Demonstrating the ways music has created connections among disparate cultures has become a minor industry within the classical concert world. Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project has ranged freely through musical history, reviving ancient works and commissioning new ones. Early-music specialists like Joel Cohen and Jordi Savall have taken a more scholarly but equally lively approach, and Mr. Savall’s offerings have been particularly ambitious.
One area he has mined devotedly is the interaction among the musicians of Arab cultures — including the Sephardic Jews who lived in Muslim countries after they were expelled from Spain in 1492 — and those of Christian Europe. That relationship animates “Orient-Occident: A Dialogue of Souls,” a program based on a 2006 recording, which he presented at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Tuesday evening.
This was a Middle Eastern ensemble at heart. But in the 14th and 15th centuries you might have found one like it playing in Spain or Italy.