O Jerusalem! City of Three Faiths

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O Jerusalem! City of Three Faiths
Apollo's Fire, Baroque Orchestra, Jeannette Sorrell

[ AVIE / CD ]

Release Date: Friday 11 February 2022

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Jerusalem: "The place where everything is music… and brothers and strangers are one."13th-century Persian poet Rumi

The crossroads of Christianity, Judaism and Islam create the backdrop to O! Jerusalem, a scintillating live recording by Apollo's Fire that interweaves the lives and music of the peoples who have inhabited the "City on a Hill" since Biblical times. Conceived and directed by Jeanette Sorrell, Grammy Award-winning founder of Apollo's Fire, O Jerusalem! conjures a tour of the Old City's four quarters - Christian, Jewish, Arab and Armenian - and the confluence of the communities' sacred and secular music from 1200 - 1650.

This colourful and vibrant programme - featuring musicians of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian backgrounds - premiered to packed audiences in New York City, Chicago, and the ensemble's home base of Cleveland where this recording was captured live. O! Jerusalem follows in the footsteps of Sephardic Journey (AV2361), one of ten Apollo's Fire releases to debut in Billboard's Classical Chart Top 10.

"Programmed with real vision and beautifully performed, this is a mesmerising portrait of Old Jerusalem reimagined through sound." BBC Music

"In short, with this new album, Apollo's Fire present a timely, sumptuous and refreshing vision of peace for 2022." Gramophone



1. Ir me kero, Madre, a Yerushalayim (I want to go to Jerusalem, mother…) 4:12
2. Kuando el Rey Nimrod (Avram Avinu) 2:42
Jeffrey Strauss, baritone | Amanda Powell, soprano | Sorab Wadia, tenor
Sephardic Medieval/traditional songs, arr. J. Sorrell


3. Taxim - Daphna Mor, ney 3:54
Ir me quería yo por este caminico
Daphna Mor & Sorab Wadia, Hebrew narration | Amanda Powell, soprano
Traditional/Medieval Sephardic, arr. J. Sorrell after Cantor Jalda Reblingr

4. Tzur mishelo achalnu (The Lord our Rock) 2:47
Daphna Mor, vocals
Medieval Hebrew poem, arr. D. Mor & J. Sorrell

5. Nani Nani (Lullaby) 4:59
Amanda Powell, soprano
Traditional Sephardic ballad, arr. J. Sorrell & A. Powell

6. A la Una yo nací (At One I was Born) 3:33
Sorab Wadia, tenor | Ronnie Malley, accordion
Traditional Sephardic ballad, arr. J. Sorrell


7. Havun-Havun 2:52
René Schiffer, cello | Sue Yelanjian, contrabass

8. Taxim - Ronnie Malley, oud 2:10

9. Longha Farahfaza 2:45
Traditional Arabic/Riad al Sunbati


10. Muslim Call to Prayer - Ronnie Malley & Rex Benincasa 1:05

11. Sancta Maria succure miseris 2:52
Medieval plainchant

12. Nigra sum sed Formosa 3:51
Jacob Perry, tenor | William Simms, theorbo
Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) - Vespers of 1610

13. Gloria Patri 2:23
Jacob Perry, tenor | Nathan Hodgson, echo tenor
Claudio Monteverdi - Vespers of 1610

14. Taxim - Brian Kay, oud 4:34
Tzur mishelo achalnu (The Lord our Rock)
Jeffrey Strauss, baritone | Sorab Wadia, tenor
Medieval Hebrew prayer, arr. J. Sorrellh

15. Ki eshmera Shabbat (If I Guard the Sabbath) 3:59
Jeffrey Strauss, baritone
Medieval Sephardic liturgical chant, arr. J. Strauss/J. Sorrell/R. Schiffer


16. Longha Nahawand 5:11
Improvisations by Tina Bergmann, hammered dulcimer and Emi Tanabe, violin
Traditional Arabic/Turkishk

17. Santa Maria, Strela do Dia 4:21
Amanda Powell, soprano | Brian Kay, tenor
Cantiga #100 from the Cantigas de Santa Maria Codex, c. 1250, arr. J. Sorrell