I'm pleased to be the first to review this album by Catalan viola da gamba virtuoso, conductor and composer, Jordi Savall. A prolific performer and recording artist of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque era music, he has become an interpreter and promoter of Ottoman, Mediterranean and Celtic music, as well.
This album features music of the Mediterranean. The album title, "Mare Nostrum" (Our Sea in Latin), is a term once used to refer to the Mediterranean. Pieces from the Berber, Greek, Italian, Catalonian, Turkish, Bulgarian and Sephardic Jewish traditions are presented on the album.
Savall's recordings are known to be of high quality, and this is no exception. The music is beautiful, and the sequencing of the tracks gives the impression of a single work. Savall's late wife Montserrat Figueras contributed a number of expressive vocals to the album. The blending of vocals, instruments and rhythms provides a rich listening experience.
I first became familiar with Jordi Savall while searching Amazon for a piece by Marin Marais and purchased Tous Les Matins Du Monde - Bande Originale Du Film. I became an immediate fan. His mastery of the viola da gamba is superb. The sonority of the modern viola and its predecessors make it the instrument I most enjoy playing.
Savalle's renditions of Eastern Mediterranean music are quite moving and expressive. Having been raised with this musical genre since childhood, I can vouch for the authenticity of his interpretations. Two albums featuring Turkish music: Istanbul and The Sublime Gate - The Voices of Istanbul are equally appealing.