Original sound: Venetian music with Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI

Jordi Savall (photo: David Ignaszewski)

Off to Venice! The Italian lagoon city was one of the great centres of music in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the magnificent churches and palaces, a new musical style developed: virtuosic, emotionally charged, and dance-like. Avant-garde genres such as ricercar, capriccio, canzon and sonata as well as new dances gave the audience unexpected listening experiences. This “musica nova” inspired the music world throughout Europe, as the gambist Jordi Savall, a doyen of the Early Music scene, and his ensemble Hespèrion XXI demonstrate in this concert.

Hespèrion XXI

Jordi Savall direction and treble viol

Philippe Pierlot alto and bass viol

Lixsania Fernández tenor viol

Lorenz Duftschmid bass viol

Xavier Puertas violone

Enrike Solinis guitar and theorbo

David Mayoral percussion

Musica nova 1500–1700

Venetian influences on European Music: Ricercari, Capricci, Canzone, Sonate, Danze et Variazioni

Dates and Tickets


Jordi Savall

Jordi Savall is a visionary, a thinker and a revolutionary – one of the icons of historical performance practice and a grand master on the gamba. As the leader of the early music ensembles Hespèrion XXI, Le Concert des Nations and La Capella Reial de Catalunya, all of which he founded with the soprano Montserrat Figueras, he has rediscovered forgotten sounds from many centuries: works from the Renaissance and the French Baroque, music of Galicia, Algeria, Italy, the Sephardic Jews and the Arabian cultural sphere. The exceptional musician, who was born in northern Catalonia in 1941, has reached a wide audience of all ages through his collaboration in Alain Corneau’s film The Seventh String, which received a César award for the best film music, his extensive concert appearances and more than 230 recordings. He releases lavishly produced editions on his own CD label, Alia Vox, in which he recounts stories from distant lands and eras, about Charles V and the conquest of Constantinople, about Don Quixote, Joan of Arc, Christopher Columbus and slavery. Jordi Savall and his ensembles have also expanded their repertoire to include Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert.

Hespèrion XXI

Hespèrion XX, which has appeared under the name Hespèrion XXI since 2000, was founded in 1974 by Jordi Savall and the singer Montserrat Figueras together with bassoonist Lorenzo Alpert and lutenist Hopkinson Smith in Basel, which was the centre of early music at that time: an international early music ensemble that is one of the best of its kind. Fascinated by the immense richness of European music – “Hesperia” was the name for the two westernmost European peninsulas in antiquity – and inspired by their passion for performing the music of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Baroque period from a new and historically informed perspective, Hespèrion XXI has preserved countless, often unpublished, works from obscurity and contributed to a new interpretation of early music. For Jordi Savall, “Music is the first language of human beings and the only language with which we can come in direct contact with other people and cultures. Music never leads to misunderstandings.” Hespèrion XXI makes music and selects its repertoire entirely in keeping with this philosophy, with an emphasis on the Iberian and Mediterranean tradition. The ensemble appears throughout the world and performs at all the international early music festivals. Hespèrion has released more than 60 albums, which have received various awards, including a Grammy.