Ensemble Kol Aviv / Kol Aviv Ensemble

Chants et Danses d'Israël (Songs and Dances of Israel)

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From the old French Arion label, this album is one of a class of albums that attempt to cover the full spectrum of Jewish music in the course of a single disc. This one takes a more reasonable angle than many, however, by focusing on the music of then-present-day Israel, incorporating many of the cultures and traditions of the immigrants who returned after the long Diaspora and World War II. There are pieces from Yemenite traditions, Eastern European traditions, and Sephardic traditions, along with pieces that fuse the various influences to some degree. Because the dances are an integral part of this album (the title translates as "Songs and Dances of Israel"), the CD is somewhat lacking in that dances can't be showcased aside from a few pictures in the liner notes. Still, the music is performed well and does a good job in crossing various cultural boundaries, tying all of the influences of Israeli music together into a relatively coherent whole.

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