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.