Jordi Savall: The House of Borgia — With Montserrat Figueras

La Capella Reial de Catalunya – Hespèrion XXI

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Montserrat Figueras — Soprano, zither

Driss El Malouni — Tenor

La Capella Reial de Catalunya

Adriana Fernández — Soprano

Pascal Bertin — Countertenor

David Sagastume — Countertenor

Lluís Villamajó — Tenor

Francesc Garrigosa — Tenor

Furio Zanasi — Baritone

Daniele Carnovich — Bass

Hespèrion XXI

Andrew Lawrence-King — Harpist

Dimitri Psonis — Santur

Sergi Casademunt — Gambist

Fahmi Alqhai — Gambist

Philippe Pierlot — Gambist

Program notes

The musicians of Hespèrion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya, conducted by Jordi Savall, follow the political career of the Borgias to present an original programme with works from Spain and Italy spanning five centuries of music history.

Native of Valencia (Spain), the Borgias have remained notorious in history essentially through Pope Alexander VI (1492-1503). Accused of simony, nepotism, rape and corruption, Pope Alexander VI led a life of debauchery. As to his children, Lucrezia was accused of incestuous relationships, and Cesare served as a model for Niccolò Machiavelli's famous book, The Prince.

Yet, Pope Alexander VI was a great sponsor of the arts at the outset of the Renaissance. Many songbooks of this time, including works by Gilles Binchois, Guillaume Dufay, Josquin des Prez, Heinrich Isaac or Claude Goudimel, bear witness of the luxury of the papal court at this time. Jordi Savall and the musicians of the music ensembles Hespèrion XXI and La Capella Reial de Catalunya, have dug into these sources to shed a new light on the Borgias and their cultural environment, from their political beginning in Valence in the 11th century up to their Roman consecration as pope at the turn of the 16th century.

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