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Metamorphoses Fidei: Savall

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Montserrat Figueras
La Capella Reial de Catalunya
Hespèrion XXI
Conductor: Jordi Savall

I
Old Christians: Mythology and Mysticism

1 - 11 SIBIL·LA VALENCIANA   Alonso & Bartomeu Cárceres
(Valencia, siglo XV-XVI, Catedral de Valencia)
1. Fanfares
2. Gloria tibi Domine
3. R/ Al jorn del judici
4. R/ D’una Verge naixerà
5. R/ Mostrar-s’han quinze senyals
6. R/ D’alt dels cels devallarà
7. R/ Portarà cascú escrit
8. R/ Als bons darà goig etern
9. R/ Mare de Déu pregau per nos
10. R/ Vosaltres tots que escoltau
11. Fanfares

12. Mille Régretz (Chanson)   Josquin des Prés
13. Sanctus de la Missa “Mille Régretz”  
Cristóbal de Morales
14. Agnus Dei de la Missa “Mille Régretz”  
Cristóbal de Morales
15. Mille Regretz “La Canción del Emperador”  
Luys de Narváez

II
New Christians: Mestissage and Fervour

16. Saeta Antigua: No hay precedente   Anónimo (Flamenco)
17. La Guerra a 4: Todos los buenos soldados  
Mateo Flecha
18. Negrilla a 4: San Sabeya gugurumbé  
Mateo Flecha
19. Negrilla: A siolo flasiquiyo  
Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, Puebla
20. Batalla Imperial  
Joan Cabanilles
21. El Cant dels Aucells  
Tradicional Catalana / Jordi Savall
22. Guaracha: Ay que me abraso   
Juan García de Zéspedes, México

“Of forms transformed into bodies new I sing.
Oh gods, who wrought these changes.”

Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book I, vv. 1-2


Everything that changes remains, and everything that is transformed withstands the passage of time. Ideas and beliefs alter over the centuries to live on and thrive in the human consciousness. Traditions, languages, expressions... everything takes on new colour, is influenced and transformed into something new while preserving the essence of its former self. These transformations, changes and substitutions are brought about by contact between civilizations. Mythologies are dressed in new apparel to usher in new characters with the attributes of their predecessors: the classical sibyls become prophetesses; the benevolent gods, angels; the demons, lost souls and the sacred mothers, virgins.  What appears to be new in fact already existed.
The programme offered in these Metamorphoses Fidei is the expression of a mestissage of different cultures and music which came together thanks to the presence, contact and coexistence of peoples in Old Hesperia during the Middle Ages, a process which was intensified as a result of the discovery and conquest of the New World. Musical mestissage stems from the essential dimension of respect, tolerance, acceptance and, above all, the recognition and acceptance of both racial and cultural difference. We should not forget that those encounters between civilizations also led to violent clashes and great travesties of justice, but the beauty, quality and originality of the music surviving from that time are testimony to the musicians who succeeded in transforming music into an extraordinary mediator between the most disparate peoples and religions and in conveying to us an eloquent message of humanity and coexistence.
The Negrillas, Guarachas, Villancicos and even the Song of the Sibyl featured in Metamorphoses Fidei are proof that the essential spirituality of humankind endures in spite of the different symbols and labels imposed on it. That which enhances human life, that which is the source of love and consolation, lives on. And it is in music that its power and memory are kept alive, inspiring us to dream of and long for a more just, humane and harmonious (New) World.

JORDI SAVALL, Bellaterra, 2006


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