The Route of the Orient Description
Jordi Savall’s Alia Vox label specializes in the beautifully produced, lovingly presented music of old. The performances are universally splendid. The selections are usually thematically organized with intelligence, taste and an aesthetic sense second to none. This release features two cds housed in a limited edition 275 page book. The notes are reproduced in five languages on glossy paper interspersed with truly gorgeous multicultural artwork. The set celebrates the life and voyages of Francisco Javier (1506-1553), a member of the newly formed Society of Jesus who, despite poverty and the limited means of the time, travelled nearly 100,000 kilometers. Beginning in Spain, Javier traveled to France and then throughout much of the rest of Europe. He then made the hazardous journey down the eastern coast of Africa, exploring the various Portuguese colonies. Javier continued his lengthy and dangerous odyssey eastward to India, Ceylon, Indonesia, eventually arriving in Japan in 1549. He later attempted to enter the then utterly inaccessible China. On his travels, he encountered all of the great eastern religions. He preached, he sang psalms and hymns, he observed the world in all of its strangeness. Javier risked his safety by often speaking out against the atrocities committed in the name of European commerce, as slavery reared its ugly head in Africa and the far east. He died, still traveling, in 1553. The era was one of great turmoil, yet produced works such as Erasmus’s In Praise of Folly, Sir Thomas More’s Utopia and Machiavelli’s The Prince. The cd book reproduces pertinent samples from these historical books as well as other contemporary publications, including some excerpts from Martin Luther’s writings. This fascinating release is all-encompassing in its interests.
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