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Jeanne d’Arc: Batailles & Prisons recounts in words and music the brief life of Joan of Arc. Jordi Savall’s programme takes us through the events of her life, from her birth in 1412 to her death at the stake in Rouen in 1431. A concluding section deals with the aftermath – the end of the Hundred Years War, the nullification of Joan’s trial and her eventual rehabilitation. Though he has painstakingly consulted contemporary sources, Savall’s reconstruction of events is not without an element of conjecture and, it need hardly be said, the music is treated in a similar manner. It comprises fanfares, popular melodies of the period, excerpts from masses and newly composed pieces ‘in-keeping with the spirit of the age’. The multilingual booklet is meticulously compiled, with scholarly essays providing the reader of this weighty volume with a composite picture of a violent period in European history. The excellent performances of La Capella Reial De Catalunya and Hesperion XX & XXI are drawn from recordings made in 1993 and 2011.

Nicholas Anderson Read the full review on Agora Classica


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