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Hesperion XX (Early Music Ensemble)
Hespèrion XX was an international Early Music ensemble formed in Basle, Switzerland in 1974 by Spanish musical director Jordi Savall. It has been superseded by a newer group lineup, calling themselves Hespèrion XXI. The lineup includes Jordi Savall (direction/bowed string instruments), Montserrat Figueras (vocalist), Lorenzo Alpert (flutist, percussionist), Hopkinson Smith (plucked string instruments), and other musicians. The ensemble is noted for its scholarship in early music - especially the music of 16th and 17th century Spain. Their performance practice is noted for the liberal use of improvisation around the basic melodic and rhythmic structures of the early pieces, resulting in great emotional intimacy and immediacy.