Folías Antiguas y Criollas: From the Ancient World to the New World



Folías Antiguas y Criollas – From the Ancient World to the New World

Jordi Savall, Hespèrion XXI and the dazzling Mexican early music group Tembembe Ensamble Continuo tell the secret history of the vibrant musical exchange between Europe and the Americas.

From Argentina to the Caribbean to Mexico, the Spanish Empire stretched the length of a continent, encompassing the highly sophisticated cultures of the Inca, the Taíno, the Mexica, among others, whose music began to infiltrate and blend with the Renaissance and Baroque music of the colonists, missionaries and conquistadors. Savall notes that ‘these old and new Creole folias transport us back in time. These musical forms evolved after the ‘discovery’ of the Americas. Gold wasn’t the only thing that Spain took from the Americas – it also brought the lively dance rhythms of Indigenous, African and Creole music back to Europe. With new variations, played on early instruments with passion and energy.’ Folias Antiguas y Criollas retraces the journeys of music between Spain and Latin America, journeys brought to life on stage as the two premiere early music groups of Europe and Mexico meet in an exuberant celebration of song, dance and globe-spanning friendship.

Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre


The cosmopolitan music of Spain and Latin America from the 16th to 18th centuries.


Jordi Savall, viola da gamba and direction
Hespèrion XXI
Tembembe Ensamble Continuo

About Jordi Savall

Jordi Savall is an adventurer in space and time. For more than three decades he has devoted himself to recreating the sound of the past, taking listeners on grand tours of discovery into remotest antiquity and distant lands. With his blend of scholarship, imagination and intuition, Savall has forged a legendary career as the world’s leading exponent of the exquisitely expressive viola da gamba and as a leader of three ensembles of virtuoso period instruments. There is something miraculous about Savall’s playing: a sense that no matter how fragmentary or obscure the source, music simply, movingly blooms at his touch.

‘Jordi Savall is beloved by Melbourne Recital Centre audiences, who have immersed themselves in the gorgeous sound-worlds he creates in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. Jordi’s spellbinding artistry, profound understanding and the soul that he communicates in his playing make his concerts unforgettable experiences, and ones that invite us to consider the big ideas – peace, globalisation, cultural conflict and exchange.’ Marshall McGuire, Melbourne Recital Centre Director of Artistic Planning

About Hespèrion XXI

With a repertoire that encompasses the period between the 10th and 18th centuries, Hespèrion XXI searches continuously for new points of union between the East and West, with a clear desire for integration and for the recovery of international musical heritage, especially that of the Mediterranean basin and its links to the New World. Thanks to the outstanding work of numerous musicians and collaborators who have worked with the ensemble over all these years Hespèrion XXI still plays a key role in the recovery and reappraisal of the musical heritage, and one that has great resonance throughout the world. The group has published more than 60 CDs and performs concerts for the whole world, appearing regularly at the great international festivals of ancient music.

About Tembembe Ensamble Continuo

Tembembe Ensamble Continuo is a chamber group dedicated to the research and recording of Hispanic baroque music and the traditional son of Mexico and Latin America, tracing the link between the traditional Mexican son and other musical currents including African and indigenous American influences. Tembembe is named after the river that crosses the Mexican state of Morelos where the group rehearsed and began its research. Like the river, which is formed from many gorges, Tembembe’s work is the result of many efforts. Tembembe’s performances are a fascinating hybrid of European Baroque and indigenous Mexican and Latin American sounds, blending two traditions at the moment when they melded into one.