Juan Sebastian Elcano

The first voyage round the world

For those of us who are lucky enough to have been able to travel in space and time with Jordi Savall as members of his ensembles and to learn from each of his projects, launching a new programme with the figure of the outstanding Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano to guide us on a musical journey through his world and his times is a congenial task. The premise is clear and the principle is a simple one: music is the quintessential universal language, which has united remote peoples through the ages, as it still does today. The same man who, 500 years ago, took part in an expedition commanded by Ferdinand Magellan to find the Spice Islands for the Crown of Castile, and who despite having established a landmark in universal history by circumnavigating the Earth, is nowadays unknown in much of the world, and yet provides us with a perspective on the past which enhances our enjoyment and understanding of the present.

CD 1


Millenary Vasconia: A Maritime Country

1. Introduction ♮
2. Seikilos’s Epitaph ♮


3. Ale, arraunean ♮

Traditional Basque

12th century: Benjamin of Tudela’s book The Travels of Benjamin ןימינב תועסמ

4. Bashraf jahargah ♮

Darwish Mustapha, 16th century – Text Pío Baroja

5. Raiko ♮

Traditional dance from Macedonia

6. Gurmak itsasoan ♮

Liturgical song / Theobald of Navarre

1435 The Gypsies arrive in the Basque Country

7. Buselik asirani ♮

Dimitrie Cantemir

15th century: Basque Country: The coming together of Christians, Jews and Muslims

8. Loa, loa ♮

Traditional Basque

9. Recited Muwashshaha ♮

Abu al-Abbas Ahmad the “Blind Poet of Tudela”, 12th century

10. Muwashshaha ♮

Abu al-Abbas Ahmad, 12th century / F. Atlan / E. Solinís

11. Si la douleur de mon esprit ♮

Marguerite of Navarre (1492-1549)

12. Pavana-Gallarda y Branle de Champagne ♮

Claude Gervaise (1525-1583)

1487 Getaria, birth of Juan Sebastián Elcano

13. Une batez ♮

Udah ha-Levi (Tudela c. 1070/75-Jerusalem c. 1141)

14. Efthah’ na séfathay / Maitia nun zira ♮

Jewish religious song / Traditional Basque

15. Verrus ♮

Traditional Basque

A global shift: From the Mediterranean to the Atlantic

16. Arratiako dantzak ♮

Traditional from Vizcaya

17. Dos ánades, madre ♮

Johanes Antxieta (1462-1523)

16th century: Pishonerak; Women of the Port

18. Dindirindín. Ensalada La bomba ♮

Mateo Flecha (1481-1553)

19. Amorosen partizia ♮

Bernat Etxepare (c. 1480-1545)

20. Pabanea ♮

Osborn Manuscript Collection 16th century

1519 Seville: The Expedition of Ferdinand Magellan

21. Santa Maria, strela do dia ♮

(Prison song). Popular Andalusian

22. Quid est tibi / Mare vidit ♮

Michael Navarrus (Pamplona, 1563-1627)

1521 Strait of Magellan and Magellan’s death at the Battle of Mactan

23. Diario de Pigafetta ♮
24. Itsasoa laino dago ♮

Traditional Basque

25. Pavane ♮

Pierre Attaignant (1494-1552)

26. Letter from Elcano to Charles V ♮

Arrival in the Moluccas Islands

27. Lagu togal ♮

Traditional from the Moluccas Islands


CD 2


1522 Primus circundedisti me

1. Letter from Elcano ♮

Sanlúcar de Barrameda

2. Ayo visto lo Mappamundi ♮

Popular Sicilian, 16th century

1534 Ignatius of Loyola & Francis Xavier: The Society of Jesus

3. Mundu zabalera ♮

2th century music. Lyrics by Xabier Amuriza (1941-)

4. Baile a 2: A lo alto y a lo llano ♮

Traditional Castilian-Basque

Masquerade: Remnants of a Ritual

5. Marche de Courteges ♮

Traditional Basque

6. Danse des Kherestonak ♮

Traditional Basque

7. Recitado Neska ontziratua ♮

Traditional Basque / Robert Ballard (c.1572-c.1650)

8. Neska ontziratua ♮

Traditional Basque / Robert Ballard

Elcano is granted a coat of arms by Emperor Charles V

9. 2nd letter from Elcano to Charles V ♮


10. Round dance: Marinero de la Mar and A lo Llano ♮

Cancionero de Olmeda (Burgos)

1526 Final expedition to the Moluccas and Elcano’s testament

11. Sumba Song ♮

Traditional Malayo-Polynesian song

12. Elcano’s testament – Salve Regina ♮

Martínez de Bizcargui (1480-1540)

13. Psalm 6: Jauna, ez nazazula korregi ♮

Traditional Basque / J. Haranburu

14. Tiento para órgano ♮

Luis Alberto de Gómez, 16th century

On the trail of the Basque sailors: Songs that have crossed the ocean and back

15. Letter to Philip II ♮

Lope de Agirre, 1561

16. Le Biscayenne ♮

Traditional / Marin Marais

17. Jota ♮

Manuscritos de Cortabarria, 17th century

18. Aista binakoa ♮

R.M. de Azkue’s Songbook. Traditional Basque sailors’ song

Mi’kmaq and Basque whalers meet

19. Mi’kmaq Honour Song ♮

George Paul / Traditional Basque

1536 The 2nd circumnavigation of the world: Andrés de Urdaneta

20. Nork orain esan lezake ♮

Villancico. Anonymous Basque, 17th century

21. My Lady Carey’s Dompe ♮

Anonymous, 16th century

1615 Slaying of the Basques and Vocabula Biscaia

22. Marteinn af Frakkaþorpi ♮

Traditional Icelandic-Basque

Cider: The Elixir of Life

23. Aldapeko ♮

Traditional Basque

Basque Diaspore: The eighth province

24. Portutxoa fandangoa ♮

Joxean Artze / Traditional Basque

25. Nere vizi gucico galdu nai ♮

Villancico. Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz (1651-1695)

26. Fandango ♮

Santiago de Murcia (1673-1739)

27. Kama goli ♮

In the Erromintxela language, Jon Mirande

28. El Gineo ♮

Manuscritos de Cortabarria, 17th century


In this project, therefore, Euskal Barrokensemble returns to its origins as a music group, telling our story in the first person and taking the opportunity on the 500th anniversary of the first circumnavigation of the Earth to recall that global connectedness, as illustrated in the life of Juan Sebastián Elcano, is the essence of our plural nature as human beings.