Two Ladino Songs
to Gwyneth Rollin)
Ladino Spanish Jews were sustained by a remarkable heritage of folk
songs during their dispersal across Europe, North and South America
after their exile from Spain in 1492.
The first song is Cuando El Rey Nimrod (When King Nimrod
went out to the field, he looked at the sky and the stars.
He saw a holy star over the Jewish quarter).
A rhetorical 3 bar introduction sets the piece in motion.
*As the violin intones the eloquent melody with its distinctive
eastern augmented intervals enriched by double stops, the piano weaves a
syncopated bass line with hints of Spanish rhythms.
The music then shifts to a higher key; the bass line of the piano
now carries the melody whilst the right hand plays the syncopated