recess radio program

Ninna Nanna
    by John Cech

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That's Montserrat Figueras singing the Berber lullaby, "Amazigh," from an amazing recording of ancient and modern cradle songs called Ninna Nanna. This lullaby begins:

I met my big brother Sleep and he asked me: What are you carrying on your back?
I answered: the moon. The moon is very sad.
I asked her: Where is happiness? and she answered: Happiness is with others.

Ms. Figueras and an extraordinary group of musicians have produced a remarkable cycle of songs from Portugal and England, Greece and Russia, Spain and Germany, Israel and France and Morocco, sung in their native languages, accompanied by flute and bell, oud and drum, viola de gambe and guitar. Some of these songs are from as early as the 15th century and one was written as recently as 2002, by the Estonian composer, Arvo Pärt, sung here by Ms. Figueras and Arianna Savall.

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This is a magnificent grouping of songs -- elegant, thoughtful, artful, moving. They come from the eternal mother's heart, and no matter where we may be from, they sing to us all.

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Copyright 2006 John Cech

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"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."