In Istanbul you can take a short ferry from Europe to Asia: the city's unique melting pot is in the inspiration behind Jordi Savall's latest (and beautifully presented) exploration of past ages. A narrative of the city from 1430 to 1750 traces the interaction of Ottoman music with Greek, Sephardic and Armenian elements, allowing some religious freedom and ensuring great cultural diversity. Savall assembles musicians from eight countries: 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.
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