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La vida es un pasahe: a life in Sephardic song

La vida es un pasahe: a life in Sephardic song presents a life, or various possibilities for life in the songs of the Sephardim, the Spanish-speaking Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and made their way to various parts of the globe, taking with them a language, a culture and their magnificent music.

This program, woven from music and poetry, continues Troveresse’s exploration of the ties between music written in the Middle Ages and music from the oral traditions of Europe and beyond. La vida presents a life, or various possibilities for life in the songs of the Sephardim.

These songs, of birth and death, love and hate, joy and sorrow, loss and longing, are remarkable for their poetic and musical beauty and for what they communicate of the indomitable human spirit.

All but one of the songs on this disc (Üsküdara, which is in Turkish) are in the language usually known as Ladino, a dialect of Spanish which the Sephardim retained in the new countries in which they settled after their expulsion. While the songs change as they travel, taking on musical and linguistic characteristics of their new homes, many of them retain musical and poetic links with Spain. ‘Gerineldo’, for instance, can be traced to a Spanish romance, ‘Quién hubiese tal ventura’ found in Diego Pisador’s Libro de música para vihuela.

Our readings are taken from other traditional Sephardic songs and from writings of the Jewish poets of medieval Spain: ‘My heart is in the East’ by Judah Halevi (1075?-1141?); ‘Where are the graves’ by Moses Ibn Exra (1055?-1135?); ‘The hour in which I am’ by Samuel Ha-Nagid (993- 1056).

From the liner notes, written by Helen Dell



Troveresse is devoted to bringing medieval music to 21st-century audiences in a way which combines musical excellence with a vibrant, innovative presentation. Troveresse (Troves for short), combines vocal and instrumental music with visuals, stories, poetry and drama to bring the Middle Ages to exuberant life on stage.

Audio previews

Track Listing

  1. La vida es un pasahe (Morocco) (Traditional)
  2. Cuando el rey Nimord (Bulgaria) (Traditional)
  3. Nani, Nani (Morocco) (Traditional)
  4. Durme querido hijico (Greece) (Traditional)
  5. Usküdara (Turkey) (Traditional)
  6. Po la tu puerta yo pasí (Andalusia) (Traditional)
  7. Morena me Ilaman (Balkans) (Traditional)
  8. Yo hanino, to Hanina (Balkans) (Traditional)
  9. La madre de la novia (Morocco) (Traditional)
  10. La vida es un pasahe [reprise] (Morocco) (Traditional)
  11. Por que Ilorax (Greece) (Traditional)
  12. Y una madre (Morocco) (Traditional)
  13. Noches, noches (Orient) (Traditional)
  14. Durme, durme mi angelico (Balkans) Leon Algazi
  15. Yo m'enamori d'un aire (Andalusia) (Traditional)
  16. Como la rosa en la guerta (Andalusia) (Traditional)
  17. Gerineldo (Morocco) (Traditional)
  18. A la nana y a la buba (Balkans) (Traditional)
  19. La vida es un pasahe [reprise] (Morocco) (Traditional)


Where to buy

La vida es un pasahe: a life in Sephardic song can be purchased online through Buywell Music or the Australian Music Centre which both offer secure online ordering.

This title can be ordered through fine music retailers across Australia including Readings and Fish Fine Music.

Product details

List price
$25.00 AUD
Release date
July 2012
© 2012 Troveresse
℗ 2012 Move Records
Early music, Folk music
Catalogue number
MCD 477
Alternate catalogue number
EAN 9314574047721