Jordi Savall examines 500 years of Histo-ry in this portrait of a city that symbolizes like no other the fruitful and at the same time conflictual encounter of the three monotheistic religions. The succession of the zirid, almoravid, almohad and nas-rid dynasties, their relationship with the neighbouring christian kingdoms and the often precarious situation of the Jews (the first inhabitants of this area) are reflected in this wide musical fresco, in which each culture displays its most advanced refinement.
As ever, Savall points up the sources’ colour, vitality, expressiveness and socio-political context in an exciting, fascinating and utterly beguiling programme … The singers are superb, displaying gorgeous timbres and honest emotional dimensions … the realisations are consistently moving and beautiful. Even the spoken texts sound mellifluous and resonant. BBC*****
The celebration of musical interconnectedness is manifest in the smoothness of Savall’s programme and its execution … Heart-rending moments of beauty abound such as Manuel Forcano’s (director, Institute Ramon Llull) recitation concerning the forced conversion of the Jews in 1148. Gramophone
The music itself is packed full of discoveries and treasures which often reveal themselves through juxtaposition … The choral work is also typically excellent … In short, this is a breathtaking achievement. It’s the kind of disc that often left me in quiet astonishment not just at its ambition, artistry or skill, but at the way it tries to further the human story and enrich the experience of us all. Bravo! MusicWeb