Grammy Award-winning ‘early music superstar’ Jordi Savall and two of his favourite ensembles, Hespèrion XXI and Tembembe Ensamble Continuo, are touring Australia in early 2018 with two jaw-droppingly ambitious programs of early and contemporary Latin American music from the ages.
Multi-instrumentalist, virtuoso, conductor, scholar, teacher and record label director, Jordi Savall defies categorisation. In a career spanning five decades he has produced 230 discs, with a focus on Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music. That career has however been characterized by a continual blurring of borders – between genres, past and present, east and west – all the while keeping Savall’s Spanish/Catalan roots at the heart of his music.
The first program, Folías Antiguas y Criollas: From the Ancient World to the New World, which spans music from the late Renaissance to popular music that survives today, will be performed on Wednesday 21 February in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall. The following evening a second program, Folías y Romanescas: The Golden Age Of The Viol, features Savall and an intimate Hespèrion XXI ensemble, including his long-time colleague harpist Andrew Lawrence-King, perform the exquisite ‘greatest hits’ of 16th and 17th-century Spanish, French and English music for the viola da gamba and continuo.
In 2014, Australian audiences thrilled to Savall’s Helpmann Award-winning The Jerusalem Project. In 2018, two ensembles – from the old world and the new – combine in a rich interweaving of musical cultures. Savall returns with some of the principal members of Hespèrion XXI, an international early music ensemble formed in Basel, Switzerland in 1974; the Grammy-winning harpist Andrew Lawrence-King (U.K.) and the renowned guitar player Xavier Diaz-Latorre (Spain). Also collaborating for this program is Mexico’s Tembembe Ensamble Continuo who is dedicated to exploring and recreating the musical connections between the Hispanic Baroque period and traditional music from Mexico and Latin America.
Jordi Savall says ‘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 – we create a world of emotion and beauty that we can’t wait to share with Australia this summer.’
Melbourne Recital Centre’s Director of Artistic Planning Marshall McGuire says: ‘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. Jordi Savall is simply one of the most important musicians working today. We’re delighted to welcome Jordi and his collaborators back.’
Wednesday 21 February 7.30pm
Folías Antiguas y Criollas: From the Ancient World to the New World
Thursday 22 February, 7.30pm
Folías y Romanescas: The Golden Age Of The Viol
Tickets from $75
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre
With the support of the Departament de Cultura of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Institut Ramon Llull
Supported by Yvonne von Hartel AM, Robert Peck AM, Rachel & Marten Peck of peckvonhartel architects
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