: Izak Algazi Efendi

11-03-2006, 18:27
Here they are my friends!

Source CD: Osmanlı-Trk ve Osmanlı-Yahudi Musıkisinin Byk Sesi
Label: Kalan (2004)

This CD is divided into 3 sections:
1. Trk musıkisi plakları (tracks 1-12) songs in Turkish
2. İbranice Gfteli Dini İcralar (13-20) religious songs in Hebrew
3. Yahudi İspanyolcası İle dindişi şarkılar (21-24) songs in Ladino

I include:
track 1: Hicaz gazel
track 4: Bayati gazel: "Sana Dil Verdimse..."
track 7: Muhayyer gazel: "Aman Nazre-i Taban-ı Çeşmanı..."
track 21: Ay mancebo, ay mancebo (in Ladino)

I am thankful to Najib who gave me this CD.

Enjoy with joy!

12-03-2006, 02:06
Thanks, Hakem, for sharing these songs. I'll refrain from banging my head to the wall - it might disturb my sense of hearing ;-) - and that I need to appreciate these jewels. If it was in an Indian concert I would shout "shabash" after almost every phrase Algazi is singing here.

Ah, by the way, is there any info on the CD about who has composed the songs?

12-03-2006, 21:55
thanks alot,

the man's singing is magnificent (and though I don't know anything about turkish makam theory, I'm guessing his seyir is also impeccable).

I have managed to refrain from any head banging this time, but after that mind-numbingly beautiful slip into mezza voce he did in the bayati gazel, I was darn close. ;)


12-03-2006, 23:18
Thanks, Hakem, for sharing these songs. I'll refrain from banging my head to the wall - it might disturb my sense of hearing ;-) - and that I need to appreciate these jewels. If it was in an Indian concert I would shout "shabash" after almost every phrase Algazi is singing here.

Ah, by the way, is there any info on the CD about who has composed the songs?

Almost all of my covers and written info about the CD are currently in storage in London. Since i moved to Paris for a year or so I don't have except the CDs on MP3. Do you have this CD? If not, shall I post it all?

15-03-2006, 14:15
I have 2 cds of Izak Algazi, I dont think this track appears on either of them.
To answer you question Ambrose, the gazels are improvisations so they dont list a composer. But some of the other tracks on the same cd were composed by Tanburi Ali Efendi, Haci Arif Bey and others

15-03-2006, 14:20
your CDs are different, please post them.

This guy is a fantastic singer.


15-03-2006, 20:24
I have one more album by Isaac Algazi: "Sweet Singer of Israel" published by Wergo in 2002. This has liturgical music, songs for Sabbath, songs for Jewish festivals, Maftirim songs (songs of the Portuguese synagogue of Edirne based on makams), religious songs and folk songs in Judeo-Spanish language (Ay mancebo, ay mancebo among them) and one Zionist hymn. Should I add from this album?

15-03-2006, 23:18
Definitely not the Zionist hymn :-)

But something like Ay Mancebo is on Makam huseyni, and very tarabic.

So if you want to put one track as an example it will be great, and then we'll take it from there!

15-03-2006, 23:18
Yes please Ambrose!

16-03-2006, 01:56
You guys keep me away from my bed! But it is a pleasure for me to upload this fantastic singer, though it is difficult to choose. I can't but at least upload two songs.

The first (No.9 on the CD) is "Ha-yom harat 'olam", "This is the day in which the world was called into existence". I quote from the booklet:
"A text from the Rosh Hashanah mussaf service, sung after the blowing of the shofar. The Sephardim employ different melodies for the performance of this text. Algazi sings here a melody in makam Segâh."

The second piece (No.14 on the CD) is "Kiddush le-Shavu'ot", "Sanctification for Pentecost".
"A magnificent cantorial performance where Algazi displays his full vocal palette. In contrast to most of the repertory in this collection, he employs here modulations from makam to makam to stress key words. The piece starts in makam Acem Asiran, and the strongest modulation occurs with the words zeman matan toratenu ("the time in which our Torah was given"), where he shifts to makam Beste Nigar."

16-03-2006, 16:15
For those who are interested, those two pieces are also on the album I mentioned above. It is amazing how this man was able to sing beautifully in Turkish, Hebrew and Ladino! Makes me lament Istanbul, the City of Cities!

16-03-2006, 17:09

Yes there are comon ones with the Kalan one, but please please, put everything!

He is unbelievable.


16-03-2006, 18:29
Najib, I will. Just give me another day - I'm busy tonight at work. But hopefully I'll find some time tomorrow.

16-03-2006, 18:48
take your time, no rush at all.

17-03-2006, 03:15
Can't let you wait for this: Here's the first (or rather second) installment of Isaac Algazi's album.

No.1-11 are songs (selichot and piyyutim) for the high holidays.

No.1 is "Kamti be-ashmoret" ("I rise at dawn"):
"Selichah by Moshe Ibn Ezra (b. spain ca. 1055, d. after 1135). This song serves as an opening to the singing of selichot in all the Sephardi communities of the Ottoman Empire. Selichot are penitential poems associated with fast days and, in particular, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah (New Year's) and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)."

No.2 "Anna ke'av zedoni" ("Like a cloud, my wickedness"):
"One of the most popular selichot by Moshe Ibn Ezra is in a form similar to the Arabic muwashshach, a strophic song in which the rhyme of the opening stanza returns in the last verse of each of the following stanzas. The text draws on verses from Psalms 25.11 among other sources."

No.3 "Im afes rova' ha-ken"
"An 'akedah (religious poem about the sacrifice of Isaac; subgroup of the selichot) by Rabbi Ephraim Bar Isaac of Regensburg (1110-1175), one of the greatest liturgical poets in medieval Germany. This is the only piyyut by an Ashkenazi poet included by the Sephardim in their selichot and is one of the most widespread Sephardi tunes for the high holidays."

No.4 "Avinu malkenu" ("Our Father, our King")
"A litany consisting of a series of short petitions to God which has a fixed format and the set opening formula, avinu malkenu, recited during the high holidays. Algazi's recording in makam Hseyn is one of his most well-known compositions."

No.5 "Yedei rashim" ("The hands of your poor nation")
"A piyyut by Yehudah Halevy (b. Spain ca. 1075, d. Palestine? 1141) sung in Sephardi synagogues during the morning prayers of Rosh Hashanah. The melody is unique to the Sephardi Jews of Izmir."

Enjoy. More will come tomorrow.

17-03-2006, 17:22
Thanks a lot Paul.

18-03-2006, 01:09
Here is next next couple of songs:

No.6 "Le-britekha shokhen zevul u-shevu'a" ("When the gates of favor are about to be opened")
"Closing stanza of the famous 'akedah Et sha'arei ratzon by Yehudah ben Shmuel Abbas of Fez (d. 1167) sung in Sephardi communities during the Rosh Hashanah services before the blowing of the shofar (ram's horn) or after the opening of the Ark. Algazi's recording is in makam Saba."

No.7 "Adonay shan'ati shim'akha yareti" ("O Lord, I have heard your speech and was afraid")
"Rechut (a type of poem in which the chazzan asks for "permission" to pray on behalf of the congregation) for the mussaf (additional services on Sabbaths and holidays) of the high holidays in makam Hseyn. Algazi sings the most common version of this poem attributed to David ben Yaacov Pardo (1718-1790)."

No.8 "Ochila la-el"
"An ancient rechut usually sung by the chazzan during the mussaf services of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This is one of the most complex cantorial compositions recorded by Algazi."

No.9 is there already

No.10 "Ha-yom harat 'olam"
"A cantorial composition in the la Franca ("modern", "European") style, set to the same text as track 9. The influence of the Eastern European cantorial art is noticeable in this piece, for example in the repetition of words used to stress their meaning and to attain a dramatic effect (such as the opening word ha-yom, "today") and the gradual building-up of melodical climaxes around the key words in the text such as rachamenu ("have mercy on us")."

No.11 "Yetzav ha-el" ("God will order")
"Selichah by Yehudah Halevy, usually printed in Sephardi prayer books as a reshut for the Yom Kippur mincha (afternoon) service or as a pizmon (paraliturgical hymn) for singing between the mussaf and mincha services on the same holiday. The poetic and musical structure of this song is similar to the Muslim religious hymns from Turkey called ilahi."

18-03-2006, 14:59
No 12-13 are Sabbath songs, No.14-17 are songs for festivals.

No.12 "Kiddush" ("Sanctification of the Sabbath")
"This kiddush in makam Mahr is a piece by Algazi known to many Turkish chazzanim through oral tradition."

No.13 "Be motza'ei yom mechunah" ("At the conclusion of the day of rest")
"Piyyut for havdalah (a ceremony marking the ending of the Sabbath) by Yaacov Menu, sung in makam Hseyn."

No.14 is already here

No.15 "Teromem bat ramah" and "Tzame'a nafshi" ("My soul is thirsty")
"Two piyyutim for the festival Simchat torah (the "Rejoicing of the Torah") and Shemini 'atzeret (the "Eighth Holy Day" of Sukkoth) in makam Ussak. The two prayers Teromem bat ramah and Tzame'a nafshi (a piyyut by Abraham Ibn Ezra, Spain, d. 1164) are tightly linked, because together they form the melodic progression of the makam, starting from the lower tetrachord (Teromem bat ramah) to the higher one (Tzame'a nafshi)."

No.16 "Ahallelah shem elohim" ("I shall praise the name of god")
"Two biblical verses (Psalms 69.31 and Judges 5.3, known as Deborah's song) which served as the opening to all the Maftirim choir meetings. The role of these verses was to "tune" the participants to the characteristics of the makam used for that week's songs."

No.17 "Yshlach mi-shamayyim" ("He shall send from heaven")
"A recording of great historical importance, as choral performances with instrumental accompaniment are an exception in algazi's recordings. They exemplify the close links of the Maftirim Jewish choir with the singing of the sufi dervishes. The refrain imitates Turkish words, pointing to the possibility that the poet based his song on an existing Turkish composition. The song opens with a rhapsodic introduction in which Algazi presents the motifs characteristic of makam Beyti."

18-03-2006, 18:03
Brilliant! And I thank you for taking the time to give all the details, this is very helpful. Will listen to them very soon.

19-03-2006, 13:46
Most welcome, Hakem. I like infos on music, so if possible, I give infos myself.

Anyway, here are more songs of Isaac Algazi's album:. No.18-19 are religious songs in Judeo-Spanish, 20-24 are folk songs in Judeo-Spanish.

No.18 "Al Dio alto" ("To God the Almighty")
"Song for havdalah in makam Hüseynî, widespread in the Ottoman Empire. The text is attributed to Rabbi Abraham toledo, a poet belonging to the circle of Ottoman Jewish intellectuals of the late 17th and early 18th centuries."

No.19 "Es razón de alabar" ("There is a reason to praise")
"A ketubbah (allegorical marriage contract between God and the People of Israel) for Shavu'ot, first printed in 1753. The author of the poem is Yehudah bar Leon Qala'i of Saloniki. The melody is in makam Segâh."

No.20 "Ay mancebo, ay mancebo" (already uploaded by Hakem)
"A version of the Judeo-Spanish romance from Izmir, The Return of the Husband."

No.21 "Quién conoció mi mancevez" ("Who knew my youth")
"A love cantica in the sarki style, a semi-classical song form which used to be performed in Turkish cafés."

No.22 "Malana tripa de madre"
"Fragment from a romance, in which the youngest daughter of a father with no male children announces to him that she is ready to leave for war."

19-03-2006, 13:56
Now for the last remaining pieces of this wonderful CD:

23. "Cantica de ajugar" ("The song of the trousseau")
"A love song in makam Beyti widespread among the Sephardim of Turkey, Rhodes, Saloniki and Sarajevo. According to the title it appears to have been performed during the presentation of the bride's dowry."

24. "Reina de la gracia" ("Queen of beauty")
"A modern love song in makam Nihavend and usl Devri Hindi (7/4), which was very popular among the Sephardi Jews of Izmir. The text was written ca. 1880 by the journalist and poet Nessim de Yehudah Pardo; the music ia attributed to Hayyim Alazraki, a Jewish composer who died in Izmir in 1913."

25. "Hatikvah" ("The Hope")
"An early recording of the Zionist hymn and, later, Israeli national anthem. The combination between Algazi's Turkish intonation, the piano, and the oud accompaniment lends a special charm to this recording. This version includes the first four stanzas of Naftali Herz Imber's poem."

All commentaries have been written by Edwin Seroussi, who is the Emanuel Alexandre Professor of Musicology and director of the Jewish Music Research Centre at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, author of the book "Mizimrat Qedem. The Life and Music of R. Isaac Algazi from Turkey", Jerusalem: Renanot Institute for Jewish Music, 1989. This book has the texts and selected transcriptions of all songs included in this CD.

19-03-2006, 14:01
Hakem, could you add from your album whatever is not here yet?

21-03-2006, 17:52
Can you please add from your album what is not here.


27-04-2006, 01:15
Can you please add from your album what is not here.


It seems everything is here already? No, not everything. Cleaning my harddisc I found another beautiful song by Isaac Algazi, "Bir Katre Icen Cesume-I-Pür-I Fenâdan" - I'm listening to it right now and it brings showers down my spine. Please enjoy...

10-12-2006, 11:00
skran ahi thanks