Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968) wrote his song cycle “The Divan of Moses Ibn Ezra” in the last years of his life, a work of reflection on the human condition. Moses Ibn Ezra (1055-1138) was a Jewish poet who took refuge in Spain after the conquest of his land by the Berber Almoravids, an obvious and deep inspiration for the Jew Castelnuovo-Tedesco who experienced the same fate of exile when moving in 1939 to the USA, fleeing the Nazi threat.
The song cycle “Divan of Moses Ibn Ezra” is in English, a translation of the original Hebrew poetry. The work is divided in 5 parts, and describes the stages of human life and its fate: “Songs of Wandering”, “Songs of Friendship”, “Wine and the delights of Sons of Men”, “the World and its Vicissitudes” and “the Transience of the World”. The musical tone is elegiac, sometimes melancholy, a bittersweet reflection on a long life full of glory and despair.
A beautiful interpretation by soprano Joanna Klisowska, specialist in Early Music and 20th century repertoire, and master guitarist Giulio Tampalini.
The booklet contains excellent liner notes written by the famous composer Angelo Gilardino, in both English and Italian.