As Brazil was DISCOVERED



Created and directed by Brazilian-born Myrna Herzog, this project was launched in the year 2000, marking 500 years of the Discovery of Brazil. With the initial title "Thro' seas where sail as never spread before"- a translation of Luis de Camões' famous "Por Mares nunca dantes navegados" - it was presented as a show which joined 16th century music and texts to retell the fascinating story of the discovery and initial occupation of Terra Brasilis.

Embarking in an imaginary trip to the past, one is able to participate in the first look and adventures of Europeans, New Christians and Africans in the land of the Tupinambá Indians. Among songs and stories of the discovery, and to the sound of the instruments of the time (violas da gamba, lute, crumhorns, rebec, recorders and dulcians), one strolls side by side with Caminha, Vespúcio, Villegagnon, Hans Staden, Jesuits, African slaves, Indians and Jews (from Gaspar da Gama of Cabral's fleet, through Fernando de Noronha, to sugar master Diogo Fernandes and the Inquisition).


This Album contains the musical part of the project. The Renaissance musical repertoire includes pieces by Vicente Lusitano, Jacob Arcadelt, Diego Ortiz, Encina, Josquin, Isaac, Goudimel, Senfl and from 16th century Portuguese, Spanish and Sephardic songbooks.

The literary part (published in the full version of this project) includes poems by Cecília Meirelles and Fernando Pessoa and 16th century texts by Camões, Caminha, Castanheda, Américo Vespúcio, Pietro Rondinelli, Schmidt, Jerônimo de Albuquerque, Jean de Léry, Manuel da Nóbrega, Hans Staden, the first Visit of the Inquisition, Chronicles of the Society of Jesus, etc., selected and adapted by Myrna Herzog.


Ensemble PHOENIX on period instruments:

Myrna Herzog - concept, research, musical director
Miriam Meltzer - soprano
Boaz Davidoff – tenor, percussion
Benny Hendel - narrator
Lilia Slavny - treble viol, rebec 
Uri Smilansky - tenor viol, recorders, crumhorns
Myrna Herzog – bass viol, kemence, crumhorns
Alexander Fine - dulcians, crumhorns, recorder
Isidoro Roitman - lute


Album Tracks :

01 Cancioneiro de Elvas, Portugal, 16th century - Tu gitana que adeviñas
02 Cancioneiro Masson 56, Portugal, 16th century - Senhora del mundo
03 Sephardic Passover song - Este el pan
04 Cancioneiro de Elvas -Ya cantan los gallos
05 Cancioneiro de Elvas - Que he o que vejo
06 Josquin des Près (c.1450-1521) -Missa Pange Lingua : Kyrie
07 King Alphonso X, the Wise (1221-1284) - Gran Dereit

08 Diego Ortiz - Recercada upon Felici occhi miei (1553)
09 Diego Ortiz - Recercada quinta pars (1553)

10 Cancioneiro del Palacio - Malos adalides fueron
11 Juan del Encina (1498-1534) - Fata la parte

12 Sephardic tradition - Hija mia, mi querida
13 Sephardic tradition - Durme, mi angelico
14 Sephardic tradition - Morena me llaman/ Cuando veo hija hermosa

15 Josquin des Prés & Luys de Narvaez (fl. 1530-1550) - Mille Regretz
16 Anon, 16th century: Hola he, par la vertu goy
17 Claude Goudimel (1510-1572) - Psalm V (sung in Rio de Janeiro on March 10, 1557)

18 Tielman Susato (1551) - Dance of the dark skinned

19 Heinrich Isaac (c.1450-1517) - Insbruck, ich muss dich lassen
20 H. Isaac - Maudit soyt
21 Ludwig Senfl (?-1555) - Patientia
22 H. Isaac - Donna di dentro
23. H. Isaac - La la hö hö

25 Vicente Lusitano (c.1520-a.1560) - Heu me Domine (1553)
26 Manuel Machado (c.1585-1646) - Dos estrellas le siguen

27 Cancioneiro de Elvas - A la villa voy


Recorded on September 24, 25 and 26 of 2000, at Christ Church, Jerusalem, Israel.
Recording, editing and mastering: Ben Bernfeld
Cover: "Terra Brasilis" of the Miller Atlas, a Portuguese richly illustrated atlas dated from 1519 [3431 x 2422]
Cover Design: Myrna Herzog

Our sincere thanks to Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan; Rev. Neil Cohen, the Christ Church, Jerusalem; Manoel and Maria João Cardoso Lopes, Eliahu Feldman, Leon and Yvonne Herzog, Martin Kirnbauer, Chester Pearlman, Miri Rotem, Robert Strassler, Ricardo Tacuchian and Frida Wolff.


Cabral cheg Oscar Pereira da Silva Museu Historico Nacional

 “A literary-musical tapestry, a beautiful voyage into the dawn of the Age of Discoveries, its colors and cares, explored within a refined musical treatment… All this is enveloped in an exquisite sonorous mantle dominated by the sound of violas da gamba, trademark of the PHOENIX ensemble." Luiz Paulo Horta, O Globo, Brazil

"Carefully-chosen texts interwoven among the musical selections… Good musicians, and a refreshing concept clearly prepared with conscientious research." Judith Cohen, A short bibliography of Sephardic Music

"The highly attractive, almost entirely unknown program, and its fascinating performance revived the exciting experience and moods of a major historical event." Ury Eppstein, The Jerusalem Post, Israel

 "Dear Phoenix ensemble, I have been listening to your music for quite a while now - I always enjoy your concerts and I also have several of your CDs (my favorite now is "Por Mares Nunca Dantes Navegados" [launching title of the CD in its Portuguese version]. It is wonderful! I can't stop listening to it). I felt like I had to write a note of thanks for the beauty which you bring to us, your audience, your listeners. I am continuously touched, invigorated, intrigued, moved -- by the pieces you play, the quality of your performance, the energy that emanates from your music, the sense of joint artistry which characterizes every performance, both live and recorded.  Thank you all, and especially thanks to Myrna Herzog". Bracha Nir, PhD, University of Haifa.