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Radio Sefarad broadcasts with Judith R. Cohen

Recorded Sound | RG Number: RG-91.0193

Excerpts of Judith Cohen broadcasts on Radio Sefarad, a communication project of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain.

Track 1 Descubriendo la música sefardí (15/1/2011). Personal chronological history of her discoveries of Sefarad and the formation of her group Gerineldo. Introduction to Sephardic songs, starting with Bosnia, Spain (Barcelona), Turkey (Istanbul) and discoveries of vestiges of Sepharadim in Montreal. Mentioned influences from Spanish Galicia, Joaquin Diaz, and medieval Spain.

Track 2 Hoy en Radio SefaradL Los romanceros. Introduction to the world of romanceros. Using the song “Landerico”, she explains the history of romanceros in song and lyric. Cohen discusses variation in regional romanceros from Spanish Morocco to the Balkans and their use in daily life – de cuna, de boda, de lamento, por la pascua judía, de columpio, y no de columpio. The importance of the Expulsión and the Moroccan Protectorate in romancero song is an interesting historical notion mentioned in the mystery of the romancero.

Track 3 El ciclo de la vida (12/2/2011). Cohen discusses how Sephardic song starts to discuss the realm of the banal – songs for birth, for childhood, for weddings, for death, and for the community. Using “Don Gato”, she explains regional variations and the emphasis on wedding, death, and masculinity in Sephardic culture.

Track 4 El ciclo anual de las festividades (26/02/2011). The influence of the Jewish calendar and Shabbat are discussed in this episode. Instead of a focus on romanceros, Cohen focuses of the form and function of cantares, canticas, coplas and operetes. Songs about the holidays of Rosh HaShana, Simha Torah, Hannukah, Tu Bishvat, Purim, Pesach, and Tish B’Av are discussed. Along with the holidays – the importance of Venice as a place for escape for sepharadim is talked about.

Track 5 Cantando el amor y la dolor (12/11/2011). Cohen talks about the most famous songs of the Sefaradic repertoire while discussing songs about love and pain. It is interesting to note that this famous repertoire is not as traditional rooted as is commonly believed and instead has modern fusion influences, including the Foxtrot, Greek music, and Turkish music.

Track 6 Canciones de la vida cotidiana (26/03/2011). Cohen continues with the themes of fusion, daily life, and re-emergence of judeo-español with a discussion about Sephardic songs from just before World War II to modern day. The value of French culture, the dance nouvelle, along with an interesting version of a Charlie Stone are discussed.

Track 7 Último programa: canciones de desesperanza y esperanza (09/04/2011). Cohen discusses the Holocaust and the birth of Israel in Sephardic music in this last episode on Radio Sefarad. She discusses the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 and the oppression of Jews in Morocco in the 19th Century and how this influenced Sephardic song. According to her analysis: While much Yiddish song is known about, very little is known about Sephardic song during the Holocaust. She mentions how some Sephardic songs during the Holocaust substituted the oppression of Pharoah with that of Hitler in lyric. She thanks the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in this episode. She ends this episode with Sephardic versions of Hatikvah and other songs of hope regarding Israel.

Broadcast:  2011
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Judith R. Cohen
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 22:00:20
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