Despite its hefty, hardbound, 300-plus-page book and attendant top price, Jordi Savall's Venezia Millenaria has appeared on commercial sales charts. It's easy to see why: this is one of Savall's most ambitious concepts, covering the promised millennium of the history of the city of Venice, Italy, plus a bit more as a bonus, taking you up to the end of Venice's independence. The book contains enough information that it could serve as the basis for a little travelers' course, but there's also a case to be made for just listening and letting a thousand years of music wash over you. Venice was a diverse city where numerous languages could be heard on the street, and Savall represents the various musical cultures that made up Venice's mosaic -- not only Turks and Byzantines, but Greeks, Jews, and even Cypriots. All this while unearthing unusual works that depict major events of the time, including the big ones (the fall of Constantinople) as well as those that you may not have read about (sample the marvelous Clément Janequin battle chanson depicting the 1515 Battle of Marignan). Savall brings aboard Eastern musicians to complement his Hesperion XXI and Concert de Nations choir. The whole production would be worth the money even for the texted Beethoven symphony movements at the end, and there is so much more. An impressive achievement even by Savall's standards.
AllMusic Review by James Manheim
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2
Di queste selve venite, o Numi de La Senna festeggiante: L'Età dell'Oro, La Virtù, La Senna (1 part, n.19)
La Sainte Ligue (La nuit est sombre) I. La nuit est sombre (D'après l'Allegretto de la 7e Symphonie de Beethoven, II. Vengeons la grande ombre de Guise (D'après l'Allegro final de la 5e Symphonie de Beethoven)