar mui ben
Arabo-Andalusian (Morocco) Taouchia
(from Nouba Gribt Lahcine)
12. Istria 19th c. Noi siamo i magi

13. Sephardic (Balkans) Quando el Rey Nimrod
Boujemaa Razgui and ensemble

14. France 13th c. Heu, heu
Anne Harley and instruments

15. Provence (Avignon) 17th c. Pastres, placatz vostre troupèu
Anne Azéma, Joel Cohen, and instruments

16. Spain (Andalusia) En Belén tocan a fuego
Equidad Bares, Anne Harley, Hayet Ayad, and instruments

V. Mother and child

17. Spain (Andalusia) Duermete, niño, duérme
Equidad Bares
18. Egypt Nani ya srira
Hayet Ayad
19. Arabo-Andalusian (Morocco) Borea (prelude)
(from Nouba Ram al Maya)
Alfonso el Sabio Tant aos peccadores

The Boston Camerata
Joel Cohen, director

Assisted by
Sharq Arab-American Ensemble
Karim Nagi, director

Hayet Ayad, Anne Azéma, Equidad Barès, Anne Harley voice
Hazel Brooks, vielle
Joel Cohen, lauta, guitar, voice
Steven Lundahl, recorders, slide trumpet, shofar, voice
Karim Nagi, percussion (riqq, tar, darabuka, duff), chifonie, voice
Boujemaa Razgui, percussion (tar, darabuka), nay. raita, voice
Kareem Roustom, oud, guitar, voice

Recorded June 29-July 3, 2005 at the Church of the Covenant, Boston

Recording engineer: David Griesinger
Recording producer: Joel Cohen
Digital editing: Trobador
Musical arrangements by Joel Cohen (S.A.C.E.M.)
Taksim Farafaza by Kareem Roustoum (Layali Music Publishing, B.M.I.)

Production coordinator: Kati Mitchell
Fundraising coordinator: David Levine

Further music by many of these same artists can be heard on: Alfonso X el Sabio, Cantigas, Warner Classics Apex 25646 19242

Special thanks to the Marco Institute of the University of Tennessee, Robert Bast, director, for project support.

Our further thanks to the following individual donors to The Boston Camerata for their help in making this recording possible:

Ruth & Kelly Bogan, Charlotte Brown, Erik Butler & Terri Payne, Susan Carter, Leo & Adele Cohen, Leonard Connolly, Fay Dabney, Charles & JoAnne Dickinson, Robert & Dianthe Eisendrath, Ariadne Forbes, Fred Franklin, Cynthia Gilles, Joseph Hill, Paul & Jean Humez, Joanne Klys, Paul & Jane Kyte, Benjamin & Linda Labaree, Dalton & Noreen Labaree, Robert LaFortune, Annick Lapôtre , Amelia LeClair, David Levine & Christine Kirk, Lorraine Lyman, William O. Lytle, Keith Ohmart & Helen Chen, Eda & Leo Rabinovitz, Dean Stuart Riggsby (University of Tennessee), Jennie Rawski, Susan and Geoffrey Rowley, Patrick Tynan, David Wahr, Ruth Westheimer, Kouichi Yoshino…

Program notes
It began, after all, in the Mediterranean basin, in a corner of the world inhabited by highstrung, passionate, God-intoxicated Semites. And their burning desire for transcendence, for union with the source of Being, took form in at least three world religions, not to mention innumerable heretical sects and schismatic communities.

Yet for those of us whose lives are rooted in Northern Europe and North America, Christmas has other associations - not with the Middle-Eastern desert, but quite naturally with snowy winters, pine forests, and the comfortable, inviting mold of Anglo-Saxon or Germanic folkways.

Our intention in this musical program is however to savor Christmas in places further South than these, beginning first with the Latinized areas of southern Europe. For if Spain, Italy, and southern France belong to our Western, Euro-American heritage, they are also places that have maintained a certain continuity of being with the cultures of the near-east. As we explore these links, we have chosen not to limit our choice of music to one century or generation, and to move beyond the so-called « early music » repertoire. And so some of these works are drawn from medieval manuscripts, while others come from more recent, though still archaic, folklore and oral tradition.

The spoken and sung languages of those Southern places were, in the Middle Ages, mainly various dialects of Latin, including the early versions of Spanish, Judaeo-Spanish, Portugese, Italian, and Occitan/Provençal you will be hearing at various moments on this recording – as well as Semitic languages, Hebrew and Arabic, both of these very much alive in medieval Iberia. Similarly, the music of these places, transmitted both in manuscript sources and (in the case of the Arabo-Andalusian melodies, and the more recent folksongs near the program’s end) from oral tradition, offers a rich mix of melodic styles.

Within this diversity, there is a great deal of common ground as well, allowing our performers of varying backgrounds to share and interact with each others’ traditions just as, in history, the various peoples of the Mediterranean basin influenced each others’ modes of expression. For instance, the technique of florid melismatic song, still present all over the near East, left its mark in the Christian music of southern Europe. The solo singer who performed the upper part of Lux Refulget at some medieval abbey in the Limousin region was a master of this style.

Not all our Mediterraneanarea music is free and florid in its gestures: in fact, the bulk of the works we have chosen here are quite straightforward melodically, in keeping with the “popular” flavor of the Christmas holiday, A number of these pieces simply tell a story to an attractive tune. Narration and storytelling are central to these cultures. Mediterranean peoples typically love theatrical gesture (after all, opera was born in Italy) and dramatic dialogue has always been important. Compare the twelfth century Mei amic and the seventeenth century Pastres placatz, both from the Occitan/Provençal South, both creating mini-dramas within one song, to sense the continuity. The wonderful, thirteenth century Cantigas of King Alfonse the Wise bring this narrative tradition – a simple melody, a good story, a choral refrain -- to a summit of excellence.

A recording such as this cannot hope to replicate every historical nuance of these various musical practices. But, by incorporating into our team a number of musicians whose here-and-now skills reach back into the roots of Mediterranean civilization and musical culture, we attempt to do justice to at least some core aspects of the underlying material. All of us in this cast share a love for the Mediterranean world and its music, and of us desire to make the Christmas vision of peace and reconciliation strong in our hearts. This music of hope and renewal, coming it would seem from distant places, is after all quite near. And like all important art, it is an expression of our common humanity, a gift for all of us to share.

Joel Cohen

A Mediterranean Christmas
Texts, translations, and notes on the pieces

Taksim Farahfaza – Respondemos
The improvised prelude or taksim in the Arabic mode of farahfaza echoes some of the melodic motifs of the song that follows. This Judaeo-Spanish text, “Respondemos” is a translation of a Hebrew prayer, its anguished repetitons recalling many a Christian litany. The melody was collected in Jerusalem among the small Sephardic community present there for centuries since the exile from Spain.

Respondemos, dio de Abraham, respondemos. Answer us, o God of Abraham.
Respondemos, el que responde en ora de voluntad, respondemos. Answer us, thou who dost answer us in the hour of goodwill, answer us.
Respondemos, pavor de Yitz’chak, respondemos. Answer us, terror of Isaac, answer us.
Respondemos, el que responde en ora de angustia, respondemos. Answer us, thou who dost answer in the hour of anguish, answer us.
Respondemos, fuerte de Yakov, respondemos. Answer us, fortress of Jacob, answer us.
Respondemos, Dio de la merkava, respondemos. Answer us, God of the chariot of fire, answer us.
Respondemos, o Padre piadoso y gracioso, respondemos. Answer us, merciful and compassionate Father, answer us.

Madre de Deus
One of many medieval transmissions (but the only one surviving in Galician) of the famous Sybil’s prophecy concerning the Last Judgement. This haunting song, whose original is attributed to Saint Augustine, exists, with music, from the twelfth century forward in Latin, Catalan, Spanish, and Provençal. There are also variants from Renaissance France and even nineteenth century North America. In this performance you will hear the Jewish shofar and the Moroccan raita echoing the poetic images of the final sung strophe. Loud sounding instruments, evoking celestial trumpets, are employed in both Jewish and Muslim traditions on great days of penance, during Yom Kippur and Ramadan respectively.

Madre de Deus, ora por nós teu Fill’essa ora. Mother of God, pray for us to your Son in that hour [of the Judgement].
U verra na carne, que quis fillar de ty, Madre, When he will be seen in the flesh that he he took from you, Mother,
Ioygal o mundo, con o poder de seu Padre. To judge the world, with the power of his Father.
Madre de Deus… Mother of God…
U ao iuyzio, todos, per com’ e escrito When on the day of Judgement all shall see, as it has been written,
Uerran, di-lli como con él fugisti a Egipto. Tell him how with him you fled to Egypt.
Madre de Deus… Mother of God…
U dirán as trompas: “Mortos, leuade-uos logo”, When the trumpets shall say: “Arise now, ye dead”,
Di-lle u o perdiste que ta coita non foi logo Tell him that when you lost him, your pain was not slight.
Madre de Deus… Madre de Deus…

Gregis pastor
A lighthearted Christmas processional from twelfth century southern France, from a very early manuscript that contains some of the earliest surviving European polyphony. The astonishing poetic imagery evokes the ancient world, oriental pageantry, and the pagan roots of the Christmas holiday. The text also reminds us that the Christ of the early Christian centuries was often depicted as a Good Shepherd.

Gregis pastor Tityrus Tityrus, shepherd of the flock,
Asinorum Dominus Lord of the Asses,
Pastor est et Asinus. Is a shepherd and himself an ass.
Eya, eya, eya, Eya, eya, eya,
Vocat nos ad varia Tityrus calls us
Tityrus Cibaria To his varied feast!

Ad honorem Titiri In honor of Tityrus
Festa colunt baculi Feast together the scepters
Satrape et satiri. of satraps and satyrs.
Eya, eya, eya… Eya, eya, eya…

Veneremus Tityrum We honor Tityrus
Qui nos propter baculum Who, because of his sceptre,
Invitat ad epulum. Invites us to the feast.
Eya, eya, eya… Eya, eya, eya…

Digna laude congrua With praises worthy and fitting
Deduc nos ad pascua Tityrus, flowing with honey,
Titire melliflua. Leads us to pastures
Eya, eya, eya… Eya, eya, eya…

De pastore Titiro To the shepherd Tityrus
Gratulans hec concio This assembly gives thanks
Benedicat domino! Praise the Lord!
Eya, eya, eya… Eya, eya, eya…

Gloria ‘n cielo
An Italian lauda (song of praise) with a Christmas theme, from the thirteenth century. The charming poem is set to a simple, lilting melody, whose refrain could easily be learned by a group of devout celebrants.

Gloria ‘n cielo e pace ‘n terra, Glory to God on high, and peace on earth,
Nat’è nostro salvatore! Our Savior is born!

Nat’è Cristo glorioso, Born is the glorious Christ
L’alto Dio maravellioso From the highest God
Fact’è hom desideroso The benevolent Creator
Lo benigno creatore. Willingly made him man.
Gloria ‘n cielo… Glory to God…

De la vergene sovrana From the virgin queen,
Lucente stella Diana, The shining star Diana,
De li errante tramontana, From the wandering mountain wind,
Puer nato de la fiore. A child is born among flowers.
Gloria ‘n cielo… Glory to God…

Pace ‘n terra sia cantata, Peace on earth be sung,
Gloria ‘n cielo desiderata, Glory in the heavens,
La donçella consecrata The blessed maiden
Parturit’ à ‘l salvatore. Has given birth to the Savior.
Gloria ‘n cielo… Glory to God…

Nel presepe era beato In the cradle blessed is he
Quei ke in celo è contemplato Who is contemplated from heaven
Dai santi desiderato By the host of saints,
Reguardando el suo splendore. Looking at his splendor.
Gloria ‘n cielo… Glory to God…

Senher Dieus
These Occitan language verses are drawn from an alba or dawn-song whose music has been lost. The earliest albas of the troubadours celebrate lovers’ trysts; gradually, the form takes on a more spiritual character. The images of night ceding to day, and of darkness giving way to light, are frequent in the ancient Christmas texts.

Senher Dieus, que nasques de la Verge Maria Lord God, born of the Virgin Mary,
per nos guerir de mort e per restaurar via, To save us from death and restore life,
e per destruir’enfern que•l diables tenia And to destroy hell that the devils reign over,
e fos en crotz levatz Who was raised on the cross,
d’espinas coronatz Crowned with thorns,
e de fel abeuratz, And given vinegar to drink:
Senher, merce vos cria Lord, have mercy,
aquest pobles onratz: Cries the people to you,
que•lh vostra pietatz So that in your compassion
lor perdon lor peccatz. You may pardon their sins.
Amen, Dieus, aissi sia. Amen, Lord, so be it.

La nuech vai e•l jorns ve The night recedes, the day arrives,
ab clar cel e sere, With clear and peaceful skies,
e l’alba no•s rete And the dawn comes to us,
ans ven bel’e complia. Full and rich.

Lux refulget
From the same group of southern French manuscripts that give us the playful shepherd song above, here is a more sober and mystical song, in two polyphonic voices, dealing with the birth of Christ. As is often the case with musical notation of this period, there is no direct information concerning rhythm or phrasing – these must be reimagined/reconstructed by the performers.

Lux refulget de supernis edita The light shines forth from above;
Adest dies a prophetis edita Here is the day that the prophets foretold.
Gaudeat ecclesia Let the Church rejoice,
Resonantes inclita preconia Singing forth humble entreaties,
Resonando clara natalicia Resounding out the brilliant birth.
Emmanuel! Emmanuel! Emmanuel, Emmanuel!
Cuius nomen claruit in Israel. Whose name rings forth loudly in Israel.

Santa Maria, strela do dia
Most of the 400-odd Cantigas compiled by the Spanish King Alfonso el Sabio (1221-1284) tell stories, miraculous works of the Mother of God. Every tenth piece however, is a lyrical song “de loor”, of praise. This one, the hundredth in the king’s collection, seems to have held a special place of honor.

Santa Maria,
strela do dia,
mostra-nos via
pera Deus, e nos guia. Holy Mary,
star of the day,
show us the way to God,
guide us.

Ca veer faze-los errados For you reveal to those in error
que perder foran per pecados That they are lost on account of their sins.
entender de que mui culpados They understand that they are guilty,
son; mais per ti son perdõados But through you are forgiven.
da ousadia For the temerity
que lles fazia Of their foolish ways
fazer folia Is so far beyond
mais que non deveria. What they should have done.
Santa Maria… Holy Mary…

Amostrar-nos deves carreira You must show us the way
por gãar en toda maneira In order to earn, whatever happens,
a sen par luz e verdadeira The true light beyond compare
que tu dar-nos podes senlleira; That you alone can give us.
ca Deus a ti a For God to you
outorgaria Did grant this,
e a querria And He desires greatly
por ti dar e daria. That you give it in his name.
Santa Maria… Holy Mary…

Guiar ben nos pod' o teu siso Your wisdom can guide us
mais ca ren pera Parayso More than anything else to Paradise
u Deus ten senpre goy' e riso Where God preserves joy and laughter
pora quen en el creer quiso; For those who believe in him.
e prazer-m-ia And it would please me
se te prazia If you should deign
que foss' a mia That my soul
alm' en tal compannia. Should remain in such company.
Santa Maria… Holy Mary…

Polorum Regina
From a collection of pilgrim songs and dances of the fourteenth century, intended for use at the abbey of Montserrat in Catalonia.

Polorum regina omnium nostra Queen of all,
Stella matutina dele scelera. Morning star, take away our sins.
Ante partum virgo Deo gravida Before birth, Virgin, pregnant by God
Et in partu virgo Deo fecunda And in labour, Virgin, fertile by God
Et post partum virgo mater enixa And after birth, Virgin, Mother,
Semper permansisti inviolata you remained always inviolate.
Stella matutina dele scelera. Morning star, take away our sins.

Como somos per conssello
One of the miracle narratives from the Cantigas of King Alfonso. This one tells the story of a corrupt judge whose sins, like those of the imploring pilgrims of the previous song, are taken away by the Virgin.

“Como Santa Maria tolleu un joiz aos diaboos que o levavan e tornó-o a ssa casa e disse-lle que se mefestasse, ca outro dia avia de morrer.” “How Holy Mary saved a judge from the devils who had kidnapped him, and returned him to his house, and told him to repent, for he had only one day to live.”

Como somos per conssello do demo perdudos,
assi somos pelo da Virgen tost' acorrudos. Though we are lost if we follow the demon’s counsel, we are saved if we follow the Virgin’s path.
Desto direi un miragre, onde gran façanna
fillaredes, que a Virgen fezo en Espanna
dun ome que de diabos húa gran conpanna
levavan pera pearen con os descreudos. On this matter, I shall tell you the story of a great miracle that happened in Spain, when a cohort of demons tried to abduct a sinner.

Este sobrejoyz era dúa vila bõa
en que viçosa tíia muito ssa pessõa,
mui gran mannãa jantando e ceand' a nõa,
e grandes dões fillava, ca non dos miudos. Now this man was a judge, vain and fond of good food, morning, noon, and night; and receiving lavish “gifts.” Rather than chasing after thieves and villains, he pursued poor folk who had not the means to pay.
Como somos per conssello do demo perdudos… Though we are lost if we follow the demon’s counsel…

Este mui bon pan comia senpr' e bõos výos
bevia, mais non usava muit' andar camíos
pera prender os ladrões; pero os mesquýos
prendia, e por el eran mui mal remeudos.
Now this man was a judge, vain and fond of good food, morning, noon, and night; and receiving lavish “gifts.” Rather than chasing after thieves and villains, he pursued poor folk who had not the means to pay.
El un di' assi estando que jantar queria
con outros que convidados ouv' en aquel dia, oyu como de peleja ou de gran perfia
grandes vozes e braados fortes e agudos. One day, as he sat down to dinner with his guests, he heard a great noise outside, like people having a quarrel.

Como somos per conssello do demo perdudos... Though we are lost if we follow the demon’s counsel…

E dizend': «Agýa, agýa, mui toste fillade
aquel ome e da vila longe o levade.»
El, cuidando que peleja era de verdade,
mandou fillar a seus omées lanças e escudos. “Quickly,” he said, “remove that commotion from here”, and, ordering his men to take uo sword and shield, he went out to see what the ruckus was.
E el sayu dos primeiros parti-la peleja,
dizendo: «Por Deus, varões, non seja, non seja!»
Mas tan toste de diaboos conpanna sobeja
o fillaron, úus negros e outros cornudos. But no sooner did he go outside, saying, “Gentlemen, stop, for God’s sake,” than he was snatched up by a horde of demons, some black and others with horns.
Como somos per conssello do demo perdudos... Though we are lost if we follow the demon’s counsel…

E mantenente da vila o poseron fora
sobr' un poço fond' e negro mais que húa mora, e quisérono deytar en ele essa ora con outros, que pouc' avia eran y metudos. They sped him out of town and wanted to drop him in a deep, boiling well, along with other souls they had caught.
E aquel poço fervia ben come caldeira,
ond' el espantad' estava de maa maneira.
En esto chegou a Virgen Santa verdadeyra,
dizendo: «Leixad' est' ome, maos atrevudos.» The pit boiled like a cauldron, which frightened him terribly.. But then at this moment the Holy Virgin arrived and cried “Free this man, impious hands” .
Como somos per conssello do demo perdudos... Though we are lost if we follow the demon’s counsel…

Eles, quand' aquest' oyron, fugiron, agýa
e leixaron aquel om' aa Santa Reýa,
que lle deu logo consello ben qual convia,
ca os seus non quer ela que sejan cofondudos. When the demons heard this, they departed, leaving him to the Holy Queen, who gave the judge good advice, for she does not want her devotees to be damned.
Ca pero el de justiça mui pouca fezera,
sempre en Santa Maria esperanç' ouvera;
e porende o livrou daquela coita fera,
dizend': «Atan toste sejan per ti connoçudos For the judge, even though he had done little for her, had always placed his faith in the Virgin. She freed him from captivity, saying, “As soon as you acknowledge…

Como somos per conssello do demo perdudos... Though we are lost if we follow the demon’s counsel…

Teus pecados, e filla deles gran péedença
e en pagar o que deves mete ta femença,
e en meu Fill' e en mi ave ben ta creença
e faz come os que estan sempr' apercebudos. “…your sins, you must greatly repent, and pay all that you owe, and place your faith in me and in my Son, and do as those who are always prepared.
Ca sabe que mais dun dia non será ta vida;
poren faz que, pois ta alma for de ti partida
que logo sen estardança pera Deus sa ida
fara, e que os santos non lle sejan sannudos.» For know that no longer than a day will be your life. Therefore, do such that when your soul departs it will go directly to God, and that the saints will not be angered against you.
Como somos per conssello do demo perdudos... Though we are lost if we follow the demon’s counsel…

Poi-l' aquesto diss' a Virgen, en un mui bel chão
o leixou. E el[e] tornou-sse logo de mão
a ssa casa, e enviou polo guardião
e fillou del péedença dos erros sabudos; The Virgin having said this, she left him in a beautiful field. He quickly returned home, called for a confessor, made penance and received absolution for his sins.
E null' ome mais coitado non foi queno visse.
E outro dia morreu como ll' a Virgen disse;
e u quis Deus que ll' a alma do corpo saysse, os angeos a levaron nobres e temudos. And all who saw him took pity. And the next day he died, as the Virgin had said, and when God drew his soul from his body, it was carried up by angels, numerous and awesome.
Como somos per conssello do demo perdudos... Though we are lost if we follow the demon’s counsel…

Ave Maris Stella – O Maria Deu Maire
A stanza of the Gregorian hymn Ave Maris Stella is followed by a version of that Latin poem in Occitan, the language of the troubadours. We draw once again from the precious southern French manuscript repertoire, probably originating in the Limoges region, that gives us Gregis Pastor, Lux Refulget, and Mei amic e mei fiel.

"En el sexto mes, el ángel Gabriel fue enviado por Dios a una ciudad de Galilea llamada Nazaret, a una virgen desposada con un hombre llamado José, de la casa de David. El nombre de la virgen era María." “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary”

Ave maris stella,
Dei mater alma,
Atque semper virgo
Felix celi porta. Hail, star of the sea,
God’s cherishing mother,
And, though still a virgin,
The blessed portal of heaven.

O Maria, Deu maire
Deus t'es e fils e paire :
Domna, preja per nos
To fil lo glorios. O Mary, mother of God,
God is both Son and Father to you:
Lady, pray for us
To your glorious Son.

E lo pair’ aissamen
Preia per tota jen:
E c’el no nos socor,
Tornat nos a plor. To the father, too,
Pray for all people;
For if He does not help us,
We remain in tears.

Eva creet serpen
Un angel resplanden:
Per so nos en vai gen
Deus n’es om veramen. Eve trusted the serpent,
A shining angel;
That was a good thing for us,
For so has God truly become man.

Vita qui mort aucis
Nos donet paradis
Gloria aissamen
Nos do Deus veramen. May the life which slew death
Give us paradise.
May glory in the same way
Truly be given us by God.

Mei amic e mei fiel
The tune to this little mini-drama in the Occitan language became famous all over southern Europe during the later Middle Ages and Renaissance. This is its first appearance, in the twelfth century. The dialogue between Mary and the angel Gabriel suggests that at least two performers might have participated, perhaps with play-like gestures as well.

Mei amic e mei fiel,
laissat estar lo gazel :
aprendet u so noel
de virgine Maria. My friends and companions, leave off chattering: I will teach you a new song, of the virgin Mary.

Lais l'om dire chi no sab,
qu'eu lo'l dirai ses nul gab
mout n'en issit a bo chab
de virgine Maria. Let ignorant people gossip, what they say is of no importance. Here is a good song of the virgin Mary.

So sabjat, re qu'es be ver,
no chal c'om s'en desesper:
Deus I ven per nos maner
in te, virgo Maria. Know this, it’s to save us from despair; God has come to lead us to you, virgin Mary.

"Non perdrai virginitat,
tos temps aurai chastitat,
su cum es profetizat
pois er virgo Maria.” [Mary speaks:] “I shall not lose my virginity, I shall forever remain chaste. Thus was it foretold, for I’m the virgin Mary”

"Eu soy l'angels Gabriel,
aport vos salut fiel:
Deus descen de sus deu cel
in te, virgo Maria." [Gabriel speaks:] “I am the angel Gabriel, and I bring you sweet greetings. God comes down from heaven into you, virgin Mary.”

Cum la reina l'enten
sil respon tan piamen:
"Aco sia an so talen
e virgine Maria. When the queen heard this, she answered piously, “Be it done as you wish to the virgin Mary.

"Tu es mesatjes al rei,
si cum tu o dit, o croi.
a lui me do e m'antrei
ego, virgo Maria." You are the messenger of the King; what you say I believe. And I give myself over to him, I, virgin Mary.”

L'angels es deu cel vengut
e la dompna l'a creut:
per tal n'esmes ereubut
de virgine Maria. The angel came from heaven, and our Lady believed him. And thus it was fulfilled of the Virgin Mary.

Eu vous ai dit mon talen
e vos dijat en avan
chasque vers nous ab nou can
de virgine Maria. I have told you my inspiration and have said it, each verse to a new tune of the virgin Mary.

Todo Lugar – Taouchia
We have imagined this medley of two pieces as a miniature tone poem. The first, rhapsodic part represents the sleep of the infant Jesus in his cradle, while the more rapid second evokes the dance of angels overhead.
The slower melody is drawn from the Cantigas manuscripts; the following section comes from the Arabo-andalusian repertoire still performed in Morocco. It is interesting to note that the musical mode of the two pieces is nearly the same: C and E are the key notes in each case. The modern-day Arab practitioners of Arabo-andalusian music assert that their repertoire harks back to the Islamic courts of medieval Iberia, and the similarity of these scalar/modal elements lends an important measure of credence to that claim.

“Aconteció que, mientras ellos estaban Allí, se cumplieron los Días de su alumbramiento. “And so it was that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
y dio a luz a su hijo primogénito. Le Envolvió en pañales, y le Acostó en un pesebre, porque no Había lugar para ellos en el Mesón”. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for him at the inn.”

Noi siamo i magi
A traditional “wassailing” carol of the nineteenth century, with a vigorous modal melody, from the Italian-speaking part of the Dalmatian coast.

Noi siamo i magi de l’oriente
Abbiam visto la gran stella
La qual porta novella
E del signore. We the kings of orient are, and we have seen the great star that brings news of the Lord.
Abbiamo molto caminato
Seguitando la gran stella
Dall’Oriente in questa terra,
La notte e il giorno. Long have we travelled, following the great star, from the East to this land, night and day.
Noi andiamo ad’adorare
Gesu Christo al mono nato
Il qualte fu chiamato
Re dei Giudei. We come to adore Jesus Christ born into this world, called King of the Jews.
Orsu dunque, fratelli miei,
Qui non è tempo di stare,
Noi dobbiamo seguitare
La nostra via. Come then, my brothers, now is no time to delay, we must follow our way.

Quando el rey Nimrod
From nineteenth century Bosnia, here is an extraordinary and beautiful example of cultural syncretism. The story, of course, is that of the Star of Bethlehem, adapted to celebrate the birth of father Abraham by the Spanish-speaking Jews of the Balkans. Here it is Abraham who lies in the cradle, and the bad King Nimrod “stands in” for Herod of the New Testament. The text, in Judaeo-Spanish, mixes in a number of Hebrew terms, and the musical mode is Arabo-Turk, that of hejaz-al-kabir.

“Y Enviándolos a Belén, les dijo: --Id y averiguad con cuidado acerca del niño. Tan pronto le halléis, hacédmelo saber, para que yo también vaya y le adore.
“And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

Ellos, después de Oír al rey, se fueron. Y he Aquí la estrella que Habían visto en el oriente iba delante de ellos, hasta que Llegó y se detuvo sobre donde estaba el niño.
Al ver la estrella, se regocijaron con gran Alegría” When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”

Cuando el rey Nimrod al campo salía
Miraba en el cielo y en la estrellería
vido luz santa en la judería
que había de nacer Abraham avinu. When King Nimrod went into the fields He looked to the heavens and at all the stars He saw a holy light above the Jewish quarter. Abraham our father was just born.
Av’ram avinu, padre querido,
padre bendicho, luz de ha’Olam Abraham our father, beloved father, blessed father, light of the world.
Saludemos agora al señor parido
Que le sea B'siman-tov este nacido
Eliyahu hanavi mos sea aparecido
Y daremos loores al Verdadero.
Let us hail today the lord who has appeared, And give a benediction to the newborn. Because Elijah the prophet [who in Jewish tradition will announce the coming of the Messiah] appeared, and we give praises to the True One.
Av’ram avinu, padre querido,
padre bendicho, luz de ha’Olam. Abraham our father, beloved father, blessed father, light of the world.

Heu, heu
This short but very intense lamentation is an excerpt from a medieval mystery play, the Play of Herod (Ordo ad Representandum Herodem), created in thirteenth century France.

“Entonces Herodes, al verse burlado por los magos, se Enojó sobremanera y Mandó matar a todos los niños varones en Belén y en todos sus alrededores, de dos años de edad para abajo, conforme al tiempo que Había averiguado de los magos.” “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.”

Heu! heu! heu! Quomodo gaudebo; dum mortua membra videbo; Dum sic commota fuero per viscera nota? Me facient vere pueri sine fine dolere.
Alas! How then shall I rejoice, while forever these lifeless limbs I see?
When so rent with grief is my soul?
Oh, how these children will make me cry without end.
O dolor! O patrum mutataque guadia matrum ad lugubres luctus! Lacrimarum fundite fletus, Judaeae florem patriae lacrimando dolorem! O, sorrow! O, how torn from joy these parents, given unto grief and mourning. Let forth torrents of tears! Add these to affliction! Cry for the flowers of Judea, and the pain of your country.

Pastres, placatz vostre troupèu
A touching noel from Avignon in Provence, circa 1620, continuing the tradition of a small dramatic dialogue, in this case between an angel and the shepherds in the fields.

Pastres, placatz vòstre tropeu,
E corrètz en grand diligença
Adorar la bèla naissença
D’aquest enfant grand Diéu dau ceu. (The angel): Shepherds, leave your flocks, and run diligently to adore the birth of this child, the great God from heaven.
Recebètz-lo en tot onor,
Car es vòstre mestre e senhor. Receive him with great honor, for he is your master and lord.

Ange, aquò es tot nòstre desir
Mai digatz-nos, en que repaire
Es nat, e çò que devèm faire
Qu’eu li pòsque prendre plesir. (The shepherds): Angel, this is our desire, but tell us in what place he is born, and what we should do to please him.
E tot çò que nautres porrèm
Per eu de bòn còr lo farèm. And whatever we can, we shall do good heartedly for him.

Eu es nat dedins Betelèm,
Desmantelat coma Besosse,
Au plus paure estable que fosque
Dins una grùpia sus de fen.
(The angel): He is born in Bethlehem, ruined like [the Provençal village of] Besousse, in the poorest stable that could be, in a crib, on the straw.
Recebètz-lo en tot onor,
Car es vòstre mestre e senhor.
Receive him with great honor, for he is your master and lord.

Aussi li anan d’aqueste pas
L’adorar dintre sa lotjèta
E au son de nòstrei musetas
Fringar davant eu lei cinc pas.
(The shepherds): And so we are off to worship him in his abode, and to the sound of our bagpipes we’ll dance the five-step before him.
E tot çò que nautres porrèm
Per eu de bòn còr lo farèm. And whatever we can, we shall do wholeheartedly for him.
Recebètz-lo en tot onor,
Car es vòstre mestre e senhor. Receive him with great honor, for he is your master and lord.

En Belén tocan a fuego
A folksong/carol from Spanish Andalusia, unusually poignant in character. Here the shepherds bearing humble gifts become poor gypsies from distant lands, trudging through the snow. The improvised guitar solo in Spanish Gypsy style by Kareem Roustoum reminds us of the Arabic substratum present in much Iberian folklore.

En Belén tocan a fuego.
Del portal salen las llamas.
Es una estrella del cielo
que ha caido entre las pajas. In Bethlehem a fire begins, in the manger are the flames. It is a star from heaven, the Lord in a bed of straw.
¡Pobre gitanilla! Va pisando nieve,
Pudiendo pisar rosas y claveles. Poor gypsy, marching through the snow, should be walking on roses and carnations.

Los pastores en Belén
Todos van a cortar leña
Para calentar al Niño
Que nació en la Nochebuena. The shepherds in Bethlehem are all searching for wood, to warm up the child who was born on Christmas eve.
¡Pobre gitanilla! Va pisando nieve,
Pudiendo pisar rosas y claveles. Poor gypsy, marching through the snow, should be walking on roses and carnations.

Yo soy un pobre gitano
Que vengo de la Galicia
Y al Niño de Dios le traigo
Lienzo para una camisa. I am a poor gypsy, coming from Galicia, and to the child of God I bring linen cloth for a shirt.
¡Pobre gitanilla! Va pisando nieve,
Pudiendo pisar rosas y claveles. Poor gypsy, marching through the snow, should be walking on roses and carnations.

Yo soy un pobre gitano
Que vengo de Egipto aqui
Y al Niño Jesus le traigo
Un gallo quiquiriqui. I am a poor gypsy, coming from Egypt, and to the child Jesus I bring a rooster, cock-a doodle!
¡Pobre gitanilla! Va pisando nieve,
Pudiendo pisar rosas y claveles. Poor gypsy, marching through the snow, should be walking on roses and carnations.

Duérmete, niño, duérme
A lullaby from Spanish Adalusia.

“Todos los que oyeron se maravillaron de lo que los pastores les dijeron;
pero María guardaba todas estas cosas, Meditándolas en su Corazón” “And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.”

Duérmete, niño, duérme,
Duérmete y calla.
duérmete, lucerito de la mañana.
Nanita, nana, duérmete, lucerito de la mañana. Sleep, child, sleep and be still. Sleep, light of the morrow. Lullay, lullay. Sleep, light of the morrow.

Nani na ya srira
A lullaby from Egypt.

(text in Arabic) Sleep, Sleep, O little one,
Come slumber upon the straw mat
Tomorrow your Father is coming,
He'll wash you with rays of the Sun,
O little bird, your hair is black; he who loves you will kiss you.

Tant aos peccadores
Preceded by an Arabo-Andalusian borea (unmeasured prelude) in a similar musical mode, this Cantiga, like a certain number of others in that collection, shows the Virgin interceding to help a distraught mother, and to save the life of a sick child. The locale where the miracle takes place has a tragic resonance in recent Spanish and world history. Our performance is therefore dedicated to the forces of life, nurture, and love; as this medieval story suggests, these must eventually prevail in Atocha, as elsewhere.

“Esta é como Santa Maria guareçeu en Tocha, que é cabo Madride, un meyno que tinia huna espiga de trigo no ventre.” “This is how holy Mary, in Tocha, which is near Madrid, cured a child who had a sprig of wheat in his stomach”

Tant' aos peccadores | a Virgen val de grado,
per que seu santo nome | dev' a seer mui loado. So generously does the Virgin accord her aid to sinners that her holy name should be greatly praised.

E daquesto aveno | miragre mui fremoso
que fez Santa Maria, | e d'oyr saboroso,
cabo Madrid' en Tocha | logar religioso,
que vos contarei ora | se me for ascuitado. And in this matter there happened a very beautiful miracle of the Virgin, near Madrid, at Tocha, that I shall relate to you if you wish to hear it.
En huna aldea preto | de Madride morava
huna moller mesqyna, | e seu fillo criava
que avia pequeno, | que mais ca sy amava,
que a perder ouvera, | se non fosse guardado In a village lived a poor woman who brought up her son, whom she loved more than herself, and whom she would have lost…
Tant' aos peccadores… So generously…

pola Virgen beneita | de como vos diremos.
Ca aquela mesquynna | foi, en com' aprendemos,
a espigar con outras | e, com' oyd' avemos,
seu fill', aquel menyno, | en braç' ouve levado. …without the Virgin’s help, as I shall relate to you. This poor woman, along with others, went out harvesting, and, as we have heard, taking in her arms her infant son.

E quand' entrou na messe | u as outras espigavan,
agarimou o moço | a feixes que estavan
feitos d'espigas muitas, | que todos apannavan,
e a Santa Maria | o ouv' acomendado When she got to the field where the others were working, she laid the infant to rest among the sheaves, composed of stalks that had been gathered, and she commended him to the Virgin…
Tant' aos peccadores… So generously…

que llo guardass'. E logo o menynno achada
ouv' una grand' espiga | de granos carregada
de triigo, que na boca | meteu e que passada
a ouve muit' agynna; | onde pois foi coitado …that she might protect him. Straightaway the child took one of the stalks, full of wheat germ, and put it in hos mouth, and swallowed it, and he immediately began to suffer
tan muito, que o ventre | lle creceu sen mesura.
Quand' esto viu a madre, | ouv' en tan gran rancura,
porque cuidou que era | morto per ssa ventura
maa; e a Madride | o levou muit' inchado. So greatly that his belly swelled up very greatly. His mother,when she saw this, thought her son would die from this misfortune, and she took him to Madrid all swollen up.®
Tant' aos peccadores… So generously…

E cuidando que era | de poçony' aquel feito
de coovr' ou d'aranna, | ca sol seer tal preito,
teve-o muitos dias | assi atan maltreito,
que sempre sospeitava | que morress' affogado.
She thought some spider or viper had bitten him, as frequently happens, and she kept him thus for several days, so sick that she feared he would die of suffocation.

E mentr' assi estava, | deron-lle por conssello
que a Santa Maria, | que éste noss' espello,
de Tocha o levasse, | e esto per concello,
ca Deus y mostraria | miragre sinaado. And while he was thus, she was advised to bring him, to the shrine of the Virgin, our mirror, at Tocha, and this publicly, for God would show her a miracle.

Tant' aos peccadores… So generously…

A moller fillou logo | seu fill' e foi correndo
con el, chorando muito, | braadand' e dizendo:
"Virgen Santa Maria, | com' eu creo e entendo,
sanar podes meu fillo | sen tempo alongado." The woman took her son, and ran with him, weeping and crying out and saying “Holy Virgin Mary, as I believe and understand, you can cure my son, without further delay.”
Quando foi na eigreja, | o menynno fillaron
elas e sas vezynnas | e logo o deitaron
ant' o altar, e logo | todo o desnuaron
por veer se parara | algur bic' ou furado. When they came to the church, she and her neighbors laid the infant on the altar and undressed him, to see if there was some sort of wound apparent.
Tant' aos peccadores… So generously…

O moço desnuando, | cataron e cousiron
com' era tod' inchado; | mais non lle sentiron
senon que a espiga | logo lla sayr viron
tod' enteira e sana | pelo senestro lado. The child naked, they all saw that his belly was swollen but that there was no wound. And then, they saw the stalk of wheat, entire and intact, come out from his body, from his right flank.
Tant' aos peccadores… So generously…

Quand' esto viu a gente, | deron todos loores
a Deus e a ssa Madre, | a Sennor das sennores,
que faz taes miragres | e outros mui mayores;
e porend' o seu nome | seja grorificado. When they saw it, thay gave praises to God and to his Mother, Lady of Ladies, who worked such a miracle, and others greater still. And for this may her name be glorified.

Tant' aos peccadores… So generously…

Thanks for translation and text assistance to: Karim Nagi, Anne-Marie Sgaravizzi, Kareem Roustoum.

The Boston Camerata: Fifty years (and more) of creativity.
The Boston Camerata preserves and reawakens human memory as expressed through the art of music. It accomplishes this mission through live, historically informed, professional performances of European and American music of the Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras; through study and research into musical sources of the past; through sound recordings and media projects; and through community outreach and musical education.
Founded in 1954, The Boston Camerata was associated until 1974 with the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Joel Cohen has directed the ensemble's teaching, research, recording and concert activities from 1968 to 2007. The Camerata is now led by French-born scholar and singer Anne Azéma.

Camerata began touring overseas in 1974, and has maintained an international presence ever since. In recent seasons, Camerata has been heard in Canada, England, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, Singapore, Israel, Mexico, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Japan. In the United States, Camerata has participated in recent early music festivals at Berkeley and San Antonio, the Tanglewood Festival (four invitations) as well as in many of the biennial Boston Early Music Festivals from 1981 to 2005. The ensemble has maintained an extensive touring schedule across the entire United States. Media appearances by the Boston Camerata have included a nationally syndicated radio series in the U.S. and numerous broadcasts on French, English, Canadian, Dutch, Spanish, Swiss, Norwegian, and Swedish radio. The ensemble has made several appearances on French television; in the spring of 1992 its video production of the Roman de Fauvel was telecast nationwide in France. In the United States, Camerata provided the music for Guardian of Memory, a 1993 TV project for the Library of Congress. Camerata's video of Shall We Gather at the River received numerous "plays" on American cable television during the winter of 1992-93. Simple Gifts (1995), the group's Shaker music project, has been the subject of extensive coverage on national television, on American public radio and the BBC.
The Boston Camerata's numerous recordings on the Erato, Harmonia Mundi, Nonesuch, Telefunken and Warner Classics labels have received worldwide distribution. In 1989, Joel Cohen and the Camerata were awarded the coveted Grand Prix du Disque for their recording, based on original sources, of the medieval Tristan and Iseult legend. Camerata's recorded performance of Jean Gilles' Requiem became a bestseller in Europe during the spring of 1993. The CD recording of the ensemble's 1992 Tanglewood Festival program, Nueva España: Close Encounters in the New World, was released in autumn, 1993 to critical acclaim in both Europe and America. Simple Gifts, a recording of Shaker spirituals and chants was the number one bestseller on the national Billboard magazine classical chart during later 1995 and early 1996. Three releases in 1996, Dowland--Farewell, Unkind: Songs and Dances; Trav'ling Home: American Spirituals 1770-1870; and Carmina Burana each won critical praise in the European musical press; the Dowland recording was nominated in January, 1997 for the French Grand Prix des Discophiles. A second recording of Shaker songs, The Golden Harvest, released in 2001, was widely acclaimed.

Highlights of Camerata’s fiftieth anniversary season in 2004-5 included high-profile festive concerts in Paris (Théatre de la Ville) and Boston (Boston Early Music Festival), as well as production of a new CD recording, A Mediterranean Christmas, for the Warner Classics label. In honor of the anniversary the City of Boston proclaimed a Boston Camerata Day, and Camerata director Joel Cohen was named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government.

SHARQ Arabic Music Ensemble
The Boston Camerata is honored by the collaboration on this recording of the SHARQ Arabic Music Ensemble. SHARQ is dedicated to preserving and presenting traditional and classical Arabic vocal and instrumental music. Their repertoire is one that is rarely played by even the most dedicated professionals in the Arab world. SHARQ chooses vocal and instrumental pieces that illustrate the rich and buoyant possibilities of the genre, without fixating on the popular or commercial versions. SHARQ seeks to share this heritage through concerts and verbal presentations.

SHARQ consists of young professional musicians from several cities in the Arab world and Turkey. SHARQ performing on the original and authentic acoustic instruments. Their musical repertoire consists of suites and songs from the Andalusian period, up until modern Egyptian classical music of the mid 1900's. The musicians’ geographic diversity demonstrates the variety of styles and heritages of the Near East, and their obvious synthesis. The musicians' education and cosmopolitan attitudes serve as a compelling and healthy representation of the modern and artistic Arab individual, helping to dissolve the fictitious dichotomy between the Arab and Western worlds.

Joel Cohen
Joel Cohen is a leading authority in the field of medieval and Renaissance musical performance. He has received widespread acclaim as performer, conductor, and writer/commentator in his chosen field, and his unique style of program building has made the Boston Camerata ensemble famous on five continents.

Mr. Cohen studied composition at Harvard University. Awarded a Danforth Fellowship, he spent the next two years in Paris as a student of Nadia Boulanger. He has taught and lectured at many East Coast universities, including Harvard, Yale, Brandeis, and Amherst. Abroad, he has given seminars and workshops at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, at the Royal Opera of Brussels, in Spain, Singapore, and Japan. With soprano Anne Azéma, he co-directs an annual workshop in medieval song in Coaraze, France. His professional honors include membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the Erwin Bodky award in early music, the Signet Society medal from Harvard, the Goerges Longy Award, and the Howard Mayer Brown Award for lifetime achievement in early music. He is an Officier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French Republic.

As lutenist, Mr. Cohen has appeared with numerous European ensembles. He frequently accompanied the distinguished tenor Hugues Cuénod. More recently, his duo recitals with soprano Anne Azma have taken him to many parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia. His conducting appearances include two seasons at the Brussels opera, as well as invitations to the Aix-en-Provence Festival (1989) and the Tanglewood Festival (1992, 1994, 1995). He was appointed Artist in Residence in the Netherlands during 2000, the first American musician to be so honored.

Mr. Cohen's chosen repertoires span many centuries and countries, and over thirty LP-CD programs have been recorded under his direction, for Nonesuch, Telefunken, Harmonia Mundi, Erato, Warner Classics, and other labels. He has, however, taken a special interest in French music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and early Baroque. In 1989, his recording of Tristan et Iseult , based on original medieval sources, won the Grand Prix du Disque of the Académie Charles Cros, Paris. In early 1993, his recording of the Requiem by seventeenth-century Provençal composer Jean Gilles, realised at the Aix-en-Provence festival, was enthusiastically received by the French press and public. Thanks to a series of CD recordings, including New Britain (1989), The American Vocalist (1992), An American Christmas (1993), Simple Gifts (1995), Trav'ling Home (1997), and The Golden Harvest (2000), his pioneering work in the roots of early American music has also won extensive praise.

In 1990, Mr. Cohen founded a new ensemble, the Camerata Mediterranea, devoted to the performance of early-music repertoires from the Mediterranean basin. The ensemble's initial tour season took place in France, Italy, Spain, and Morocco; further tours from 1992 to 2004 brought the group's music to audiences in France, the United States, Morocco, Germany, and Holland. Jointly with the Moroccan musician Mohammed Briouel, Mr. Cohen was awarded the Edison Prize in 2000 for the Camerata Mediterranea's recording of Cantigas by King Alfonso el Sabio.

Joel Cohen is well known in Europe as a radio commentator on early music topics. In the U.S., his numerous media appearances have included an engagement as host of WGBH (Boston)'s "Morning Pro Musica." Mr. Cohen's first book, Reprise was published in 1985. An anthology of Shaker songs featuring many of his transcriptions appeared in 2003. His first video, Le Roman de Fauvel , premiered at the Louvre Museum, Paris, in October, 1991, and on French television in the spring of 1992. Shall we gather at the river, a video produced with Erato-Warner, was widely diffused on American cable and French T.V. in 1992 and 1993; his arrangements of early American tunes provided the inspiration for much of the score to the film Geronimo (1994). His close collaboration with Finnish choreographer Tero Saarinen resulted in the dance production Borrowed Light, based on original Shaker music, and first seen in Le Havre, France, in October 2004.



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