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Classical Music Review

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Words Adorned


Composers: various
Conductor: Donald Nally
Performed by: The Crossing, Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble and Dalal Abu Amneh
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 09 July 2021

The Crossing's new album, Words Adorned released via Navona Records, delivers works inspired by Andalusian Poetry. Conducted by Donald Nally, it also features Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble and soloist Dalal Abu Amneh...

Never an outfit to get stuck in a rut, The Crossing are forever tackling new and interesting subjects. On Words Adorned, Andalusian Poetry is the main inspiration, and it's one that reaps endless rewards.

These 10 tracks (44 min, 54 sec) are a wonderful coming together of classical and world music. The combined forces on this album interpret lush scores from Kinan Abou-afach and Kareem Roustom; the music is at times driven and passionate, at others mystical and lyrical, responding to ancient Andalusian poetry in the Muwashshah tradition.

The takht – handling the oud, qanun, violin, cello, and percussion – guides the kaleidoscopic sounds and colours in these poems of love, revelry, and war, with additional solo work by singer Dalal Abu Amneh. True to their commitment to honour tradition while constantly blazing new ground, The Crossing’s latest offering is steeped in history, deeply relevant to modern listeners, and bridges cultures seamlessly.

Another beautiful release from The Crossing.

Track listing:

Kareem Roustom
Embroidered Verses
Songs on Andalusian Poetry
01 - I. Ya ‘ahla ‘andalusen lilāhi darrukumu  / Oh people of Andalusia, what beauty you have  /  يا أهل أندلس لله دركم  5:24
2 - II. Qum yā nadīm / Arise oh drinking companion / قم يا نديم  3:55
3 - III. Yā ma’shara al-nāsi alā fa’jabū / Oh people, stop and wonder  / يا معشر الناس ألا فاعجبوا  3:51
4 - IV. Qul lil’idā  / Tell the enemy  / ق للعدى    5:54

Kinan Abou-afach
Of Nights and Solace
Fantasia on Andalusian Muwashshah Poetry
05 - I. Prelude: Moonrise    2:37
06 - II. Ḥayyī-l wujūh (Greet These Faces)    5:48
07 - III. Forsaken    7:53
08 - IV.  Interlude: “á La Dūlāp”    2:37
09 - V. Yā man ‘adā (You Who Left and Passed)    5:16
10 - VI. Sunrise    1:44

Muhammad ‘abd al-Rahim al-Maslub
11 - When He Appeared / Lammā Badā Yatathanā   لمَّا بَدَى يَتَثَنَّى   3:52Traditional Muwashshah (bonus track from the live concert)


Darren Rea

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