The subject of Jordi Savall's latest historical exploration is the life of the 16th-century missionary Francisco Javier, better known outside the Spanish-speaking world as St Francis Xavier. He was one of the founders of the Jesuits, and travelled widely through the east, eventually reaching Japan and the islands of China, where he died. Savall's compilation uses the historical staging posts of Javier's life and times, from his birth in Navarre to the start of his missionary travels as the scaffolding for a typically imaginative and exotic sequence of musics, which begins in the Spain of Ferdinand and Isabella and ends with the traditions of Japan and China. Like its predecessors, which were centred upon Christopher Columbus and Don Quixote, the musical performances by Savall's ensemble Hesperion XXI and his usual lineup of soloists, complemented here by Japanese performers, is packaged lavishly within the covers of a glossily illustrated 264-page book with texts in five languages. The multilingual presentation doesn't make it easy to find one's way around, but the discs themselves are vividly performed, and their variety is beguiling.
This is the first duet album released by drummer Ferenc Nmeth and Valancian saxophonist Javier Vercher. They both share a musical vision which abounds in wide open possibilities of spontaneous improvisation with beautifull melodies and songs. Vercher is a young, prodigiously gifted saxophonist with powerful free playing that amazingly flows in this recording. Nemeth, a player of consummate subtlety and tasted, is a product of the jazz hotbed of Keszthely, Hungary.
Madrid-born tenor saxophonist and flautist Javier Vercher began his musical studies at an early age, under the direction of his father, himself a talented musician. Javier attended Berklee College in Boston, where he studied with Frank Tiberi, George Garzone, Greg Hopkins, David Johnson and Andy McGuee and learned directly from such figures as Mark Turner, Jerry Bergonzi, Steve Lacy, Mike Stern, Curtis Fuller and Bob Mintzer and on leaving Berklee began playing in drummer Bob Moses' band.
During his all-too-brief life, the Andalusian composer Manuel Blasco de Nebra (1750-1784) left behind a handful of keyboard works that evoke Scarlatti's concise forms and extraordinary powers of invention. Each of the sonatas consists of two movements: an adagio followed by a fast finale. The adagios are stark and full of gut-wrenching, slowly resolving dissonant moments, while unpredictable twists and turns characterize the almost Haydn-esque Allegros and Prestos, as well as the E minor Pastorela Minuet's discursive melodic trajectory. At times Blasco de Nebra foreshadows future soulmates; you might mistake the Op. 1 C minor sonata finale's persistent dotted rhythms for Schumann's. Javier Perianes understands what makes de Nebra tick, borne out by his varied articulations, wide dynamic spectrum, and shapely embellishments.
Saviez-vous que, comme le découvrit Pythagore il y a plus de 2000 ans, la proportion harmonique gouverne les intervalles musicaux? Que Mozart, inaugurant la musique aléatoire, inventa une méthode pour composer une valse en se servant de dés? Ou qu'à l'origine même de tout son se retrouvent quatre grandes variables …