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L'Arpeggiata, Next Stop: Naples

Door Pierre Lamy |

With "Alla Napoletana", Christina Pluhar's ensemble explores the musical facets (known and less known) of the most unique and intoxicating of Italian metropolises: Naples. An album that reflects the city's vibrant musical personality from the 17th to the 20th century, from the operatic style of the famous Neapolitan school that had its peak at the end of the 18th century, to popular songs and dances.

Christina Pluhar has the gift of conceiving rich, unique and enchanting programmes. Better still, she knows how to carefully choose the musicians best suited to take them on. At the head of her renowned ensemble L'Arpeggiata, she has been busy unearthing numerous pearls of early repertoire since the 2000s, which she strings together in first-class style.

Alla Napoletana is no exception to the rule: Pluhar exhumes for the occasion, numerous manuscripts collected over the last two decades, resulting in this programme devoted to 17th century Naples. In this era of possibility, conducive to strange carnivalesque changes, scholarly and popular music maintain more permeable boundaries to the point where they begin to merge, all for the listener's pleasure. The marks of theatricality borrowed from the "commedia dell'arte" give a striking relief to these pieces which fascinate us with their formal and textual originality, and reveal to us the great modernity and freedom of tone that the authors who composed them possessed. The great ancient and poetic theme of love - but above all of the disease of love - is declined in various ways: satirical, parodic, elegiac...

Although the immense qualities of the combined talents of Pluhar and her ensemble no longer need to be proven, we are also delighted by the performance of the soloists, in particular the countertenor Vincenzo Capezzuto, who is hilarious in the most farcical pieces.


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