Musical Splendor at Charles’ Imperial Court

Charles V, painted by Titian

Did you ever read Cervantes’ medieval tales of Don Quixote? You should. First, it’s good fun. Second, it’s good fun. Third, Cervantes’ language is wonderful: poetic, evocative, ironic. I was lucky to read a very good French translation and I really, really enjoyed the reading as such. Pictures popped up before my eyes, I lived through the ups and downs of the unfortunate medieval knight and his faithful bickering servant. Oh futile attempts to control our destiny! “Don Quixote” is a parody on Spain’s nobility and the high society’s craving for heroic tales, nevertheless Spain had its hours of glory and splendour in the Middle Ages. Jordi Savall’s performance of music from the reign of Charles V gave me a taste of what one could hear at the Spanish imperial court in the 15th and 16th century.

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