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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far from sleep-inducing, 9 Feb 2003
By 
Dobester (Istanbul, Turkey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ninna Nanna (Audio CD)
This disc is as gorgeous a collection of songs as you're going to find. Ms Figueras' singing is wonderful, the songs are beautiful, Jordi Savall's playing is [insert hyperbolic adjective here]. You get the picture. There is even some unashamedly happy music from Arvo Part. And the rest of the disc is no less miraculous than that.
The songs are from a variety of European musical cultures and periods, from the Sephardic diaspora of the sixteenth century to Estonia last winter. And absolutely none of it is as soppy as a disc of lullabies threatens to be.
A disc that will illuminate your life. Get it as soon as you can.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing music for the heart, 18 Oct 2003
By 
Friederike Knabe "Books are funny little port... (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ninna Nanna (Audio CD)
Rarely has there been a more beautiful collection of lullabies than those presented in Ninna Nanna. Clearly a labour of love of Montserrat Figueras and her family, it brings together songs that mothers have been singing to their infants over the centuries - whatever their culture or language. “It is like food for the young child” reflects Montserrat Figueras in her dedication, the most intense reflection of affection and tenderness.
Lullabies in this collection, come from cultural backgrounds as diverse as Russia, Morocco, Greece, England and, of course, the Iberian Peninsula. They span from the Renaissance to contemporary music. Most of the musical versions have been masterly arranged by Jordi Savall, suited to fit the extraordinary voice of his wife. We also find some arrangements by well-known composers such as Moussorgski, Reger or de Falla.
Being lullabies, the songs show similarities: above all their tunes are beautifully soft and melodious. Yet, the tunes show considerable diversity in rhythm and tonality. Some are melancholy and almost haunting, others joyful and jubilant. Montserrat Figueras’ voice is, as always, in a class of her own, radiating with richness and intensity. The music touches the deeper cords in the listener’s consciousness. Her voice is superbly and sensitively accompanied by Hesperion XXI, the accomplished team of musicians under the leadership of Jordi Savall.
The informative booklet accompanying the CD is well presented and includes the songs’ texts in eight languages, including the original. This is a CD you will not get tired to listen to many times, whether you play it for your children, your family and friends, or just for yourself. [Friederike Knabe, Ottawa, Canada]
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have-One, 18 Mar 2004
By 
Antonio Oliveira "tomane23" (Aveiro, Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Ninna Nanna (Audio CD)
This is the disk I'd carry alone to a desert island...
It includes the brilliant performance of Monserat and Hesperion XXI interpreting lullabies from all over the Mediterranean.
We can clearly compare the musical differences between each region represented. Some songs aren't actually lullabies but the theme is always the relation between the mother and the baby.
No words can, however, describe the listning experience this cd provides you.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exquisite gem of a desert island CD, 10 Jun 2005
This review is from: Ninna Nanna (Audio CD)
Every time I catch sight of a Vox Alia CD with its distinctive packaging I find resistance is futile and I end up buying it. This gorgeous collection of lullabies delivered much more than I had ever dreamt possible.
What gives this CD its magic is the fact that this is music making amongst friends and family. In fact the record label is Jordi Savall's own, Monserat Figueras is his wife, and Arianna Savall his daughter - so it really is an all family affair. The whole of Hesperion XXI play like they know each other intimately and we are just privileged eavesdroppers who were lucky enough to have overheard them. If some of the major record labels are increasingly marketing their music like MacDonalds hamburgers then this is like being invited to dine at a lovely family run Spanish restaurant. There is a heartwarming homeliness here the majors could never emulate in a hundred years. So it is entirely appropriate that this should be a collection of lullabies, for this is a celebration of family intimacy of the most deeply poetic and affectionate kind.
The selection of music might strike a casual listener as being unusual - exotic is a better term - yet they are all so instantly attractive that I think this would make a lovely gift (especially given the beautiful booklet that comes with it) to a child, a mother, a partner, a friend, a music lover; even people who know nothing about the composers here would surely be enchanted. I was particularly delighted by the reviewer who wrote that her daughter listened to this at night - oh, how fortunate it would be to grow up with music like this with its imaginatively chosen collection of music from so many countries and centuries - you would carry this music in your heart for the rest of your life! Amongst the songs is a Greek song, a Catalan song, a 16th century English song, a song by William Byrd, Max Reger, Moussorgsky as well as two by Arvo Part, both of which carry dedications to Monserat Figueras, Arianna and Jordi Savall (in the photograph reproductions of the first pages of the handwritten score Arvo Part has written in German 'gewidmet an...' if you were wondering where this info comes from).
Typical of the CD is how difficult it is to hold back a tear listening to Reger of all composers - I would have never thought it possible, especially when it would have been simply all too easy to choose some all to well known Schubert Lied, but here it is, they have picked Reger and it is PERFECT. Yet that is only one gem amongst so many more here. I am speechless, for this CD is indeed a rare treasure made for people who truly love beautiful music making - a CD to cherish and to weep for joy over.
I should add that as usual from Vox Alia the recorded sound is audiophile quality, and a notch above what you get from about 95% of record labels. In my opinion they even surpass some boutique audiophile labels like Linn, which is really saying something. So if you love to luxuriate in rich sound this will fit like a glove.
If you fall in love with this recording please, please may I suggest you BUY it for someone you love, rather than burning it, just as a way of saying 'thank you' to this family of musicians. This is a family run label rather than some huge impersonal coorporation and I have seen too many private boutique record firms go bust over the years, so please help ensure that these artists continue to make lovely recordings such as this one.
I am adding this CD to my desert island collection.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweeping, seductive, and superlative!, 24 Feb 2006
By 
Stephen A. Haines (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ninna Nanna (Audio CD)
Figueras offers the listener a triumphant collection of evocative songs. Let's dispense with a possible concern. This CD is sub-titled "Lullabies". Anyone going to sleep listening to Figueras should see either a hearing or a brain specialist. While they may pacify children, adult listeners will be exhilarated by the sweeping range of her voice and exquisite presentation. Figueras' expressive style simply transcends descriptive praise. From soaring appeals to the heavens to quiet, soothing reassurances, she demonstrates the magnitude of her evocative skills. One can sense constrained passion in each song as she moves from one culture to another through the collection. That one of the pieces was commissioned for this collection is further proof of the extent she provides the listener - she's not confined to neither time nor place.
What is most clearly manifest in this musical anthology is Figueras' professionalism and her Catalan background. Unlike the operatic divas who have deigned to release popular renditions, she demonstrates how someone who truly understands the music of mountain villages or plains communities in any nation can elevate even the most "common" music. The selections range over five centuries or more, reinforcing the impression that nothing exceeds the capacity of her elegant voice to convey feeling to the enraptured listener. Each of us will likely settle on a favourite selection. Predictably, my own is a Catalan piece of an anonymous composer. Perhaps because the lullaby is in her native tongue, the richness of Figueras' rendition evokes intense emotional response. Would that i'd been born a Catalan!
Alia Vox was launched to give fresh impetus to the recordings of Figueras, her husband Jordi Savall and the groups they have created together. This CD will remain a testimony to their efforts to produce the highest quality discs. The sound is excellent, clearly imparting voice and background instruments alike. With 18 selections from a variety of eras and locations, the notes for this CD are extensive. The text of each tune is given in the original and seven other languages. Could scholarship and the universality of music be given finer endorsement? [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars when love and music meet, 9 Aug 2004
This review is from: Ninna Nanna (Audio CD)
Nothing can ever be said about this Cd that is enough. Not only voice and orchestra, but feeling and musiciaship here are at their pic.
I loved this Cd and since I bought a copy for myself I byt for every single person on my list that has a new baby coming in. It is from grown ups as well bit I think the best way ti indulge the youngsters with some beautiful music.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hypnotizing, 8 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Ninna Nanna (Audio CD)
I love this cd from the first moment. It takes me to another world, I'm in a trance and can write a letter to my love.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Birthday present., 28 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Ninna Nanna (Audio CD)
This was on my son in law's wish list. Arrived quickly in excellent condition and he was really pleased with it. Thank you.
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Ninna Nanna
Ninna Nanna by Montserrat Figueras (Audio CD - 2003)
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