Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jordi Ricart, Jordi Savall, David Sagastume|
Francisco Javier - La Ruta de Oriente [Hybrid SACD]
Genres: Special Interest, Classical
Listen to Samples
A musical tribute to a traveler
Mike Birman | Brooklyn, New York USA | 02/24/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A musical tribute to a traveler doesn't quite describe it. Jordi Savall's Alia Vox label specializes in the beautifully produced, lovingly presented music of old. The performances are universally splendid. The selections are usually thematically organized with intelligence, taste and an aesthetic sense second to none. This release features two cds housed in a limited edition 275 page book. The notes are reproduced in five languages on glossy paper interspersed with truly gorgeous multicultural artwork. The set celebrates the life and voyages of Francisco Javier (1506-1553), a member of the newly formed Society of Jesus who, despite poverty and the limited means of the time, travelled nearly 100,000 kilometers. Beginning in Spain, Javier traveled to France and then throughout much of the rest of Europe. He then made the hazardous journey down the eastern coast of Africa, exploring the various Portuguese colonies. Javier continued his lengthy and dangerous odyssey eastward to India, Ceylon, Indonesia, eventually arriving in Japan in 1549. He later attempted to enter the then utterly inaccessible China. On his travels, he encountered all of the great eastern religions. He preached, he sang psalms and hymns, he observed the world in all of its strangeness. Javier risked his safety by often speaking out against the atrocities committed in the name of European commerce, as slavery reared its ugly head in Africa and the far east. He died, still traveling, in 1553. The era was one of great turmoil, yet produced works such as Erasmus's In Praise of Folly, Sir Thomas More's Utopia and Machiavelli's The Prince. The cd book reproduces pertinant samples from these historical books as well as other contemporary publications, including some excerpts from Martin Luther's writings. This fascinating release is all-encompassing in its interests.
It is the music that is the most important aspect of this brilliant package. And there are more than 21/2 hours of representative music, both instrumental and vocal, from nearly everywhere that Javier traveled. Music from Spain and the rest of Europe. Ragas from India, music from Japan, lengthy mass excerpts from Heinrich Isaac and Cristobal de Morales. We hear music from the Portuguese colonies of Cabo Verde, Guinea and Mozambique, the Kingdom of Bungo, Goa, Malacca, Cochin and Singapore. The journey culminates with a mass fragment from Morales, commemorating Javier's death on the Island of Sancian off the coast of China. Finally, we hear a Fantasia accompanying the virtual trek of his body, first to Malacca and then to Goa. There is even music that evokes the closing of Japan to the west in 1613. The mix of music is dizzying in its variety. The performers include Jordi Savall and Hesperion XXI, La Capella Reial de Catalunya, singer Montserrat Figueras and dozens of specialists in the multitude of musical forms that constitute this masterful collection. The sound is stunningly lifelike in the latest hybrid stereo/multichannel SACD technology. Most of this music was culled from performances recorded during live presentations, and it sounds like little, if anything, was lost in the transfer to disc. A phenomenal collection, gorgeously presented and offering a lifetime's food for thought and for the soul, it doesn't get much better than this. Strongly recommended.