Tsuzamen – Sirba Octet

Armenian, Yiddish and Gypsy Music
Sirba Records, janvier 2023

Tsuzamen (which means “Ensemble” in Yiddish) is the seventh album of the Sirba Octet, an ensemble founded in 2003 by the violinist Richard Schmoucler who wished to combine classical music with traditional music from Eastern Europe. This is the way a particular musical universe was born, which Richard Schmouclerc describes as “Classic World”.

This seventh CD, which features the excellent musicians of the Orchestre de Paris, the traditional cymbalist Iurie Morar and the always flamboyant arrangements of Cyrille Lehn, is a real delight for the listener who travels through Armenian, Jewish and Roma music: three peoples who have experienced exile, and whose paths are traced and cross each other across Europe.

Tsuzamen was originally conceived to be performed in a large scale, with the participation of a children’s choir alongside the eight musicians of the ensemble. The Children’s Choir of the Orchestre de Paris was thus introduced to the songs of three different cultures and three different languages. In Yiddish music, singing is part of the festivities, rituals, and the rhythm of life’s events. Armenian music, a mixture of folk and sacred music, refers to spirituality, philosophy and lyricism. Gypsy music reveals a great diversity of forms, sources and contents. It was nourished by the music of the natives that Roma, Gypsies and Manouches used to practise in their nomadism.

In the CD version, the choir is unfortunately missing, but the liveliness and the expressive palette of the musicians make us cross the borders and allow the music – Armenian, Jewish, Gypsy – to fraternize in the rhythms and the colors.

An intense and captivating journey!

The Sirba Octet is composed of:

Richard Schmoucler, violin & artistic director
Laurent Manaud-Pallas, violin
Grégoire Vecchioni, viola
Claude Giron, cello
Bernard Cazauran, contrebasse
Philippe Berrod, clarinet
Christophe Henry, piano
Iurie Morar, cymbalum
Cyrille Lehn, arranger


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