6 pp., $6.95, Presser Order number 494-02721 (PWYS-67)
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“Yo m'enamori d’un aire” (I fell in love with her charms) and “Morenica” (roughly—Black Beauty) are two of the most well known Sephardic romanzas. They are taken from the tradition of the Sephardic Jews from Turkey, Greece and the Balkan. These arrangements try to capture their fresh modal features: one, Oriental rooted with an augmented second, the other, a fluent, diatonically ornamented melismatic melody. The first is treated mainly in a two part imitative polyphony, the second- in a more homophonic texture, but stemming mainly from a parallel organum of fifths. Towards its end (coda), an attempt is made to emulate an Oriental ensemble heterophony.
Ruben Seroussi was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1959, where he started studying guitar and music theory with Fernando Díaz Quintana. He arrived to Israel in 1974, where he continued his guitar studies with Menashe Baquiche and theory and composition with Jan Radzinsky. Seroussi finished ‘cum laude’ his composition studies at the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University under the guidance of Leon Schidlowsky. His other teachers included Seter, Sadai, Ehrlich and Natra. His works, for different musical formations, have been performed frequently in Israel since the premiere of his first work, Partita for 2 guitars in 1975. They were performed by the Musica Nova Consort, The Israel Contemporary Players, The Israel Philharmonic, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and diverse ensembles and soloists. Seroussi’s works have been performed abroad in concerts and festivals by well known ensembles, such as the Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Oriol, New Juilliard Ensemble, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, etc., in Chicago, Cologne, Berlin, Dresden, Greece, New York, Luxemburg, Bern. Important distinctions include: ISCM selection representing Israel in Warsaw 92, two Acum prizes in 1992, a prize in the competition for an orchestral work held by the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra in 1993, and the Prime Minister Prize for Composition in 1995. In addition Seroussi is an active concert guitarist, who plays as recitalist, in chamber formations and as soloist in Israel and abroad. He recorded a CD devoted to twentieth century guitar music, produced by the Italian label Nuova Era. Ruben Seroussi is a faculty member at the Rubin Academy of Music, Tel Aviv University, as composition, theory and guitar teacher.
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