Sephardic songs from Salonica, Greece
David Saltiel: Vocals
Markos Skoulios: Ud
Jorgos Mavrommatis: Quanun
Jorgos Psaltis: Violin
Leftheris Pavlou: Frame Drum
Nikos Tzannis-Ginnerup: Lyra
Full booklet scans, MP3 87 MB.
Introducción (Introduction)
01. La Serena (The siren)
02. La Huérfana del prisionero (The orphan of the prisoner)
03. La Llamada De La Morena (The call of the dark haired)
04. El incendio de Salonica (The fire of Salonika)
05. La Madre Comprensiva (The understanding mother)
06. La Cigarrera (The tobacco girl)
07. El Encalador (The white washer)
08. La Galana Y La Mar (The bride and the sea)
09. El Testamento de Hamán (The testament of Haman)
10. La Caída de Hamán (The fall of Haman)
11. La Alegria De Jaco (The joy of Jaco)
12. Dia De Alhad (First day of the week)
13. El Parto Feliz (The happy childbirth)
MEMORY AND REMEMBRANCE: THE MUSICAL HERITAGE OF DAVID SALTIEL For more than three decades, the Sephardi song repertoire has been the focus of growing and widespread international interest, reflected in the large number of commercial recordings of songs from modern-day anthologies of this repertoire. These recordings are generally produced by professional artists who have no connection with the Sephardi community. The present record is a departure from this trend, representing the living tradition of David Saltiel, a folk singer from one of the largest Sephardi communities of the former Ottoman Empire, that of Thessaloniki. The present performances depict a style which predates the international commercialization of this repertoire. Unlike his fellow musicians, most of whom emigrated before the Holocaust, Saltiel never left his hometown, and therefore had little exposure to outside influences such as other Sephardi repertoires. David Saltiel's unique repertoire reflects the state of the Sephardi song in Thessaloniki, prior to its mediated post-World War II revival. One detects in this record a sound reminiscent of old 78 r.p.m commercial recordings of Ladino songs released between the two World Wars. Moreover, it evokes the joyous character and flowing rhythm found in the unaccompanied field recordings of Saltiel, which served as the ethnographic basis for this project. Accompanied here by the traditional calgi, typical to the Jews from Thessaloniki, Saltiel's interpretation, with its charming lacunae of memory and relaxed rhythm, does not adhere accurately to the text or to a strict musical meter, but rather alludes to various literary fragments in the unique Salonician Jewish vocal style. Saltiel's repertoire also reflects the overall modernization of the Ladino song repertoire in terms of its content and performance context, which shifted from the home and family gatherings to the coffee house and theatre. This process of change included profound influences on the Sephardi Jews from modern commercial recordings of Turkish, Greek and Western popular songs (such as the tango) since the turn of the century. The combination of remnants from old Iberian and post-Iberian literary strata with Judeo-Spanish cover versions of popular songs from the modern period creates a rich tapestry which characterizes the contemporary Sephardi song in general, and Saltiel's repertoire in particular. (excerpt from the liner notes by Edwin Seroussi, Bar-Ilan University)