Musical travelogue intrigues with help from the odd whirling dervish.

City Recital Hall, Sydney
October 22, 2014

If the crowned heads and courts of Europe in the 18th century had a healthy fascination for the sounds (or more properly, the imagined sounds) of the Ottoman Turks, so too it would seem do modern early music practitioners. The likes of Jordi Savall and Herspèrion XXI have been refining their approach over many years to what seems an increasingly authentic take on the music of the East from 1600 to 1800.

The latest imaginative program from Paul Dyer and the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra gives their own partial take on some of this fascinating repertoire – a mix of French German and Spanish works inspired by the Turkish phenomena of their day – but also the real thing, with a line up of Greek and Turkish musicians and dancers. We even got a group of genuine Sufi dervishes to offer a final whirl!

Louis XIV’s court was abuzz with the exoticism of the East and Jean-Baptiste Lully’s utterly charming Turkish march from Le Bourgeois Gentilhommegot proceedings off to a foot-tapping start....