Is this a CD, a book, or a multi-media package? Is this early music, archive recording or new music? Is this classical, sacred, ethnic, or world music? Is this entertainment or scholarship? Is this Eastern or Western music? Is this classical music helping to change the world? Is this digital content or a visual feast? Is this my CD of the year? Is the music really spanning one thousand years? Is this a great humanitarian statement or a coffee table book? Is this music for a virtuoso audience? Is there really no MP3 download option? Is this music for innocent ears? Is this the perfect Christmas present? Is this 435 page full colour volume a statement that small is no longer beautiful? Is this a record? Is this the future of recorded music? The answer on all counts is yes. Or, in other words, this is Jordi Savall's latest project.
Jerusalem originated as a concert series commissioned by the Cité de la Musique in Paris to celebrate the three major monotheistic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam. This was developed by the creative team of Montserrat Figueras, Manuel Forcano and Jordi Savall into a celebration of the grandeur and folly that marks the history of the city of Jerusalem. Everything about Jordi Savall's latest project is epic. The cast includes the usual musicians from Spain, France, England, Belgium and Greece that make up Hespèrion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya. In addition there are Jewish and Palestinian singers and instrumentalists from Israel, as well as from Iraq, Armenia, Turkey, Morocco and Syria. The music from Palestine is played by the Sufi Group Al- Darwish. As well as music from Jerusalem's time as a Jewish, Christian, Arab and Ottoman city there are pleas for peace in Arabic, Hebrew, Armenian and Latin, plus a 1950 archive recording of a Hymn to the victims of Auschwitz recorded in 1950 by Shlomo Katz and a closing fanfare composed by Jordi Savall in 2008.
The beautifully balanced programme is sequenced into seven 'chapters' on two 78 minute hybrid CDs supported by a lavish colour book with background articles in eight langauges. The performances are outstanding, even by Jordi Savall's uncompromising standards. The sound quality surpasses demonstration level. There is really no need to review Jerusalem. Timothy Leary once said 'thinking is the best way to travel'. Well, I've found an even better way. Buy Jordi Savall's latest project.
Listen to Jordi Savall in conversation with me here.
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