Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jordi Savall & Istanbul: Dimitrie Cantemir: "The Book of Science of Music"

My mum has a thing about Gérard Depardieu so when I was little we watched a lot of Tout Les Matins du Monde and other such films.

Appreciate the beauty of poor Guillaume (Depardieu's late son), ignore his frankly embarrassing miming and listen to this music.

The soundtrack to Tout Les Matins du Monde made a huge impression on me when I was little, although I didn't research who it was by until later in life.

It turned out to be Jordi Savall, a Catalan composer & musician credited for being largely responsible for bringing the viola de gamba back to 'the stage'.

The viol is a six stringed Renaissance/Baroque instrument that is the precursor to the violin. It is played like the cello but has the sloped neck of modern violins and an entirely different sound due to the the gut strings.

This is Jordi Savall and the group he formed, Hespèrion XXI. This piece of music was written in 1490.

Anyhow the point of this post is that I have just discovered one particularly incredible Jordi Savall album from that I want to share. I can't describe how I feel about this music so I urge you to buy the mp3's off Amazon.

It's the kind of music that transports you to back to a time you were never even alive.

"Following up on the huge success of Orient-Occident and Jerusalem, prepare yourself to cross borders. This new release is mainly based on 'The Book of Science of Music,' published in 1710 by the Moldavian prince Dimitrie Cantemir, after many years spent in Istanbul. This unique manuscript enables us to discover rare jewels of Turkish traditional music. Jordi Savall already included some of the pieces from this collection in his album Orient-Occident, but he decided to explore it further in order to reveal the magic of the incredible city of Istanbul. This city portrait wouldn't have been complete without selections from the fascinating Armenian and Sephardic repertoire that was also familiar in Istanbul during this time. Once again, Maestro Savall sheds new light on a Golden Age of cultural dialogue, with the help of Hesperion XXI and outstanding Turkish and Armenian guest musicians."

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