Following the success of Spirit of Armenia, Balkan Spirit enables us to discover another area of great musical tradition and intercultural dialogue: the Balkans. Alongside musicians from Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Turkey, Jordi Savall conducts his ensemble, Hespèrion XXI, and unveils the original lyricism of an instrumental and vocal repertoire that covers the entire spectrum of human emotions.
This is an entrancing CD, with dances, laments, and feast-day songs linked in a slow-quick-slow structure. Perhaps as an implicit tribute to Montserrat Figueras, there are no vocal numbers, but the musicians Savall has assembled from the relevant countries display a wonderful range of virtuosity. BBC*****