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Lullabies of the World
Full track-listing below
rec. 2011-13, various locations
Texts; translations into English and German
CARUS 83.012 [68:50]

This release is part of a project promoting singing with children called ‘Liederprojekt’ which is being supported by Carus. It takes lullabies from around the world accompanied by traditional instruments, recorded exclusively for this release. Thus the pacifying ritual - to quote from the disc’s promotional material - is given a degree of universality: from China to Latvia to the Canary Isles and much more besides. There’s a song representing North America and one from New Zealand but oddly nothing from Great Britain.
 
The multi-media project has a digital representation and there are sing-along texts available free of charge and arrangements available for download. The lullabies were largely all recorded in Berlin and the trio of producers - Jens Tröndle, Ramesh Weeratunga and Andreas Koslik - were responsible for inviting the musicians to record for the project. Accompaniments are largely simple, and sometimes effectively traditional - for instance the Russian lullaby is accompanied by the bayan accordion, guitar and domra and marimba. Given the obviously good intentions it seems churlish to complain, though several times I couldn’t help but feel some of the arrangements redolent of modish World Music. The Maori example sounds over-burdened by keyboards and conga to me. Still, this is hardly the last word in Caedmon-like authenticity and it’s probably ungracious of me to wonder whether why one of the singers in the American song doesn’t sound terribly American. Or why the Latvian song sounds terribly generic.
 
Still, whilst I respect the undertaking I also want to take it seriously and to note some concerns. Why is the Hungarian lullaby so much like a pop song and why is the cimbalom accompaniment so half-hearted? Only the singer is Hungarian; the others, who include the semi-ubiquitous Tröndle, are not. It seems cruel indeed to play the Greek example to a child, so laboured is it with percussive shimmer - Weeratunga plays a battery of overdubbed instruments here. Koslik is also a pretty ubiquitous figure, often on bass guitar. The lullabies are at their best and most convincing when not encumbered in this way. For this reason the Norwegian one, a Grieg setting for solo voice in an arrangement by Gunnar Eriksson, is very beautifully done by Hildegunn Hovde. Alas, there’s a ghastly Czech piece - I can think of many others they could have used - sung by Joe Kučera. One of the German songs, called Der Mond ist aufgegangen (The Moon has risen), is for voice and double-bass and rather jazzy it is too. So I suppose I can’t have it both ways. If unconventional arrangements are de rigueur one shouldn’t be too snooty about the ones that appeal far less to me.
 
The booklet is colourful and attractive. For all that I remain unconvinced by a number of these settings, I wish the concept well. If it sends children to sleep that’s well and good.
 
Jonathan Woolf  

 
Full track-listing
1 Baju, bajuschki, baju (Jens Tröndle) 3:19Elena Danko
2 Fais dodo (Andreas Koslik) 2:56Bérangère Palix2
3 Hine e hine (Ramesh Weeratunga) 2:36 Huia Hamon
4 All the pretty little horses (Andreas Koslik) 2:55 Richard Arame Shannon Callahan
5 Aija, zuzu (Andreas Koslik) 2:17 Diana Moon Cerné
6 Yalla tnam Rima (Ramesh Weeratunga) 2:24 Momo Djender
7 Csija buja (Jens Tröndle) 2:06 Éva Csermák
8 Guten Abend, gut Nacht op. 49, 4 1:50 Ingeborg Danz
9 Nani tou riga to pedi (Ramesh Weeratunga) 2:55 Vassilios Vougiatzis
10 Dandini dandini dastana (Andreas Koslik) 2:29 Filiz Solak
11 Thula baba (Ramesh Weeratunga) 2:47 Djatou Touré
12 Itsuki no Komori-uta (Andreas Koslik) 2:37 Yuka Otsuki Solist(in)
13 Jasoda Hari palne (Ramesh Weeratunga) 4:21 Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay
14 Gjendines badnlat (Gunnar Eriksson) 3:43 Hildegunn Hovde
15 Dorme, dorme, meu menino (Ramesh Weeratunga) 2:47 Amelia Janes
16 Hraju na Maru (Ramesh Weeratunga) 2:29 Joe Kucera
17 Akna Oror 2:49 Anahit Papayan
18 Dal a, dal a (Jens Tröndle) 1:33 Yoo-Seon Lee
19 Der Mond ist aufgegangen (Andreas Koslik) 2:32 Lisa Bassenge
20 Arrorro (Ramesh Weeratunga) 2:03 Michelle Terri Almgill
21 Fate la nanna coscine di pollo (Jens Tröndle) 2:39 Francesca Tidoni Solist(in)
22 Tuu, tuu, tupakkarulla (Jens Tröndle) 1:56 Reijo Kekkonen
23 Shlof main fegele (Jens Tröndle) 1:18 Christian Dawid
24 Slaap, kindje slaap (Jens Tröndle) 2:43 Niek van Oosterum
25 Yue er ming (Andreas Koslik) 5:44 Yijuan Zhang 

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