Jordi Savall: Tracing Jerusalem's History In Music

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Monday night at Lincoln Center in New York City, early-music expert Jordi Savall is taking his audience back to ancient Jerusalem.

But this project is different from the work that has earned Savall acclaim for resurrecting forgotten music from the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

The Jerusalem project spans six centuries — right up to the present day — and the clash of cultures and religions that has torn the city apart.

Savall says he doesn't believe in formal religion, but that there's something about Jerusalem — endlessly destroyed and rebuilt in a quest for sacred power — that calls forth the spiritual. Even in its topography, in the rise of its stony hills.

"Jerusalem is a city that makes you feel you are very close to the heavens because the clouds, they are very close," Savall says. "The city is in a high space, and you feel in a very different situation than anywhere else in the world."

Savall has visited the holy city numerous times on tour over the course of his four-decade career. Renowned not only as a performer but also as a conductor, Savall is an expert in historical performance practice, reanimating musical traditions from the Baroque era and earlier....

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