Jerusalem, City of Heavenly and Earthly Peace

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Viola da gamba performer Jordi Savall in Jerusalem Jordi Savall: Jerusalem (Stephanie Berger)

Jerusalem, City of Heavenly and Earthly Peace, from Catalan early music director and performer Jordi Savall, is a performance of religious songs, texts, chants and instrumental arrangements used to explore the way cultural traditions of the three major religions have shaped the history of Jerusalem, from biblical times to the present day. On Monday, May 3 at 7:00pm, WQXR presents a live broadcast hosted by Fred Child  and Terrance McKnight.

Listen to WQXR's Jeff Spurgeon interview religion scholar Karen Armstrong about the importance of the city of Jerusalem and the Jerusalem project.

Ancient Music Meets Today's Headlines:

The Spanish viola da gamba virtuoso Jordi Savall has spent a lifetime discovering common roots between Muslim, Jewish and Christian musical cultures. But Jerusalem is perhaps his most ambitious project to date, and it is seemingly ripped from today's headlines.

Joined by his wife and collaborator, soprano Montserrat Figueras, as well as the musicians of his own ensembles, Hesperion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya, Savall charts Jerusalem's history from 1200 BC to the present day. Jews, Arabs, Christians, Turks and Armenians are all given a musical voice at various points in the program. The evening begins with the sound of the shofars in the Jericho fanfare, and ends with a series of songs, laments and instrumental works from the numerous traditions that have defined the cultural fabric of Jerusalem in the last 500 years.

The performance comes at a time when Israelis and Palestinians are at deep odds over political borders and settlement activities in East Jerusalem. But as the liner notes to the lavish 2008 recording of Jerusalem explain, etymologists have translated the Hebrew name Jerusalem as "the city of the two peaces," a reference to both "heavenly peace" and "earthly peace." The former was proclaimed by the prophets who lived in or visited the city, while the latter was sought by the political leaders who have governed the city throughout its five thousand years of documented existence.

The Musicians:

Jordi Savall, director, vièle, lira d’arco, and rebab
Montserrat Figueras, soprano
La Capella Reial de Catalunya
Hespèrion XXI
Trumpets of Jericho 

with guest musicians:

Lior Elmalich and Amyan Razmyk, vocalists
Yair Dalal andOmar Bashir, oud
Gaguik Mouradian, kamancha
Haig Sarikouyoumdjian, duduk
Erez Shamuel Monk and Dimitri Psonis, percussion
Yagel Harel, schofar

A Jordi Savall Biography and Schedule

Hosted by:

Fred Child and Terrance McKnight

More in:

Comments [9]

SUSAN RHOADES from United States

Thank you for the pianist/composer Mr. sy. His playing is lovely and his Black Earth was riveting and deeply moving. Who knew???????

Feb. 01 2015 08:04 AM
Peter Feldman from New York City

Dear Mr.Child:
I was glad to hear from you that there was a misconception about discrimination against women at the Vienna Philharmonic. However it will take years until that orchestra has a big percentage of women so the Vienna Philharmonic will learn not to be stupid anymore.

Jun. 01 2014 08:10 AM
Gerry Virtue from Blue Mountains, Sydney, Australia

Loved it.
Broadcast on Australian ABC Classic last evening and I was riveted.
Is it possible to buy a CD of the performance?

May. 18 2010 07:32 PM
Esther Magid from Staten Island

Dear Mr. McKnight,
Thank you for this culturally and emotionally enriching program. I stayed rivieted to my radio all evening. I remember that you had mentioned that there is a cd of the program Jerusalem, City of Heavenly and Earthly Peace. I would appreciate information as to how I can obtain a copy. Just as an aside, so much of this program I could relate to the Sephardic traditions from the Greek and Turkish Jews. Thank-you again for a most superb and memorable evening.
Esther Magid

May. 16 2010 08:49 PM
David Gerber from New York NY 10040

I have enjoyed it so much I am
intrested in getting the cd .

May. 07 2010 12:12 AM

I very much enjoyed this program, especially the touching ending. It was grand to hear shofars and ancient instruments!

I especially appreciated the strong phrasing from the ensemble. Too often, string players, including even some famous ones, neglect this, seeming to think "I don't have to breathe, so I can just run everything together." However, phrasing is musical punctuation, as well as an artistic element itself. The powerful phrasing of this ensemble - and so absolutely, totally together! - showed what an element of beauty and excitement it can be.

May. 04 2010 05:13 PM
Kenneth Bennett Lane from Lake Hiawatha, NJ

Jordi is a Renaissance style man with his laser beam focus on so many subjects comprehensively and entertainingly. His Jerusalem Project with its coherent cultural epic status of playing off diverse religions with their own indigenous mores, their art, their music, their humor over the span of earliest records to the current state of affairs, is unique and forcefully a touchstone of what one should know in this most aura-arousing city, Jerusalem!

May. 04 2010 12:19 AM
Ben-Shmuel from Modiin, Israel

I am interested in accessing WQXR
I live in Israel.
Please advise....


May. 02 2010 10:39 AM
Barbara Magic from New Jersey

This is a treat. For years, I have listened the music of Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figeroa and their accompaniments. They are exquisite in concert as well as on their recordings.
I am not surprised that likewise QXR has taken notice of them.

Apr. 30 2010 01:47 PM

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