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Mare Nostrum

Hesperion XXI, Jordi Savall, Montserrat Figueras, peace and a dialogue of souls - what more do you need to know?

Latin for "Our Sea," Mare Nostrum was a Roman name for the Mediterranean Sea.

In 2012, the Alia Vox label released Mare Nostrum, described as a musical dialogue between East and West of Christian, Muslim and Jewish music, a dialogue of souls dedicated to peace.

At the beginning and end of a 454-page book in ten languages, we find two CDs offering 28 pieces in which some 30 musicians from at least a dozen countries participate in a project conceived by Jordi Savall and Montserrat Figueras. Traditional song, improvisation, and interpretations of music from medieval manuscripts combine to offer a colorful tapestry of music.

Mare Nostrum, of course, refers to the Mediterranean Sea.  It was the cradle of civilization and of the Muslim, Jewish and Christian faiths, and a meeting point for the sharing of knowledge and culture. Differences in chronology and beliefs need not divide us artistically, and art can  highlight elements that diverse cultures share.

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Wendy Gillespie

Wendy Gillespie is Professor of Music, teaching early bowed strings and performance studies, at the Early Music Institute of the Jacobs School of Music, Bloomington, IN and President of the VdGSA. As a viola da gamba player, she has made more than 80 CDs and performed on five continents.

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