Film by Uli Aumüller (Germany 2003)
The Catalan musician Jordi Savall is not only one of the most famous viola da gamba players of our time, he is also a musical scholar, an innovator and inspiration in Early Music interpretation, the founder-director of various ensembles (most notably Hespèrion XXI) as well as of his own label. Uli Aumüller’s film concentrates on aspects and facets of the great musician’s personality: “The first shot: Jordi Savall in close-up. The music that Jordi Savall brings to life must be formed in its most finely woven microtonal fibres and layers, and so it is fascinating to follow this work in detail and watch the musical microcells take shape on the screen. What must these hands, these fingertips do in order to obtain such fine nuances from a vibrating string the way a sculptor creates a work from a piece of stone or wood? During a solo concert in Kraków’s St. Bernard’s Church, interpreting a work by “Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe”, the team “gets so close up and personal that you can see every grain of dust vibrating along with the strings”. Then we see Savall with the ensemble Hespèrion XXI in the Raphael Hall of Sanssouci Palace at Potsdam. Jordi Savall also reveals himself with his family: his wife, the late soprano Montserrat Figueras (who died in 2011), their daughter Arianna (harpist and singer) and their son Ferran (lutenist and singer), the four of whom sometimes performed together. The film observes the family in conversation as well as in the act of communicating and interacting through music..