Candia 1669: Venetian, Greek, Ottoman & Sephardic
Format: COMPACT DISC
Serpieri, Camilla; Albarello, Stefano; Animantica
More than just the siege of a city on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean, the Cretan war was an all-out war between the Muslim East and the Christian West lasting 24 years (1645-1669) involving the major players of the time: the Turkish Empire and her unquiet barbarian vassals from North Africa on one side and on the other a coalition consisting of the Republic of Venice, the Knights of Malta, the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the Papal States, France, Savoy and the Hapsburg Empire. The conflict brought the two major players - Venice and the Ottomans - to their economic knees. Lastly, a recent essay by Rumanian musicologist Nicolae Gheorghita had left us feeling perplexed that lack of evidence renders almost impossible an exact reconstruction of the musical repertoires in Crete under Venetian rule. However, quite a few clues emerged which enabled us to construct "an imaginary musical fresco", meaning a journey through the sounds of the Greek and Turkish traditions combined with the Venetian school of the mid-1600s. This ideal reconciliation of cultures and arts places such eminent figures of the western traditions as Francesco Cavalli and Giovanni Legrenzi alongside anonymous bare-bones Greek and Ottoman melodies which have come down to us orally or in transcriptions by Polish aristocrat Wojciech Bobowski, aka Ali Ufki Bey, or by the Moldavian prince Dimitrie Cantemir. It is worth remembering that without the pioneering work of these two Christian hostages, early music from the Ottoman court would today be ltitle more than a black hole.