> Ostinato Hespèrion XXI, Jordi Savall [KM]: Classical Reviews- January 2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Antonio Valente

Gallarda Napolitana

Diego Ortiz

Zarabanda (Passamezzo antico V)
Romanesca (VII)
Passamezzo Moderno (II)
Ruggiero (Quinta pars IX)

Salomone Rossi

Sopra l'Aria di Ruggiero

Andrea Falconiero


Tarquinio Merula


Biagio Marini


Francisco Correa de Arrauxo

3 Glosas sobre Todo el mundo en general
Tarquinio Merula

Henry Purcell

Sonata a 2
3 parts upon a Ground

Johann Pachelbel

Kanon und Gigue


Greensleeves to a Ground
Canarios (improvisation)
Hespèrion XXI, Jordi Savall
Rec: December 2000, June 2001, Chiesa di San Giorgio, Morbio Inferore, Switzerland.
ALIA VOX AV 9820 [72.55]


I have been an unconditional fan of Jordi Savall for as long as I can remember. Since the very first time I heard his solo recording of viol music by Captain Tobias Hume, to his recent recording of Bachís Musical Offering - the best on disc -, by way of his many recordings of Spanish music, French music, such as Marin Marais, and so many others.

So, I was very excited to hear of this new recording, and, when I received it, put it in my CD player right away to hear his latest work. Alas, for the first time, I was truly disappointed by one of Savallís recordings. This is not so much because of the music itself, or the performance, but rather the programme of the disc.

On this new disc, Savall chose a unique way to select a program. Rather than choosing music from a specific period, composer, or nation, this disc is a selection of works based on variations. From well-known pieces, such as Pachelbelís Canon, to the beautiful improvisation on Canarios, which is a delightful example of how improvised music fits in the baroque idiom, these works are all magnificent on their own. But a certain amount of ennui sets in as the disc progresses - there is not enough variety in the music. Even though many different composers are represented, the type of music is always the same.

Any of these pieces would be one of the highlights on most of Savallís recordings, but the combination of more than 70 minutes of music with the same structure ends up being a bit too much. Listeners may enjoy some of the works, maybe even all of them, but this is not a disc to listen to in its entirety.

Kirk McElhearn

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