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I am a blades-o-phile. Love all his works, the music, the forms, the thinking etc. Love that he takes chances that are well thought out. Tangos is exactly that. He wanted to see how his salsa lyrics play in tango. What an amazing artist. My father was a tango man, his musical character being Carlos Gardel. Being from a various generation I never quite "got it" with tango so I left it that it was melody for his generation. Here mr. blades did what billy joel said about country melody - "I never understood country melody till ray charles sang it." Once I got the moods, the ambiance, working in my mind it began to create more sense but did not quite work since I was so used to these lyrics in salsa even though I felt he hit homeruns with pedro navaja and juana mayo. My want is for mr. blades to do original compositions for this art form. That would be worth dreaming about and dancing along to...
At first I didn't like this album because it isn't exactly what I expected as far as tango music, and I kept thinking I liked the salsa versions en, after listening a bunch of times, I started to love these songs. Blades's voice sounds richer and more varied in the tangos, and the lyrics have the same brilliance that the salsa versions do. I read that the tango orchestra is super high quality, though I can't compare various Argentine tango orchestras myself.
This is an perfect compilation of tangos from both margins on the River Plate (which separates Uruguay and Argentina) South America, 38th Parallel Lat. These tangos are among the most traditional ones. Domingo's strong voice gives them all of the anguish, nostalgia and despair, that the Italian immigrants wanted to express through music.
Esta grabación fue efectuada por Placido Domingo en Argentina, durante 1980 o a lo sumo 1981, no recuerdo muy bien, y en su momento el disco en su ver de vinilo fue lanzado ese mismo año de la grabación. Unos años despues, conseguí el compacto, cuya calidad es excelente. La performance de Placido es impecable, y acompañado por una legión de maestros del tango, el resultado no podía ser otra cosa que brillantísimo, aunque en su momento aqui en Argentina fue un disco muy criticado, lo que más comunmente se decía de el era que Placido Domingo era demasiado lírico como para cantar tangos, que le "sobraba" voz, y otras cosas por el estilo. Quizas hasta cierto punto eso pueda resultar cierto, pero las criticas obedecían a un preconcepto como que no se podía inventar nada nuevo en tango, que ya en el 40 todo estaba inventado, que no se puede comparar con Gardel, etc. Dejando de lado estas criticas, indudablemente el resultado es un disco histórico, cada tango logra un clima único en la voz de Plácido Domingo, distinto de todo lo conocido hasta ese momento."Caminito" y "Mi Buenos Aires Querido" son una verdadera joya, aunque a mi gusto el mejor tema del disco quizás sea "Alma de Bohemio".Teniendo en cuenta el corto tiempo en que se grabó, no mas de dos semanas, la calidad alcanzada permite catalogar este trabajo como una obra maestra. Muy recomendable para todos los que gusten del tango, salvo para quienes sigan pensando que todo se terminó en el 40.
Placido Domingo sings tangos ?Yes indeed, as the other reviewer points out, while he was performing at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires in the early 1980's he and the orchestra found time late at night to record enough for this album.He says he 'always liked this music' and he 'adjusted his Spanish to sound like that of Buenos Aires' for this occasion ... not all tango enthusiasts loved it, but it is a fine rendition of the most well known tangos, and he 'avoided those of slum life' as it would not have been suitable for him; still 'there were so a lot of other amazing ones'.so, have fun !
I bought this CD on the strength of some of the other Enrique Chia works with which I am familiar and because I am an aficionado of tango. Tangos Y Nostalgia is a beautiful amazing CD. While Chia does not bring to tango the piano heroics of a Pablo Ziegler, he handles this somewhat difficult material quite well. There is not a poor song on the album.I like his arrangements of the Discepolo/Mores classic Uno, Celos (Jalousie), Orquideas Bajo La Luz De La Luna, Milonga Sentimental, and Madreselva. These are the songs on which Chia's virtuosity is most evident. The weakest chop is a lackluster No Llores Por Mi e rest of the CD is quite enjoyable and winds up with an emotional rendering of El Dia Que Me Quieres by one of the grand old dames of tango, Libertad Lamarque. While her voice is of course not what it once was (she must be quite old), the passion clearly rings out.While pure tango fans may search Tangos Y Nostalgia a small tame, piano fans will search this to be tango tailor-made for piano lovers.
This unbelievable night of Tangos from the greatest tenor of the second half of the 20th Century (my opinion!) is so amazing that this is the second copy of it I have owned. I wore out the first, and I predict I will wear this one out too. Lovely songs full of passion, sung by Domingo at his very best. Who could ask for anything more?
His "touch" is one of a kind. I have his melody on from morning 'til night. His biography is fascinating. I would love to meetMr. Chia and thank him personally for the endless hours of his music. Hold publishing and hold playing. Your style isimpressive. I first heard you three years ago as the background melody at a restaurant in Mazatlán. I am going to his www service tosee where he will be appearing. You enhance my life to no end.
While Sufi melody is often known for its wild, ecstatic performances, this Moroccan ensemble plays with utmost restraint, building up melodies ever-so slowly and ever-so elegantly. Their repertoire is drawn from the half-lost Anadlusian strain of Sufi folklore that is still heard within the zaouia tradition of Tangiers. A lot of of these songs follow a pattern related to some Indian classical performances, starting with slow, unaccompanied vocals, then adding a lightly plucked oud to further establish the melody, and finally bringing in percussion to fill in the sound. This is a gentle, contemplative album, one which may bring renewed rewards to repeat listenings. Recommended!
My first experience with Sufi songs and I am transfixed. I have never felt so out-of-body, so much rapture, beauty, peace, such oneness with the creation and its Creator. The beauty of the pieces is outstanding in spite of the simplicity of the music, the unassuming but attractive rendition by the singers and the unrushed performances. The songs stayed with me, looping in my head and providing solace. Pure beauty.
Among my tons of Moroccan recordings and different other CDs of Middle Eastern and Inner Asian Sufi music, this one is special. While keeping the flavor of North African Andalusia with instrumentation and vocal style, the slower tempo and quiet passion reaches into the depths of the poetry, much like Turkish and Persian traditions. The ubiquitous Chemirani on percussion adds a further, timeless and more worldly dimension to the performance. The sound quality is excellent. There is wide dozens in the selection of pieces, from ensemble to solos, set works and improvisations. You will not be disappointed.
Owning a lot of CDs of oud playing,(being an oud player for a Turkish chorus),and middle eastern music, this one stands out as exquisite. Most CDs bore me after a few playings but the richness of this one bears up under endless listening. One of the instruments played is silence. As a one time flamenco singer also, was fascinated to hear clearly where that style of singing came from.
This is a really amazing album for your globe melody collection. It's a collection of Sufi songs from Moorish Spain preserved in the Sufi globe of Morocco. The melody isn't wild or ecstatic, but instead a slow, building process. It might not be immediately accessible, but improves upon repeated listening.
Facing Spain is the port town of Tangier, Morocco. It is the home of one of the styles of medieval Andalusian melody brought back from Moorish Spain, which is a prescribed suite of instrumentals and sung poems, often referred to as Arabo-Andalusian music. Performed here in concert, the ensemble contains artists who participated in flamenco vocalist Juan Peña Lebrijano's brilliant interaction, Encuentros, and differs from a lot of such groups in including women vocalists, in addition to cellos. Indeed, the enlarged orchestra has two oudists, a player of the rebab, two violins, and a viola, along with percussion. The particular suite, or nuba, one of eleven in the tradition, is in mode hijaz al-kabir. There is joy in this performance and a particularly lighter, smoother style than found on other recordings from Fes and other regions. Improvisations are subtle in the form of vocal ornamations and tempo changes. My only caveat is that in this huge ensemble spread across the scene there is a tendency to lose synchronicity, the groove. On the other hand, it is a live performance and we sense the community of artists and appreciative audience sharing in the delightful music.
These chants are not only attractive and authentic, (or at least they seem that method to me) but my niece who is 13 years old appreciated the lovely calming spiritual impact. We listened to the entire album and enjoyed every minute. If you are looking for a selection that inspires a trip to northern Africa I recommend Chants soufis arabo-adalous.
These Suites and Tangos from Gade are a delight. I was introduced to these works on satellite radio, and could not wait to obtain home and order this CD. This is a attractive sounding recording that gets a play during latest dinner parties. Everyone asks about these works and where they can obtain a copy. Highly recommended.
Jacob Gade (1879 - 1963) was a Danish composer, mostly of light orchestral melody with a reputation in his time rather like that of America's Leroy Anderson. Today he is remembered for a single tune, the familiar 'Tango Jalousie', given its première in 1925. It was an instant international hit, was featured in over 100 films, and the royalties from the tune allowed Gade to devote himself to composition full-time for the rest of his life. The royalties now fund a foundation for young musicians. Until I got this CD, however, I had not known who composed 'Jalousie' ('Jealousy') and when I saw it was by Gade I casually assumed it might have been by the more popular earlier Danish composer Niels Gade. But, of course, I was wrong. And that's how one learns more about the inexhaustible treasure of classical music. I was delighted by this disc which starts off with the familiar tango but goes on to contain other melody of a like sort, although none quite as catchy as that tango.'Leda and the Swan, Légende d'Amour' (1939) is a lyrical eleven-minute ballet score which, using faintly Near Eastern-sounding melodies, limns the popular Greek legend. It has memorable melodies and evocative orchestration. 'Suite d'Amour' (1940) is a light-hearted three-movement bijou that reminds me at times of Lumbye. 'Rhapsodietta' (1931) is subtitled 'Tibirke', named for Tibirke Mill where Gade had a summer cottage for a lot of years. He also referred to it as his 'Danish Rhapsodietta' and its melodic contours are typical Danish.'Romanesca' (1935) is another tango. It begins with a torchy virtuosic solo violin cadenza -- Gade himself had been a working violinist in his earlier years -- followed by a brilliantly orchestrated tango proper. It had some international play but was never anywhere near as famous as 'Jalousie.' 'Wedding at Himmelpind' (1937) is a four-movement suite depicting a rustic wedding. Gade said it was inspired by memories of weddings attended in his own rural e disc concludes with three waltzes. 'Valse Capriccio' (1943) is a Viennese-inspired waltz for solo violin and, originally, café orchestra; it has been arranged for full orchestra by Ole Høyer. (The solo violinist is not specified in the booklet.) 'Copenhagen Life, Waltz' (1937) is actually subtitled 'Vienna waltz' and first appeared in a theatrical piece called 'Det kære Købnhavn' ('Dear Old Copenhagen'). This delicious waltz does in fact sound very much like either a Strauss or Lumbye waltz. The final selection is 'Douces Secrets, Valse Lente' (1919), the earliest piece here. It was originally by salon orchestras used in cafés and tearooms. It is a dreamy thing and quite a lovely method to end this delightful is disc was originally issued in plain vanilla stereo ten years ago and has been remastered in rich sound for SACD. The Odense Symphony under Matthias Aeschbacher does itself t Morrison
this maestro got a large public specially in france within a jewish community a nouba is like a symphony very relaxing malouf there is 16 nouba specially based in east algeria annaba and one word if you feel depressed and too much work on your back so this is the remedy fergani.he is the maestro.
This isn't quite as dark as I like for Tango, but I've been enjoying the richness of the instruments and the dozens of various flavors this CD offers. Some are very light hearted but definitely still Tangos. This was a bit of a pleasant surprise. I'll find for my darker one, but I still recommend this for Tango Lovers. This is light enough for non-Tango fanatics and may be act as a amazing introduction to the intricacies of the instrumentations.
The songs in this CD sound more upbeat than the lyrics, which is one reason I like tango melody in general. For example, Yira Yira is an perfect song from the 1920s about the world's indifference to one's suffering. Yira Yira speaks about how we can't count on a helping hand when it is esta Abajo is another selection in this CD that sounds kind of upbeat until you think about the lyrics. This song is from the 1930s. This song is about a man that was bewitched by a woman and believed in love. Then he discovered that it was an illusion and his life force began a steady, irreversible e main theme of most of these songs, as far as I can tell, is about failed love. These are songs about men falling in love and believing in love only to be disappointed. The disappointment is so profound that it leaves the men permanently defeated. A lot of tango lyrics recognize the immeasurable power of women over men, and the melody all about the special dance that started in locations such as the suburbs of Buenos Aires.
I have been listening to some melody from Spain (mainly flamenco) but I don't recognize a Spanish sound on this unds rather like classical Arab music. Anyway I like the concept - an Arab diva performing Spanish music. I will test toget some more latest productions by is album is dated 1995. on 1998 Amina will publish the Alcantara e Alcantara album sounds really Arabo Andalusian. it features lyrics in Arabic French and Spanish.
From Granada, the latest capital of Moorish Spain, to Fes, Morocco, came a melody in exile. Its classical performance tradition is of suites and particular modes and styles. In this album, however, the songs are adaptations and the suites are selected to provide a dozens of modes and feelings. And such feelings! Amina Alaoui's attractive voice entwines us and the orchestra of Ahmed Piro, noted for famous as well as classical formats, propels us to an exotic land. Sweetness and joy pervades. The interpretations of the melodies, some familiar to listeners of Moroccan âla, are rich in detail. The orchestra and vocalists, including leader Piro, are excellent, but the inclusion of a four-stringed banjo and mandolin does raise an eyebrow. Hardly bluegrass! Well-recorded, the album will certainly leave the listener in amazing spirits and perhaps with fantasies of visiting this musically interesting nation.
Evolved from classical Arabo-Andalusian melody of medieval Spain, the nouba suites heard in Morocco and Algeria are more apt to express nostalgia and mysticism than joyous excitement. The tempo, repetitions, and other structures of sung romantic poetry and musical interludes are prescribed by tradition, and among the artistic choices are different modes or scales. Omar Benamara, who is featured here, came from Algiers to Paris and sings both Western operatic arias and art songs and Algerian folk and classical music. His gentle, smooth voice over the solemn 13 sections of Nouba ghrib soon instill calmness. The seven other musicians on the live concert album play violin, viola de gamba, viola, oud, mandolin, tar frame drum, and darbouka goblet drum. The flow of melody lacks drama but proceeds with dignity yet warmth. It differs in approach and style compared to the brighter, more fiery recordings of such melody from the Maghreb. 71 minutes.
This is melody from El Andalus at its best. Gharnati, which can be translated as "music from Granada" is filled with sensual longing and old memories; through Amina's voice the old ghosts take put here in this globe with dignity and grace. Amina herself is rather awesome - she has degrees in philosophy, philology and dance and her spiritual beauty and wisdom present themselves in her voice and in this sublime album. Highly recommended.
Oh, no! I thought when yet another tango CD came my method for review. Well, I should have thought Oh, yes! The Delos label seldom disappoints and their fresh by Piazzolla (DE 3252) is quite lovely. Here we have Saxophonist Federico Mondelci and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra under Constantine Orbelian in a program of 12 arrangements (mostly by the soloist) of tangos by Astor Piazzolla, mostly on the moody side, but all a welcome relief from the barrage of atonal bangings on one side and the tuneless mediocrities that pass for famous and present melody today. A amazing deal of this will remind you of "Nights in the Gardens of Spain" and other earlier works that capture the sultriness of the Spanish climate and mindset. I highly recommend this Delos offering.
Extremely well doented. The extensive footnotes both help and extend the evidence presented in the text. The evidence shown by Dr. Fernández-Morera explodes the myth that Spain under Islamic control was a land of tolerance, understanding, cooperation and respect for Jews and Christians. He also demonstrates how the “the amazing achievements of Islam” were highly derivative and were due to drawing on residual Roman culture in Visigothic Spain and on the intact Greco-Roman culture of the Byzantines(for example Averroes' use of Greek Christian translations of Aristotle from Greek to Syrian and then from Syrian into Arabic). The role of both converts and descendants of converts to Islam from the Jewish and Christian populations who converted to “save their lives and property” (to use a phrase not uncommon in the biography of Muhammad) is covered in detail. In addition the role of “servants” to Islam in producing the “greatness” of Islamic Spain is discussed in detail (case in point Maimonides). After reading this book it will be clear that those using the conditions of Islamic Spain to argue that current problems involving Islam are not due to the intrinsic nature of Islam and are instead due to other causes (such as prior Western imperialism, the Israel versus “Palestinians” problem etc.) are either ignorant or dissembling.
This is an necessary contribution to understanding the history of Spain and Portugal, especially during the time of Muslim hegemony. This is a well doented work which describes in considerable detail the practices of Muslim overlords especially towards their Christian, Jewish, and other Muslim subjects. Other Muslim topics in this review refers to ones who held minority practices or alternate stuff of faith from the Muslim majority or, more importantly, the Muslim ruling class. It deals with problems of tolerance, acceptance, integration, equality or lack of the previous between the strong and the subjugated. Some describe this book as a "page turner". I do not. I search that at times it is redundant and tedious. Nevertheless, I consider this to be an necessary contribution to not only understanding the histories of Spain and Portugal, but also to a lesser extent western Europe in general. It may also have relevance to understanding problems and attitudes with respect to the immigration of Muslim peoples into contemporary Europe and integrating these people into the European societies.
A while back, I was watching a well-known travel present on You Tube about the Andalusian zone of Spain. Once they started going on and on about unbelievable it all supposedly was under Muslim rule, I was about ready to pop. My blood pressure went up a couple of notches, I’m sure! I kept mumbling to the screen, “Brother, please!” I’m tired, so tired of hearing the same old narrative about that period of time, the supposed multiculturalist paradise, the so-called “Golden Age”. I’m just not buying into all that political correctness. As a Persian, I know what they did back in my old country.I recently read “The Force of Reason” by Oriana Fallaci. While reading that, I became interested in reading this one. Oriana addresses the truth about history in Europe during the time of the Muslim invasion and the Crusaders. She says it like it is, as opposed to some romantic ver of a time when everyone supposedly lived in a time of tolerance, harmony, and peaceful coexistence.“Whoever believes in the myth of ‘peaceful coexistence that marked the relationships between the conquered and the conquerors’ should reread the stories of the burned convents and monasteries, of the profaned churches, of the raped nuns, of the Christian or Jewish women abducted to be locked away in their harems. He should ponder on the crucifixions of Cordoba, the hangings of Granada, the beheadings of Toledo and Barcelona, of Seville and Zamora. (The beheadings of Seville, ordered by Mutamid: the king who used those severed heads, heads of Jews and Christians, to adorn his palace). Invoking the name of Jesus meant instant execution. Crucifixion, of course, or decapitation or hanging or impalement. Ringing a bell, the same. Wearing green, the colour of Islam, also. And when a Muslim passed by, every Jew and Christian was obliged to step aside. To bow. And mind to the Jew or the Christian who dared react to the insults of a Muslim. As for the much-flaunted detail that the infidel-dogs were not obliged to convert to Islam, not even encouraged to do so, do you know why they were not? Because those who converted to Islam did not pay taxes. Those who refused, on the contrary, did.”This book does a fabulous job of setting the record straight on all the propaganda. The amount of research and evidence is amazing. I only want that it had been written in a more engaging style, and definitely with less repetition. This book is not an simple read, but I don’t think it was meant to be either. It was written by an academic and is quite me of my favorite quotes:“Professional self-preservation as well as political correctness and economics has affected academic research in certain fields of study, in contrast to the fearlessness demonstrated by professors when unmasking horrors in such risky locations of investigation as Christian Europe (the burning of witches! colonialism!) and Catholic Spain (the ubiquitous Spanish Inquisition!). Islamic Spain is no exception to the rule. University presses do not wish to obtain in problem presenting an Islamic domination of even centuries ago as anything but a positive event, and academic spets would rather not portray negatively a topic that constitutes their bread and butter. In addition, fear of the accusation of ‘Islamophobia’ has paralyzed a lot of academic researchers.”“Those who portray Islamic Spain as an example of peaceful coexistence frequently cite the fact that Muslim, Jewish, and Christian groups in al-Andalus sometimes lived near one another. Even when that was the case, however such groups dwelled more often than not in their own neighborhoods. More to the point: even when individual Muslims, Jews, and Christians cooperated with one another out of convenience, necessity, mutual sympathy, or love, these three groups and their own numerous subgroups engaged for centuries in struggles for power and cultural survival, manifested in often subtle ways that should not be glossed over for the sake of modern ideals of tolerance, diversity, and convivencia.”“It is significant that Muslim leaders punished their own if they suspected a lack of Islamic zeal. Muslim fighters could be punished with death for apostasy, which contributed to the fervor of the invaders. According to al-Qutiyya, when Musa Ibn Nusayr’s son was named governor, he married the wife of King Rodrigo and began adopting Christian ways—and military leaders chop his head off in the mihrab of a mosque and sent his head to the caliph.”
Author Fernández-Morera is Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. In this book he topics to a withering critique a widespread superstition that Islam, during the “middle ages,” made a superior civilization characterized by interfaith harmony (convivencia) and “tolerance,” as that concept might be understood by today’s ideological multiculturalists. The habit of fostering agenda-driven approaches to history is, of course, not new, but to the extent that the so-called “Golden Age of Islam” is used in contemporary discourse and education as a hedge to counter “Islamophobia,” this book offers an necessary clarification. The myth, stated succinctly, holds that while Europe was mired in the ignorance of its “dark ages,” Islam flourished as an enlightened civilization which not only preserved classical learning but passed it on to the West, making possible the greatness of the European Renaissance. The essence of this myth has been stated publicly by president Barack Obama, and in a lot of elementary and secondary schools throughout America. Colleges and universities also foster it through programs of “multicultural understanding” or programs of Islamic Studies (most of which are heavily funded by Saudi Arabia). The author begins with a clarification of an problem that is tediously and dishonestly muddled by politicians and fashionable academics—the notion that the concept of jihad is mis-applied as a description of the “shock and awe” strategies of conquest seen in the expansion of the Islamic empire in the century following the death of Muhammad. Islamic texts reveal clearly that jihad is, however nuanced it may be, a device of religiously motivated warfare. Fernández-Morera cites the legal texts of the Maliki school of Islamic law prevalent in al-Andalus. “They do not talk of a ‘spiritual inner struggle,’ or of some kind of ‘self-perfecting exertion’: they talk of battle versus infidels—a Sacred Combat, or Holy War, or Holy Struggle, or whatever other name one may choose to give this religiously mandated battle versus infidels.” Indeed, the Maliki school of Islamic “jurisprudence”—the most rigid of the four major schools—prevailed in the alleged paradise of Andalusia (the Arabic re-named designation for Spain). The historical commentaries, both Islamic and Christian/Jewish, testify to widespread depredations carried out by the conquerors of the nascent and creative Hispano-Roman-Visigothic civilization emerging in Spain. One Muslim chronicle characterizes the conquest as so absolute that he describes “not a conquest, but the Judgment Day.” Nor did the ongoing administration of life in Islamic Spain represent the multicultural harmony today’s myth-makers envision. Jews and Christians were allowed to “practice” their faiths so long as it was not publicly expressed or shared. Fresh churches could not be built, nor older ones renovated, and the unique protection tax (jizya) imposed on non-Muslims was meant, specifically, to symbolize their state of humiliation. These are just a few of the a lot of features of the institution of dhimmitude that is central to Islamic law. Fernández-Morera vividly defines what the system of dhimmitude really was (and is, where it may be applied today): “A primary fact is lost in discussions and arguments about the info of the life of the Christian dhimmis of Spain . . . and about how much or how small they benefited from Islamic ‘toleration’—namely, that they were by definition a subaltern group, a fourth-or fifth- class marginalized people in a hierarchical society, and that they were the victims of an extortion system, the dhimma, that gave them the choice that gangsters give to their victims: pay to be protected, or else.” [italics in book’s text] Culturally, the Islamic “golden age” was heavily dependent on the achievements of the prior, and superior, civilizations conquered by the Islamic armies. Contrary to the famous characterization of civilization being “saved” by the glories of Islamic enlightenment, most of the intellectual achievements of Islamic civilization were derived from Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian scholars. The sustaining and recovery of classical learning would have taken put without, and perhaps even more powerfully, without the spread of Islam. “The Visigothic kingdom had functioned as a preserver of classical culture in the difficult centuries after the disintegration of the Western (Latin) Christian Roman Empire, and was in the process of creating a fresh Visigoth-Hispano-Roman civilization of its own, in part by drawing upon the classical legacy of the Roman Empire preserved in the Christian Greek Roman Empire [with its center in Constantinople].”Many other cultural “innovations” attributed to Islam, it turns out, have their origins elsewhere, including the popular so-called “Arabic numerals,” which originated in India. Citing scholar of Islam Dominique Urvoy, even the Arabic script so noted for its beauty and power “may have been invented by Christian missionaries from the Christianized Arab town of Hira in ancient Iraq.” Also significant is the Maliki school’s prohibition on musical instruments and songs (a prohibition that is embraced by other schools of Islamic “jurisprudence” to this day).Of unique interest to this reviewer is the author’s citation of how Islamic art and architecture depended on Muslim “cannibalization” of previous classical and Christian art forms, concepts, and techniques. Interestingly, even the typical “Islamic” horseshoe arch with its alternating striped decoration was known and employed in Visigothic Spain prior to the Muslim presence. [To this day, the archetypal Islamic mosque reflects dependency on Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia, the greatest architectural structure in the Christian globe in ancient times.] Instead of representing a convivencia, Fernández-Morera sees Islamic Spain as more a situation of precaria coexistencia between Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities, all of which were suspicious of outsiders and acted to protect their intra-community authority. Nor was Islamic Spain without its periodic massacres and revolts by groups who chafed under the institution of dhimmitude. The author gives significant attention to the Reconquista, the centuries-long efforts of Spanish people to reclaim their land from the Islamic program of colonialization and destruction of cultural memory (through the Arabizing of names of towns, regions, architectural destruction, etc.). The effect of the Reconquista, in which ultimately Islam was expelled from the land (and therefore viewed negatively by conventional academic culture), was the flourishing of Spanish lyric and narrative poetry, the presence of such historical figures as Saint Teresa of Avila, Miguel de Cervantes, painters like Diego Velasquez and El Greco. One is led to meditate on what would have been the result of subsequent European civilization had Charles Martel not gathered an troops to meet and conquer the Muslim colonialist armies at Tours in 732, or if Poland’s John Sobieski had not acted similarly to defend the gates of Vienna in 1683 versus the rampaging jihadists of the Ottoman Muslims. Given what we know of Islamic law, we would not, today, have the art of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and countless others, nor the Louvre or Vatican museums among others. “Ideas,” as Richard Weaver observed so powerfully in his book of that title, “have consequences.” In this regard, Darío Fernández-Morera presents and defends his thesis that “few periods in history have been more misrepresented than that of Islamic Spain.” It is sad to reflect that in today’s atmosphere of threat (in response to “offensive” ideas) and multiculturalist ideological tyranny, the author earns and deserves the designation of “courageous.” One would hope that the book would have an impact in the educational world, but, as they say, don’t keep your breath.
This is a much-needed book about a much discussed yet misunderstood epoch of Islamic history. Author Fernandez-Morera takes the reader through a history of "al-Andalus," which is assumed by laypersons, politicians and academics to have been a multicultural paradise, a paradise where Jews, Christians and Muslims lived together in harmony for centuries.While there were periods of relative stability among these religious groups in al-Andalus, the Jews and Christians living there were always surrounded by an environment of social intimidation and fear, never knowing if they were going to live or die. This is because these Jews and Christians were "dhimmis" or protected peoples-that is, they were native peoples who were conquered by Islamic jihad, after which they had to pay a unique tax (jizya) in order to ensure that their lives and property would be protected rather than destroyed by their Muslim conquerors. The oppressive regime of dhimmitude was the engine that kept the different Islamic empires in amazing running shape; the other engine was jihad or holy I read Fernandez-Morera's book, it became clear that Islam is clever battle psychology; it's a religio-political system that brilliantly subjugates non-Muslims (often times, violently) yet at the same time pretends to be peaceful.Even if it wasn't the author's intention, some readers may perceive this book as a wake-up call to the West. If al-Andalus is the best that Islamic history can show to the world, then the free West (which is experiencing mass Muslim immigration at the moment) is in trouble. This is due to the supremacist impulse inside of a lot of Muslims (i.e. Islam is the real religion and Sharia law is superior to Western civil law). It's also due the fact that a lot of Muslims will take their Prophet's command seriously-namely, to wage jihad across the earth until Islam reigns supreme and all other religions are either subdued under Islamic rule or eliminated from the is is an necessary book and, in this reviewer's view, couldn't have come out at a more relevant ers of this book would also like "Jenna's Flaw," a novel about the death of God, the crumbling of Western civilization, and how to save it.
Of the one star reviews of this book, only one (Reza R. Smith) attempted to actually engage the substance of the book. Rather than addressing that review (which is itself highly tendentious), I will offer my own assessment of the substance of the book. Dr. Fernandez-Morera demolishes any notion that al-Andalus was a halcyon period of religious harmony that can be a model for current relations between the Abrahamic faiths. Instead of convivencia, the status of affairs among the religions during the period of Islamic dominance in Spain was, at best, precaria coexistencia. Perhaps the most revelatory aspect of the book is the opening discussion of the state of Islamic historiography in Western academia. Fernandez-Morera exposes the misrepresentation and ignorance of the historical record, particularly in view of the basic sources, of much of the extant scholarship in the West, which indeed portrays Islamic Spain as an Andalusian Paradise. And, he discusses the reasons for the sad state of affairs, which contain not only nonsensical postmodern ideology (my characterization), but also the desire to get and maintain funding of academic programs from well-heeled Middle Eastern sources. Thus, the seamy aspects of the period are almost entirely ignored by current scholars, thereby creating a myth of a golden age of harmony of religions accompanied by an efflorescence of Islamic generated learning and culture.Fernandez-Morera shows that instead of bringing tolerance, learning and culture, the Islamic conquest of Spain (carried out as jihad) initially brought death and slavery to all who opposed it, destruction of churches and a Romano-Visigothic civilization, and dhimmitude to its Christian and Jewish subjects. Far from being a harmless tax on persons of other religions, the jizya was imposed to permit the conquerors to live off the subservient population, and to intentionally humiliate non-Muslims. The applicable juridical status of non-Muslims was inferior to Muslims, and even those who converted were on unequal social terms with their Muslim co-religionists, above only slaves on the social hierarchy. For ordinary Christians and Jews, the marks of subservience were pervasive and obvious, including identifying marks on their clothing (does that sound like some put in the 1930s?) and restrictions on the practice of religion (including, for Christians, the inability to publicly display crosses). For those who want to see, Fernandez-Morera lists instance after instance (fully footnoted with references to Islamic sources) on pages 210-12 of the impositions and discrimination endured by Christians in al-Andalus. Of course, certain useful Jews and Christians attained relatively high positions, but these were the exception, not the rule. In addition, although most educated people in the West are aware that Isabella and Ferdinand ordered the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492, the Almohad Muslims had previously ordered both Catholics and Jews to convert or suffer expulsion to Africa. For those "ungrateful" Christians who revolted from their dhimmitude status in Granada in 1164, none were left after the revolt. Yusuf subsequently boasted that not a single church or synagogue was left in erestingly, Dr. Fernandez Morera also demonstrates that the status of women was not elevated by the Islamic occupation of Spain. Muslim women were expected to remain home and be veiled when out in public. The legal punishment for a married Muslim woman guilty of adultery was stoning. And, by citing basic Islamic sources, Fernandez Morera demonstrates that female circision was indeed practiced in Islamic Spain. Although some women became poets and scholars, these were largely non-Muslim women who had been enslaved. The more likely position of non-Muslim slave women of al-Andalus, however, was to satisfy the desires of their masters, i.e. to be is brief summary of the eye-opening (at least, for most of us that have heard the "golden age" trumpeted loudly and repeatedly by American academics and the media) expose` should be sufficient to demonstrate that Dr. Fernandez-Morera has exploded the myth of an Andalusian paradise. Far from being characterized by tolerance, Andalusia and its non-Muslim inhabitants suffered under the full weight of Islamic hegemony. He has dropped the gauntlet to those who want to take problem with the well doented and careful conclusions of this study. The supporting footnotes, which are both copious and extended, are well worth close attention inasmuch as they fully substantiate the statements created in the book. I commend Dr. Fernandez-Morera for his courage in publishing this book, inasmuch as, for the sake of the integrity of the historical record, he discredits the multicultural shibboleths that have attained iconic status in today's cultural environment. Such an effort is and will be most unwelcome in a society that wishes to fashion its own ly, I want to briefly answer to one reviewer (Charles) who, while admitting the validity of the historical assertions in the book, lamented the fact that Dr. Fernandez Morera was not more "balanced" in his assessment of al-Andalus. The reviewer bemoans the fact that none of the amazing aspects of the period are referenced or otherwise offered to provide context to the work. I would suggest, however, that the thesis of the book (as demonstrated by its title) did not lend itself to such an approach. The book was intended as a important corrective to a fawning and false historical narrative offered by Anglo-American academia that has distorted public discourse and resulted in a misinformed general public. The book certainly achieved this objective, and both scholars and others who are interested in the topic should be grateful for Dr. Fernandez-Morera's contribution.
If you search it hard to swallow the effect of 100 years of swill fed to American students about the "Dark Ages" of Europe and the superiority of the Saracens of that time, you should read this book (and maybe some of Henri Pirrene's historical works) to understand just how strongly anti-Western the history taught to American students was during the 20th century; and it continues to this day. Moral relativism, globalization, the obsession with ethnic identity and gender, and cultural Marxism insidiously and inviduously erode the concept of American "exceptionalism," a moral compass informed by Judeo-Christian social values, and everything Western. This book doesn't directly address those issues, but points out fallacies that would not have become conventional wisdom had our educational industry not been so intensely influenced by the ivory tower's obsession with the evils of Western colonialism. Why 500 years of Ottoman colonialism didn't generate much passion by the same intellectual society could be explained by a lot of reasons, none of which would help the hostility directed solely toward the West.
A most perfect book. Very readable, and heavily end-noted/doented. 240pages of well-organized information, 95 pages of notes, and an 11 page (selected) bibliography that lists a lot of basic sources as well as secondary. He is a bit repetitive, but he built a robust case for his argument, which I think he created solidly. Some of his end-notes are long, much more than mere citation of a source, and well worth e quotes from modern sources of "scholarship" at the beginning of each chapter appear to accurately capture the general vie of a lot of academics, but the ensuing chapter material thoroughly chop down such rose-colored e book itself is well-constructed, with a tough binding, quality paper, readable font, and margins sufficiently wide to create some notes in (I've place in tons for future simple finding of references).
Although I've read a lot about the Middle Ages I haven't read a lot about middle age Spain. I knew it had been conquered by Muslims and then re-conquered by the Christians. This book was a true eye opener to the horrors and oppression of the Christians under the Muslim though the writing was at an academic level, it was very approachable for a non-academic reader.When reading a book like this you would expect it to be long on opinions and short on facts and footnotes, but it was just the opposite. It is very heavily footnoted with original sources, and he lets the facts speak for themselves.I highly recommend this book for anyone who cares about what the original sources say, about life under the Muslim rule in Spain. If you are trying to push and agenda of medieval religious tolerance, then you may wish to skip this one.
I had heard that the recent archeology verifies what Henri Pirenne wrote in Mohammed and Charlemagne back in the 1930s but there is so much out there that claims the myth as truth it was edifying to listen to this book on CD while driving my vehicle as, even to the point of tedium, the author info all of the evidence to the contrary. For instance, the actual law books followed by the particular Muslims ruling the Iberian peninsula during the period of their occupation, as well as writings from those times of what it was actually like for the people of that day to live under Muslim rule. Romanticizing what happened in the past in order to test to appear tolerant doesn't change the objective truth. And it is a disservice to those who suffered a lot of injustices to sweep the misfortune of their lives and villages under the rug.
This recording captures the essence of Buenos Airs in its melody - both melodies and rhythms. Daniel Barenboim, who spent his early years in B.A. obviously remembers that time in his life and with musicians, Rudolfo Mederos on bandoneon and Hector Console on bass provide a vivid musical picture in "My Beloved Buenos Aires".
I first heard a song from this CD in the home of an Argentine family in Buenos Aires after hearing Barenboim conduct Aida in the Teatro Colon the night before. When I purchased it the next day, the man in the CD shop closed his eyes, touched his heart, and said simply, "This CD." That's my feeling exactly. My favorite CD of all time. You don't have to love tango to love this music. Simply exquisite.
Barenboim is playing one the the most beautiful, throaty pianos I have ever heard in my life! And he's playing the sensuous Argentine melody he remembers from his childhood in Buenes Aires. His sidemen are simply extraordinary. I treasure this album as one of my lop ten contemporary melody collections.
There are a lot of ways to show any tango song, depending on instrumentation,vocal or non-vocal, huge band, little band, individual, etc.Having been retired in BsAs from NYC for a lot of years, I have been able to heartango songs presented in a lot of various ways, and I happen to like them all.But this rendering struck me immediately because it is both intimate andalmost symphonic in its presenttion, but with an wonderful amount of clarityand "tango soul," which is the assassin st reviewers agree that this is a CD for the Ages, and I would recommendit to anyone whose melody appreciation extends to this national musica. Itis simply a tour de force.