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.
RECORDING OF THE MONTH (5/5) ***** This is an entrancing CD, with dances, laments and feast-day songs linked in a slow-quick-slow structure...The musicians Savall has assembled from the relevant countries display a wonderful range of virtuosity... In the hands of Bora Drugic, the humble frula can get the joint jumping in a rollicking dance, or call up wistful nostalgia... Nedyalkov can evoke the immense sadness of a Gypsy lament, or weave dainty patterns in a certain circle dance. Peyo Peev s nimbleness... is matched by Derya Turkan on the kemanche... there could be no more moving testament to the wife who has gone on ahead. --Michael Church, BBC Music Magazine September 2013
CRITICS CHRISTMAS CHOICE Jordi Savall has never felt restricted by geography; it was surely a matter of time before he collaborated with musicians from the Balkans. This beautifully produced recording brings them together with his own ensemble, Hesperion XXI, resulting in something genuinely new and outstanding vital. --Ivan Moody, Gramophone - December 2013