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Jordi Savall: Istanbul

Classical music

Jordi Savall: Istanbul

Istanbul is a melting pot of religious music, where the Ottoman tradition blends together with the Armenian and Sephardic Jewish musical heritage. At this 17th century metropolis, music knew no bounds.

At the time of Dimitric Cantemir (1673-1723), the city which stands at the crossroads of the continents of Europe and Asia, Istanbul for the Ottomans and Constantinople for the Byzantines, already marked a veritable high point in history. Despite the memory and very palpable presence of the old Byzantium, it had become the true heart of the Muslim religious and cultural world. An extraordinary melting pot of peoples and religions, the city has always been a magnet for European travellers and artists. Cantemir arrived in the city in 1693, aged 20, initially as a hostage and later as a diplomatic envoy of his father, the ruler of Moldavia. He became famous as a virtuoso of the tanbūr, a kind of long-necked lute, and was also a highly regarded composer, thanks to his work Kitiih" ilmi'l-musiki (The Book of the Science of Music), which he dedicated to Sultan Ahmed (1703-1730).

Such is the historical context of "Dimitrie Cantemir's The Book of the Science of Music and the Sephardic and Armenian musical traditions". It aims to present the "cultivated" instrumental music of the 17th century Ottoman court, as preserved in Cantemir's work, in dialogue and alternating with "traditional" popular music, represented here by the oral traditions of Armenian musicians and the music of the Sephardic communities who had settled in the Ottoman empire in cities such as Istanbul and Izmir after their expulsion from Spain.

Behind this musical dialogue there is a rich and real history that the music reflects. Despite the challenges set by the changes in the ways the music used to be played with old instruments the music takes us back in time to the exciting and vibrant city of Istanbul.
(Source: Jordi Savall / Alia Vox)

Hespèrion XXI, Guest musicians from Turkey, Israel and Armenia
Direction: Jordi Savall
Concept, selection of the music: Jordi Savall

Dimitrie Cantemir
"The Book of the Science of Music"
and the Sepbardic and Armenian musical traditions

photo: David Ignaszewski


With the support of: Departament de Cultura of the Generalitat de Catalunya, the Institut Ramon Llull, the Culture Programme of the European Union


* Lippupalvelu's service fee starting from 2,5 euros



Sat 3.9.  19:00 


2h, väliaika


45 - 40 / 20 € *

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