It was when I heard a rehearsal of Mozart's Requiem that I was sure I wanted to become a musician. This music invaded me with such emotional force that I thought, 'If music can have this power over people, I have to make it my job.'" It is in these terms that the Catalan leader and gambist Jordi Savall told us, fifteen years ago, the birth of his vocation.
To say that Mozart's final opus, which remained unfinished, which obsessed the genius of Salzburg until his deathbed, has a special meaning for him would be an understatement.
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Viola da gamba
To understand the attachment of the specialist of early music to this theatrical and sacred choral fresco, it must be remembered that, before the viola da gamba and Les Voix humaines, by Marin Marais, there were those of the liturgical choirs of his native Spain. This is where Jordi Savall was born to music, from the age of 6. This is how his intimate dialogue with music was forged from this early childhood through the Franco dictatorship. "A dialogue of sensations that went through the body," he continues.
Dialogue abruptly interrupted by the moult, which the adolescent Savall experienced as a trauma. Forcing on his vocal cords to the point of damaging them. It was in this painful context that the 14-year-old's famous encounter with Mozart's Requiem occurred, which would decide the rest of his life. Looking in the cello, the viola da gamba, then the direction, the extension of this lost voice.
Almost seven decades later, here he is again facing the Mozartian masterpiece. This is certainly not his first time. He had recorded it as early as 1991. At the time, his wife, Montserrat Figueras, was a soprano player. He returned last year, recording the score again (CD released by Alia Vox), in the middle of a tour that took him to the Mozarteum in Salzburg, where the cameras of Arte filmed the present concert.
Helped by the precision and dramatic force of the choir of the Capella Nacional de Catalunya, the attention to detail of the Concert of Nations (deliciously colored brass, telluric strings offering the best of interpretation on period instruments), he delivers a totally new and yet perfectly universal vision, dominated by a deep humanity.