Monday, June 22, 2009

The soul of Albanians in songs

Lo so', adesso tutti voi direte : ma cosa c'entrano le canzoni con i viaggi.
Invece c'entrano perchè Gent è stato il primo amore (aimè platonico) di Lina e all'annuncio dei festeggiamenti del primo compleanno Gent ha voluto dare il suo contributo. Uomo meraviglioso (bellissimo), bravo nella sua professione, conoscitore di almeno 5 lingue (alla perfezione) Gent ci regala questa pagina meravigliosa.
Grazie Gent.. di cuore !
(questa era la prefazione di Lina)

During their existence , Albanians have known almost all the biggest civilisations, have prayed the pagan Gods, Jesus Christ and Mohammed.

They have known expansion, occupation, separation and disintegration, civil war, famine, autarky and prosperity. They have lived under almost every political and economical system known: from feudalism to communism, from sultanates to monarchy, from anarchy to dictatorship.
One thing has always been close to Albanian's heart throughout their existence: Music and singing.

Prosper Merimé has described Albanian folklore as being the richest in the world. Albanians sing when a baby is born and when they bury someone. Lullabies and laments are very important kinds of Albanian folk songs, and are generally performed by solo women.

Understanding the Albanian true soul identity has been a hard thing to percieve for non Albanians. Much of true soul of Albanias is importantly embodied in these solo woman. Retrospectively, I will present here some of the most important Albanian female solo singer artists of the last century.

Tefta Tashko Koco

She embodies the divinity element in the Albanian soul.
(1910-1942) Studied at the Conservatoire National de Musique de Paris, cristaline intonation, brilliant vocal technique. She recorded twice for Columbia in Italy, in 1937 and 1942, a selection of the classical vocal repertoire and 45 Albanian urban lyric songs. Below is a youtube video of the urban lyric song : “ Zare”. Zare is an Albanian female given name. The songs is about the joy of love and flirtation.

Vace Zela

The proud ( yet humble), energetic and strength element in the Albanian soul.
Born in 1939, she is the legendary Albanian female singer. To catch the essence of Vace Zela you should imagine Edith Piath and Janis Joplin singing together.. Extremely powerful voice, an absolute winner (won 10 times the Albanian Song Contest) and beloved by the public.She sang the rock, blues, jazz, pop and folk music. Below is a youtube video of the song “Lemza” in English “ The Sob”. For Albanians, when you sob, someone is thinking about you. The song is about the telepathic connection between two lovers. The second youtube video is taken from the soundtrack of one of the classic Albanian movies “ Ne shtëpine tone” (“Home” )

Nexhmije Pagarusha
The nightgale of Kosova ( Kosova Albanian), she embodies the epic, heroic, larger then life element in the Albanian soul.
It is very hard to say, which genre she belongs to, because she sang almost all of them. Her interpretations in folk music were exactly as perfect as her interpretations in the classic music, especially opera. Below is a youtube video of a ballet inspired from her most famous song “ Baresha” “ The shepherd” ( female), a performance during the Albanian television show “ Portokalli”

the original song is below:

Lindita Theodhori

She embodies the carefree, spontaneity element in the soul of Albanians.
A touch of sexyness always accompanied her songs. Below is the video of the song to which she owes her celebrity: “ Kafe Flora” from the 11th Festival Song contest ( in the video first comes Vace Zela with the song “Naten vone” “ Late at night” and then Lindita Theodhori with the song “ Kafe Flora”. The song stirred a scandal because of the lyrics. ( Kafe flora burra plot, Café Flora ,it’s all about men)

Marina Grabovari

She embodies the mystery and the illusory element in the soul of Albanians.
My favorite!
Won the Song Festival in 1982 singing “ Nje Djep Ne Barrikae”” A cradle in the barricade” in which the communist Party and the dictator Enver Hoxha is explicitly glorified.. “ We are communists, suns of Enver”, she sings. She subsequently sang “ Mesnate” “At Midnight” and unexpectedly disappeared from the musical scene after encountering a enormous success among the public.. “Mesnate” is my favourite Albanian “musique légère” song, a song that Golfrapp would envy ( to be noted also the physical resemblance of Marina with Alison Goldfrapp) Below is a youtube video of the song,

Anita Bitri

Embodies the element of fatality in the soul of Albanians.
Succesful, but a love-hate relationship with the public due to her exuberance. Found dead in 2004 at her NYC apartment along with her 8 year old daughter and 66 years old mother due to an accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Below is a youtube video of the song “ Dashuria e pare”, “ The First Love”.

Parashqevi Simaku

She was the number one star of Albanian “musique légère” in the 80’s and early 90’s, embodiment of optimism, radiance and a liberation element in the soul of Albanians.
Below is a collage of her different participations in the Song contests in years.

My name is Gent A. Hoxhati, I write about the influence of music and lyrics upon us and this is my contribution for the "1st Balkan-Crew-Anniversary"!

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Jagoda said...

olè !
gent le man
su balkan-crew !!!
ma dai.. neanche ci credo tanto sono contenta...
come si dice in albanese vieni a torino che ti sbaciucchio tutto ??
vrasin një Torino ju me Kisses

Jagoda said...

emmhhh.. ma mi sbaglio gent o manca il secondo amore mio.. il brunetto west ?

e poi un piccolo incitamento all'uomo più favoloso dell'abania, mister 10% :
forza edi !!!

Anonymous said...

Votoni per Edin!!

Jagoda said...

Brava Lina,hai messo le canzoni perle della musica leggera Albanese,sei da vero una brava mediatrice di cultura,la mia simpatia e per te anche per la tua cuore e l'amiciza versso i altri.

no rifat
i complimenti vanno a te
sei una favola !!
il post non è mio ma di gent, un avvocato di xxxxx
ma non so' come ringraziarti per aver commentato...
grazie grazie infinite
ci hai fatto un bellissimo regalo !