Jordi Savall - Violist
Viol by Barak Norman,
London 1697

The ancestors of the viol: the Medieval fiddles
(1): Tenor fiddle : Anonymous
(2): Soprano fiddle: Anonymous, Italy, XVth century
(3) : Six-string lira:  Anonymous , Italy XVIth century
(4) Rebec : Anonymous, XIVth (?) century

Viol by Pellegrino Zanetti,
Venice 1550



Discovering Jordi Savall

Biographical markers

-1941: Born in Igualada (Barcelona) on August 1st
-1948-55: Sings in a boys'choir
-1957-64: Musical studies - Cello- Barcelona consevatory
-1963-64: Meets Pau Casals - Prades Festival
-1965-66: First researches and studies about the viola de gamba - Barcelona, Paris, London, Brussels
-1966-67: First concerts and recordings - Barcelona, Grenada
-1967 : Gets married with Montserrat Figueras - First researches on Spanish music
-1968-70: Studies in Basle (Switzerland) with August Wenzinger at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
-1969: First concerts and recordings as a solo artist
-1970: First concerts with Ton Koopman

-1970-74: Collaboration with Michel Piguet (Ensemble Ricercare), Trevor Pinock (English Concert), Gustav Leonhardt (La Petite Bande, William Christie (5 Centuries Ensemble)
-1973: First original viol
-1973: Successor to August Wenzinger as professor at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis
-1974: First concerts with M. Figueras, H. Smith, L. Alpert ("Encore Sine Nomine" ensemble)

Savall about himself

"I was fifteen years old when I started playing the cello - previously I had been in a boy's choir - and for eight years I practised that instrument seven or eight hours a day. But without those years spent practicing the cello, I wouldn't have understood the viola as I did later". (Classica, no. 1, May 1998)

"When I decided to become a musician, I was told that I was crazy; the same thing happened when I chose the viola: evryone was telling me that I wouldn't make a living out of it. What guided me most, aside from an absolute certitude of what one ought to do, was my conviction that I had to follow a path and that many traps would have to be avoided". (Idem)

"My own approach towards mastering the viola and the discovery of its repertoire is through the very music composed for that instrument".
"For over 10 years, I played every day a Book by Marin Marais, performing that music in a very simple fashion, thinking about it and reading texts from that period. Very gradually, everything became clearer. One day, I knew I was in the right direction". (Idem)

(Translation by Classic @ la carte)


The universe of the viol

Les origines (1100-1400)

La lira d'Espéria - La vièle médiévale - The Medieval fiddle

A thematic approach
Les voix humaines
Abel, Bach, Marais, Sainte-Colombe

(Falconiero, Marini, Merula, Ortiz, Pachelbel, Purcell, Rossi, Valente)
The French repertoire

Couperin, François
Pièces de viole, 1728

De Machy, Monsieur
Pièces de violle de Mr. de Machy  (1685)

N9931.jpeg (69547 octets)
Du Caurroy, Eustache
23 fantaisies à 2, 3, 5 et 6 parties
7762.gif (41486 octets)
Forqueray, Antoine
Pièces pour viole 
Tome 1 (Suites nos. 1 et 2 )

Marais, Marin
Pièces à deux violes du 1er livre

Marais, Marin
Pièces de viole du 2e livre

Marais, Marin
Pièces de viole du 3e livre (1711)

ast7727_2.jpg (11964 octets)
Marais, Marin
Pièces de viole du 4e livre (1717)

Marais, Marin
Pièces de viole du 5e livre (1725)

Marais, Marin
Suites en mi et en si mineur, Livre II


Sainte Colombe, le fils
Six Suites pour basse de viole seule
Concerts à deux violes égales  (Tome 1)
N9933.jpeg (64086 octets)
Sainte Colombe, Monsieur
Concerts à deux violes égales  (Tome 2)
The English repertoire

Coprario, Giovanni
Musique de chambre et concertante (Consort Musicke)
8701.jpeg (70014 octets)
Dowland, John
Lacrimae or Seven Teares (1604)
AV9804.gif (90697 octets)
Elizabethan Consort Music, Vol.I (1558-1603)
AV9813.jpg (74900 octets)
Holborne, Anthony
The teares of the Muses,
Elizabethan Consort Music, vol. II

Ferrabosco, Alfonso - II
Consort Music for viols in 4, 5 & 6 Parts

Hume, Tobias (Captain)
Musicall Humors (1605)

Hume,Tobias (Captain)
Musicall Humors (1605)
8724.jpg (72520 octets)
Jenkins, John
Consort Music for Viols

Lawes, William
Consort Sets in Five & Six parts

Locke, Matthew
Consort of Fower Parts, Suites I à VI
7750.gif (60633 octets)
Lessons for the Lyra-Violl
Ferrabosco, Corkine , Anon.
N9922.jpeg (69585 octets)
Purcell, Henry
Fantasias for the Viols

Tye, Christopher
Lawdes Deo, Complete Consort Musicke set for viols

9913.jpg (70161 octets)
 L'esprit de la viole
English Consort and Solo Viol Music, 1570-1680


The German repertoire
av9812.jpg (18032 octets)
Bach, Johan Sebastian
Die Sonaten für Viola da gamba und Cembalo


DHM77168.jpg (17302 octets)
Brade, William
Musique civile de la ville de Hambourg vers 1600: recueils de 1609 et 1614
Cliquez l'un ou l'autre thème ci-dessous
pour continuer en français.


Jordi Savall en 5 thèmes:

1) Savall - le violiste
2) Savall - le chef
3) Savall - l'entrepreneur
4) Savall - l'humaniste
5) Savall - pédagogue et chef de file

Click either theme below
to continue with the English version.


Jordi Savall under 5 themes:

1) Savall - as violist
2) Savall - as conductor
3) Savall - as entrepreneur
4) Savall - as a humanist
5) Savall - as a pedagogue and figrurehead