Istikhbars and Improvisations(イスティクバルと即興)

by Mustapha Skandrani

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. Paying supporters also get unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app.
    Purchasable with gift card

      name your price


  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Quality pressing 12" LP with an insert of Japanese / English liner notes. The inside of the outer sleeve is printed with geometrical pattern in black. Catalog #: EM1096LP

    Includes unlimited streaming of Istikhbars and Improvisations(イスティクバルと即興) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      ¥2,000 JPY or more 


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    A different cover art with the LP version. Fold out card board sleeve. English / Japanese liner notes.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Istikhbars and Improvisations(イスティクバルと即興) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 5 days

      ¥2,000 JPY or more 


  • Full Digital Discography

    Purchasable with gift card

      ¥34,170 JPY or more (40% OFF)




Mustapha Skandrani. Besides having an excellent name, this man, a luminary of Algerian music, possessed a unique musical sense, able to transcend the borders of musical cultures to create a distinctive fusion of Arabo-Andalusian and European styles.

"Istikhbars and Improvisations", recorded in 1965 in Paris, is a solo piano album presenting a trans-Mediterranean crossover based on traditional Algerian vocal pieces known as Istikhbars. Playing these istikhbars (which have roots in the Islamic Arabo-Andalusian culture which flourished in Spain) on the piano, that quintessentially European instrument, Skandrani was greeted with derision by some purists. Skandrani's powerful musical vision, however, perceives the European element involved in Arabo-Andalusian musical culture, a world of exchange and co-existence, and his decision to play this music on the piano reminds us of this European influence.

Skandrani's modus operandi on this release is to present each istikhbar, modal in nature, then to play an improvisation based on the istikhbar and its attendant mode. This A/B alternation continues throughout. The pellucid clarity of Skandrani's playing on this album may remind the listener of a modal Goldberg Variations, Bach and Glenn Gould transplanted to Andalucia. Other ears will hear the Arabic/Maghreb elements more strongly. Skandrani's precise touch and clear, symmetrical rhythmic sense links both worlds, assuring us that the Mediterranean is not a barrier, but a unifier, and that the differences between the cultures are not vast. This is an admirable acheivement, resulting in beautiful music of a rare charm.

Mustapha Skandrani was born in Algiers in 1920, and died there in 2005. He mastered a number of instruments at an early age, and his musical prowess led him to work with the great singers and ensembles of his day, in live performances, recordings, and radio broadcasts. Later in his life, he devoted much energy to education.

1. Mode: Raml Maya
2. Improvisations
3. Mode: Moual
4. Improvisations
5. Mode: Sika
6. Improvisations
7. Mode: Araq
8. Improvisations
9. Mode: Mezmoum
10. Improvisations
11. Mode: Sahli
12. Improvisations
13. Mode: Ghrib
14. Improvisations
15. Mode: Zidane
16. Improvisations
17. Mode: Kourdi
18. Improvisations


released January 30, 2021

アルジェリアの音楽家、ムスタファ・スカンドラニによるアンダルシア古典音楽のピアノ独奏名盤、アラビア版「ゴルトベルク変奏曲」こと『イスティクバルと即興』 (1965)。





all rights reserved


If you like Istikhbars and Improvisations(イスティクバルと即興), you may also like: