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The Sublime Porte was the name of the open court of the sultan, led by the Grand Vizier. It got its name from the gate to the headquarters of the Grand Vizier in the Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, where the sultan held greeting ceremonies for foreign ambassadors. It was an ancient Ottoman practice to make the gates of cities and kings' palaces places of assembly. Later the name came to refer to the Empire's position as gateway between Europe and Asia.
Following the success of the album 'Istanbul', Jordi Savall crosses new boundaries between Orient and Occident: this time, the vocal traditions of the Ottoman Empire, Armenia and the Jewish Diaspora are masterly resuscitated. Instrumental interludes enable us to enjoy this journey through time and space. In addition to Hespèrion XXI, this album features the elite of Turkish traditional musicians under the inspired direction of Jordi Savall.
Taksim & Makam « Uzzäl Usules Darb-I Feth » Dervis Mehmed (Mss. D. Cantemir N.209)
Gazel (Gürsoy Dinçer) Improv. (Trad. Ottomane) Poème De Fuzuli
Taksim & Makam « Hicâz Usules Devr-I Kebir » Anonyme (Mss. D. Cantemir N. 220)
Punxa, Punxa * (Montserrat Figueras) Romance Séfarade Istanbul
El Rey Que Tanto Madruga (Instrumental) Anonyme Sépharade (Smyrne, XVIe S.)
Hisar Buselik Sarki (Gürsoy Dinçer) Tanburi Mustafa Çavus (1700 ?-1770)
Plainte « En Sarer II » (Duo Duduk) Goussan Ashot (Arménie)
Rast Nakis Beste « Amed Nesim-I » (Gürsoy Dinçer) Hace Abdülkadir Meragi (1350 ?-1435)
18th November 2011
“The ensemble offers authentic recreations of Turkish, Greek, Armenian and Sephardic pieces, told in textures and timbres of oud, duduk, ney and Savall's own rebab. This is music of great subtlety, technical accomplishment and powerful emotional impact.”
4th December 2011
“Gursoy Dincer and Lior Elmaleh mix eloquent Israeli and Turkish chanting traditions, while some tracks become a memorial to Savall's wife, the great early-music singer Montserrat Figueras, who died just last month.”
10th December 2011
“The death last month of the Catalan soprano Montserrat Figueras adds poignancy to the latest scrupulously researched and beautifully played release from Hespèrion XXI, the early-music group fronted for decades by her and her husband Jordi Savall...Artfully mixing Turkish, Armenian and Jewish songs, and dances, the disc is haunting and educational, with a 250-page booklet (!) of fascinating historical essays included.”
25th February 2012
“This superbly researched and recreated ear-opening anthology, crafted with such presence and authority, finds Jordi Savall immersed in the cultural melting-pot of Istanbul...The spectrum of instrumental colour and the three contrasted voices with their glissades of vocal ornamentation are captured in a wonderfully hybrid SACD recording.”
“This is a typical Alia Vox Hesperion release: sumptuously packaged, richly illustrated, and supported by edifying scholarly notes about the music and its historical context. It's recorded in clear yet atmospheric sound...In addition to the late Montserrat Figueras, there is wonderful singing by the Israeli Lior Elmaleh ad the Turk Gursoy Dincer.”