Jordi Savall, who was born in 1941 in Catalonian Igualada, has been promoting the music of past centuries since the early 1970s – as a gambist, conductor, and university lecturer, besides as the founder of instrumental ensembles, record labels and the most varied of musical projects. The early music of the Iberian peninsula is particularly close to this versatile musician’s heart, and it has experienced a veritable renaissance in the past decades through Savall’s work. But Savall’s spirit of discovery has repeatedly filled him with enthusiasm about musical traditions of other cultures that have been forgotten, whereby his contribution – the New York Times has written – constitutes “not only the rediscovery of early music, but rather its creative revival”.
The programme of this concert conducted by Savall in the Chamber Music Hall of the Philharmonie features on the one hand works by Spanish composers of the 16th and 17th centuries, some of whose music was already known in both North and South America while the composers were alive. On the other hand, you can experience a series of airs by unknown Irish composers of the 18th century, published as a collection in Boston in 1833. The Mexican Tembembe Ensamble Continuo, which kicked off in 1998 and devotes itself to researching and performing early music from Latin America, is also in on the action on this exciting musical journey of discovery through time and across continents. For years they have been associated in close artistic collaboration with the Ensemble Hespèrion XXI founded by Jordi Savall.