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Alcantara

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ethnic
  • ASIN: 555569668X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Amazon's Amina Alaoui Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 8, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With a haunting, pure, sensual voice, Amina Alaoui provides a portrait of cosmopolitan, tolerant Al-Andalus or Sefarad, Moorish Spain, a fabled era and place when religious and ethnic communities shared romantic culture, philosophy, medicine, poetry, and, here, music. The flow and exchange of European folk, Arabic, Berber, and Jewish musical modes and tunes and rhythms were common. This album features songs in Arabic, French, Spanish, and Hebrew (with lyrics provided respectively in those languages). In a chambered setting, she is accompanied by two musicians: Henri Agnel, who plays medieval guitar, cittern lute, and rebec along with frame drums, and Brijan Chemirani, performing on zarb, daf, and tambourine drums. The sound is mainly gentle with only occasional more lively, dancelike tracks. The arrangements are simple. Half way into the album, a mild tedium of sound and timbre sets in. While the minimalism is probably reflective of the era, 62 minutes is a long time for this particular musical meditation. Aside this minor complaint, the album is beautiful and educationally worthy. The title, Alcantara, is metaphoric, meaning bridge and derived from the Arabic, Al-Qantarah. Musicians are without borders and music itself is the message.
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By A Customer on April 16, 1999
The clarity of Alaoui's voice is profound. Be careful when listening to the hauntingly beautiful 'Istikhbar Zidane'--it will stay in your head for weeks.
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By A Customer on March 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Her voice is supple and rippling, you want to let it wash over you like a waterfall. Her improvisations are stunning.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I purchased this 1998 CD 10 years ago. But upon pulling it out again after several years of disuse, rediscovered the beauty of Amina's voice and song.

Alcantara literally means "the bridge" in Arabic. The Alcantara bridge aludes to several bridges in Spain spanning the Tagas and Darro rivers. Some were built in the 6th century by the Romans and no longer exist. Amina sees the words, canta or cantara, meaning, I will sing in Spanish and she is reminded of the bridge between cultures spanning into the distant past and the struggle between Muslim and Christians for dominence in those earlier times. She is reminded too of the voice and songs of her grandmother and the bridge to those early times in her own life in Andalusia.

Amina Alaoui sings the music of Moorish Spain, Andalusian music which reflects the cross culture of the Greeks, the Persians, the Byzantine, the Berber and Arab mixtures of rhythums and tones. Her voice is pure, clear and sweet. Her accompanyment is Henri Agnel on the traditional medieval 8 stringed guitar and Bijane Chemirani on percussion and drums.

The lyrics are sung in Arabic, French, Spanish and Hebrew with an Arabic translation included in the insert. The CD is 62 minutes in length. All the songs are very captivating and beautiful to hear.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
She makes Arabic beautiful, but she also sings in Spanish and French. I would love to see her in concert - she is truly a bridge.
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