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This production features recordings by early 20th century Turkish cantor Haim Effendi. He was first recorded in 1907 by Odeon Records in Turkey who released his first 78 rpm records. This recording vies for the honor of being the ﬁrst commercial Sephardi recording. This and other very early releases signaled the beginning of an era in Sephardi music that for all practical purposes continues to this very day. As Isaac Algazi of Izmir did shortly after him, Haim recorded liturgical pieces for diverse occasions (especially for the High Holidays) and songs in Ladino, amid other recordings in Turkish that are not represented in the present production. His repertoire, a cross-cut of what producers of the recording companies and the recording artist himself considered “recordable”, provides a fair picture of the state of Sephardi music in the large urban centers of the Ottoman Empire ca. 1890-1918.
Click to see Updates to the booklet of the CD (January 2010).