* Notes *
Jordi Savall's Hespèrion XXI performed a sold-out concert in Berkeley last Tuesday. The program, entitled Lux Feminae (900-1600): Seven Portraits of the Woman in Ancient Hesperia, featured soprano Montserrat Figueras (she also accompanied herself with the cithara); Pierre Hamon on woodwind instruments including the ney, gaita, and flutes; Dimitri Psonis playing the stringed instruments of oud, santur, and morisca; and Savall himself played rebab and lira da gamba. The recital started with Hamon playing both a wind instrument and drumming his way down the aisle from the back of the hall. The playing was rousing throughout and the instrumental pieces were particularly beautiful. Figueras was slightly amplified, and this was unnecessary in the space, being a rather small church rather than a huge concert hall. At times she was painfully loud, though her voice is quite pretty and vibrant.
* Tattling *
The concert lasted a solid 90 minutes without intermission. This does not include the rather amusing encore of one tune played in Greek, Turkish, and Jewish versions.