The first volume of Orient Occident - released in 2006 - turned out to be a landmark in Jordi Savall's discography : for the first time, the Maestro had explored an extra-European repertoire, demonstrating the same musicological expertise he had shown with composers like Marin Marais. This album soon became a best seller.
This is new opus is a focus on Syria, alternating instrumental and vocal pieces. Musicians from Syria, Lebanon and Israel play alongside Hespèrion XXI and illustrate the artistic and humanist process we have come to expect from Jordi Savall, a process more necessary than ever.
with players and singers from all round the Mediterranean, the music itself is of a very high standard, and it makes a lovely celebration of the spirit of this unfortunate country. The singers are excellent, and the soloists on the oud, rebab, ney and percussion are brilliant. BBC****
The juxtaposition of repertoires is effective, the medieval pieces acting as a kind of musical bridge between the West and the East...Not crossover, then, but dialogue. More of that is definitely necessary, especially when it produces such outstandingly beautiful results. Gramophone