Di Corrado Beldì
Quattro ragazze ebree argentine Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Sofia Rei Koutsovitis, Basya Schecter e Malika Zarra, formano l’ensemble vocale Mycale, per la prima volta in Italia: vera novità della serata con uno strabiliante concerto a cappella.
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It is striking that in John Zorn’s long and varied career as a musician, he has never set text to music. While he has worked with many singers, they have sung vocalise (without words) and when he does work with text, it is spoken. Bearing this in mind, it is a rare treat to hear his tunes, all from his second Masada book of tunes, adapted to texts.
Mycale, a vocal quartet made up of four of the most highly individualistic and creative singers working today, more than does justice to the material. Basya Schechter has been making waves in the Jewish music world with her group Pharaoh’s Daughter. Ayelet Rose Gottlieb is an accomplished jazz singer and composer (her recording Mayim Rabim has been previously reviewed). Sofia Rei is one of the new leading voices in South American Jazz. Malika Zarra’s work combines North and Central African musics with jazz and European popular music. The combination of their diverse voices and stylistic inflections is constantly captivating; it is also striking to hear the counterpoint of Hebrew being sung in different lines with such different accents. The texts are from a variety of languages and sources, with Hebrew Bible being the focus and fit perfectly, as if the melodies were written for them. My only complaint is that this disc is full price for barely over half hour of music. Nonetheless, a must have.
Daniel Scheide, Librarian, Wimberly Library, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL; RAS Vice President, AJL; Chair Bibliography and Reference Book Award, AJL
— "Examiner" review of John Zorn’s Masada Marathon, NYC Opera, March 2011
“Last night, the New York City Opera held John Zorn’s Masada Marathon.(…) The a cappella group of Mycale - Basya Schechter, Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, Malika Zarra, and Sofia Rei - made the most out of their vocals alone and, for a moment, people may have been able to imagine the magical lure of the sirens - but without evil and the danger of drowning, naturally. “
Read the whole article here.
— "Feast of Music" about John Zorn’s Masada Marathon @NYC Opera, March 2011
"One of the more unique performances was by the all female acappella ensemble Mycale. They used words, sounds and vocal beats to bring the tunes to life. There’s something pure about a single voice filling a large room like that… it sends chills down my spine.”
New review of Mycale on Musica Jazz, the first Italian Jazz Magazine:
L’esplorazione musicale di John Zorn nei meandri più oscuri ed esoterici dell’Ebraismo, attraverso The Book of Angels, l’opera dedicata ai 111 angeli caduti e ispirata al misticismo Merkavah, incontra la purezza timbrica della pratica a cappella del quartetto vocale Mycale. La formazione, che prende il nome da una storica battaglia combattuta tra greci e persiani, è composta da quattro cantanti unite dalla loro poderosa capacità espressiva e dalla cangiante attitudine creativa. Il rapimento estatico prodotto dalle loro inflessioni madide di lussuria emozionale è di rara bellezza. Il flusso sonoro generato dalle loro voci disegna paesaggi d’incanto, il respiro dei canti Mizrachi, il cromatismo iridescente della tradizione sefardita, attraversando l’antico patrimonio berbero e gnawa per poi incontrare la repentina alternanza ritmica del jazz. I testi delle composizioni sono in lingua ebraica, yiddish, ladino, francese, spagnolo ed arabo e sono tratti da componimenti del poeta persiano Rumi, dalla Bibbia ebraica (Tanàkh) e da scritti del portoghese Fernando Pessoa. Uno dei lavori più suggestivi prodotti dalla Tzadik.