Friday, April 27, 2018

IIC to Host a Concert of Sephardic Music

Cristina Calzolari, Arianna Lanci, and Marco Muzzati (screen capture from YouTube video posted by Muzzati)

The next music event to be hosted by the Italian Cultural Institute (Istituto Italiano de Cultura, IIC) will be a concert by the early music ensemble Sensus. This is a trio whose members are, in the order shown in the photograph above, Cristina Calzolari (gothic harp, clavicytherium, and portable organ), Arianna Lanci (vocals), and Marco Muzzati (psaltery and percussion). They are currently touring with a program entitled Aman Sepharad: music from the Sephardic Jewish communities of the Mediterranean.

As the group’s Web site explains, their repertoire consists of female songs handed down from mother to daughter. Following the Reconquista in 1492, the Sephardic Jews of Iberia were expelled. This led to a diaspora that distributed itself across the Mediterranean, North Africa to the south and the Balkan peninsula to the north. The usual tendency is to associate “Jewish music” with klezmer; but klezmer is the traditional music of the Ashkenazi Jews, who settled in the northern and eastern regions of Europe; and klezmer songs are usually sung in Yiddish. However, Sepharad is the ancient name of Spain; so the title of the program translates as “farewell Spain.” The songs of the Sephardic Jews that will be performed on this program reflect those Spanish influences that endured even after the diaspora.

This concert will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 11, and will probably last for about two hours. IIC is located in the Civic Center at 601 Van Ness Avenue, Suite F. Admission is free, but registration is required to assure having a place. IIC has created a registration page specific for this event. Anyone who registers may also add the names of a maximum of two additional guests. Those wishing further information may call IIC at 415-788-7142.

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