Review

Winsome Evans, director of Australia's Renaissance Players, offers a treasure trove of "endangered" early music. This ensemble brings near-forgotten music to life and documents it in this collection of Spanish-Jewish songs and Mediterranean dance tunes. The pieces cover the woes of exile, the lure of the siren, the moon, the sea, the fires of passion, the pangs of love, and the endless adoration of Yahweh. Period instruments or near-replicas are played in an authentically appropriate style. Vocal stylings and language follow the same "living history" guide. Rich beauty and the depth of the ancients' soul are vividly translated by this early music ensemble's expertise. It is a stimulating walk through an unheard, unseen, and unknown world -- a view across the chasm of Time. The Renaissance Players on this recording are: Winsome Evans, Benedict Hames, Llew Kiek, Mara Kiek, Melissa Irwin, Mina Kanaridis, Andrew Lambkin, Barbara Stackpool, and poetry reader Geoff Sirmai. Winsome Evans is to be highly praised for all she has catalogued so lovingly here for all to cherish; hopefully, far into the next millennium. ~ John W. Patterson, Rovi

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