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War and Peace 1614-1714
La Capella Reial de Catalunya; Le Concert des Nations
Hespèrion XXI/Jordi Savall
rec. 1996-2013, Collégiale de Cardona and l’Abbaye de Fontfroide, à la Chapelle Royale du Château de Versailles
SACD/CD Hybrid, 5.0 multi-channel and stereo
396 page booklet in French, English, Castellano (Spanish), German, Catalan, Italian
Reviewed in surround.
ALIA VOX AVSA9908 SACD [75.54 + 77.51]

This appears to be a small format coffee-table book which just happens to have a pair of SACDs inserted into the back and front covers. It is printed on thick shiny paper and is bursting with colour illustrations and photographs. The 396 pages cover the same set of essays in six different languages. The main publicity is in French, as above, but the booklet pages from 70 to 121 are a full account in English of the aims of the issue along with details of the music and performers.

To work out exactly who is involved in each performance takes some cross-referencing between listings on different pages. There is a heart-felt essay on War and Peace by Jordi Savall which needs to be read to get an overview of the music. About half is a considered commentary on the development of music in the period 1614 to 1714.

The latter part is an emotional call for peace and understanding between nations. There is more about the music in the essay entitled 'A century of music in Europe'. The historical events are summarised in another article and still more essays are essentially anti-war rhetoric but they serve the important purpose of making the reader think about our unfortunate tendency to kill each other rather than negotiate around a table. The issue could not be more timely and all the essays make interesting reading. From a listener's standpoint a little more about the music would have been welcome but since this issue contains very few complete works and is more of a potpourri, the information given is sufficient for the purpose.

The listing below shows that many contemporary composers from all over Europe are represented, along with a sprinkling of music from the Ottoman Empire played on authentic instruments. Savall and his Hesperion XXI musicians show their usual chameleon-like ability to perform on all known instruments. Whether performing some oriental dance or a Handel masterpiece they always sound totally authentic. The whole 155 minutes has been either recorded in or remixed to five channel surround to magnificent effect. This is a demonstration disc if ever I heard one. The impression of space is very convincing without obscuring the many details of instrumentation or the words.

All sung texts are present with parallel translations. There is a tiny burst of sound caused by an editing error in tr.17 of CD 1. This will make you jump but does not require a health warning. The work of Manuel Mohino in preparing this complex recording must be acknowledged. He shows just how good SACD surround can be.

Dave Billinge

Previous review: Simon Thompson

Contents List
The following includes the historic events to which each group of musical items is referenced.
CD 1
Introduction

1. Pavane pour la petite « guaire » (guerre), fait pour les Cornetz en 1601 Anonyme (Mss. Philidor) [2.17]

1613 L’Empire ottoman attaque la Hongrie
Makam « Muhayyer pesrev » – Marche Guerrière Ottomane. Anonyme (instr.)
2. Taksim [1.13]
3. Marche Turque [3.31]

Du début de la Guerre de Trente Ans au Traité de Nimègue 1614 - 1689

1614 Massacre des juifs à Francfort
4. Ha lahma ‘anya – Plainte en Araméen [2.28]

1618 Prague, début de la Guerre de Trente Ans
5. Galliard Battaglia à 5 Voci. Cantus XXI Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654) [3.18]

1624/25 Breda est assiégée par les troupes espagnoles
6. Romance : Ya es tiempo de recoger, Lope de Vega / Anonyme [2.50]

1635 La Paix de Prague
7. Zion spricht : Der Herr hat mich verlassen Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630) [6.26]

1636 Richelieu déclare la guerre à l’Espagne
Anonyme (Mss. Philidor)
8. Charivaris pour les hautbois [0.50]
9. Gavotte en suitte [0.41]

1640 Guerra dels Segadors « El Corpus de Sang »
1641 Janvier. Pau Claris exprime sa volonté de constituer une République Catalane
10. Catalunya comptat gran (Traditionnel / Jordi Savall) [1.49]
11. Hymne de la Catalogne (Traditionnel / Jordi Savall) [2.21]

La Catalogue accepte la souveraineté de Louis XIII
12. Intrada-Geschwindt-Langsamer-Sarabande Suites d’Orchestre – Guillaume Dumanoir (1615-1697) [3.23]

1645 Guerre de l’Empire Ottoman contre Venise
13. Taksim & Makam « Uzzäl uşūleş Darb-I feth » Dervis Mehmed (Mss. Dimitrie Cantemir N.209) [2.18]

1648 Paix de Westphalie. Fin de la Guerre de 30 ans
14. Siehe an die Werke Gottes Johann Rosenmüller (1617-1684) [6.36]

1649 Guerre civil en Angleterre
15. The Newark Siege John Jenkins (1592-1678) [4.29]

1652 Les Institutions catalanes reconnaissent Philippe IV d’Espagne comme souverain de Catalogne
16. Philippus Rex Hispaniæ (Fanfare instrumental et vocal) Jordi Savall d’après Ambrosio Cotes [1.23]

1659 La Paix des Pyrénées
17. Jubilate Deo « Le Motet de la Paix » (LWV 77/16) Célébration de l’entrée royale à Paris, en 1660 Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) [15.44]

1669 Les Vénitiens sont expulsés de Crête par les Ottomans
18. Der makām-ı Räst « Murass’a » uşūleş Düyek [4.04]

1678 Célébration du Traité de Nimègue
Alceste – Jean-Baptiste Lully
19. Marche des Combattants [2.32]
20. Menuet (LWV 50) [1.47]

1689 Guillaume III est couronné Roi d’Angleterre
21. Praise the Lord, O my soul John Blow (1649-1708) [5.46]

CD 2
 
Du Traité de Turin à la fin de la Guerre de succession d’Espagne 1696 - 1714

1696 Célébration du Traité de Turin
Te Deum – Marc Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704)
1. Prélude [1.40]
2. Te Deum Laudamus [1.18]
3. Te aeternum patrem [1.55]
4. Pleni sunt caeli [2.07]

1701/02 Commencement de la Guerre de Succession d’Espagne
Battalia a 10 – Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber (1644-1704)
5. Sonata [1.39]
6. Die Schlacht [0.44]

1705 Pacte de Gênes. L’archiduc Charles arrive à Barcelone
7. Cant dels Aucells quant arribaren los Vaixells [5.30]

Anonyme traditionnel / Jordi Savall

1708 Mariage à Barcelone de l’archiduc Charles
Il più bel nome – Antonio Caldara (1670 - 1736)
8. Sinfonia [3.39]
9. Coro di Seguaci della virtù [0.45]
10. Aria : Cari Elisi (Marianne Beata Kielland) [3.09]

1710 Mort de l’Empereur Joseph I
11. Marcia Funebre Jordi Savall d’après le Requiem de Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber [1.43]

L’archiduc Charles est couronné Empereur
12. Kyrie, Missa Bruxellensis – Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber [4.54]

Célébration du Couronnement
13. Florilegium II, Chaconne de la Suite IV « Impatientia » Georg Muffat (1653-1704) [3.18]

1711 L’Empire Ottoman attaque la Russie
14. Der makām-ı Uzzäl Sakîl « Turna » Semâ’î – Mss. D. Cantemir (324) [4.02]
15. Beznevéstnaya Dévo (O Virgo) Vasily Titov (ca.1650-ca.1715) [3.25]

1714 Siège de Barcelone
16. Batalla Imperial Joan Cabanilles – Johann Caspar Kerll (1627-1693) [5.18]

1714 11 septembre. La capitulation de Barcelone
17. Lamento der Verwundten Musquetirer Battalia a 10 – Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber [2.17]

1714 11 septembre. Prière pour les victimes du Siège de Barcelone
18. Missa Pro Defunctis - Hei mihi Joan Cererols (1644-1712) [6.00]

Plainte populaire catalane

19. Catalunya en altre temps Texte ancien / Musique : Jordi Savall sur une mélodie traditionnelle [4.23]

Conclusion
 
Célébration de la fin de la Guerre de succession d’Espagne
Jubilate Deo / O be joyful (HWV 279) Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759) Composé pour la célébration du Traité de Utrecht (11 d’avril 1713), ou la France signait l’accord de Paix avec les Pays Bas, la Grande Bretagne, la Savoie et l’Autriche.
20. O be joyful in the Lord - Solo & Chorus [2.08]
21. Serve the Lord with gladness - Chorus [2.19]
22. Be ye sure that the Lord he is God - Duo [2.32]
23. O go your way into his gates - Chorus [3.29]
24. For the Lord is gracious - Terzetto [3.29]
25. Glory be to the Father - Chorus [1.29]
26. As it was in the beginning - Chorus [4.03]