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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 4F de Télérama - 5 croches d'Opéra International - 10 de Classica-Répertoire
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Classical - Released January 1, 2002 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire - 5 croches d'Opéra International - Diapason découverte
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Classical - Released January 1, 2001 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - 10 de Répertoire
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Secular Vocal Music - Released November 15, 2019 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason - 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
Christina Pluhar has long been interested in the vocal music of the 17th century, in particular that of composer Luigi Rossi born around 1597 in the beautiful province of Puglia. He was the titular composer to the Medicis in Florence before taking a job with Cardinal Barberini in Rome. In France, Cardinal Mazarin commissioned him to produce the first Italian opera written specifically for the French court. In a manner of speaking, Rossi is at the root of the productions that another Italian, Lully, would later write for Louis XIV. In 2005, Christina Pluhar had recorded the Lyra d'Orfeo, taken from Rossi's desk drawer, with her ensemble L'Arpeggiata, with the voice of Veronique Gens in all its splendour. But a legal problem arose which prevented its production as a record for nearly 15 years. With the lawsuit ongoing, Christina Pluhar completed her project with Arpa Davidica, a new original compilation of works by Luigi Rossi, which she and her assistants discovered in various libraries. Pluhar has selected a series of virtuoso, theatrical pieces geared closely to the lyrics, as Rossi would set to music the most beautiful poems of his day. Taking on the best voices of the moment, Cécile Scheen, Giuseppina Bridelli, Philippe Jaroussky, Jakub Józef Orliński and Valer Sabadus, Christina Pluhar has pulled out all the stops to bring enchanting and incredibly musically-rich material back to life. The few indications relating to the instrumental accompaniment left on the manuscripts leave the performers almost total freedom. They can imagine all sorts of instrumental combinations to link complicated melismas with the virtuosity of the vocal lines that the composer intended. The interpretation also works as a complete recreation. © François Hudry/Qobuz
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Classical - Released March 22, 2010 | Warner Classics

Booklet Distinctions Choc de Classica - Exceptional Sound Recording
Medieval mystery plays, eclectic popular entertainments put together by amateurs for audiences of their peers, originated in England and France and continued to be performed throughout Europe for many centuries. Christina Pluhar organized the program of this album around the idea of a mystery play whose topic is Christ's passion and resurrection, as it might have been performed in 17th century southern Italy. Its subtitle, "Rappresentazione della gloriosa Passione di Cristo," comes from a Roman play of 1672. Here, as is the case with many of Pluhar's albums with L'Arpeggiata, the operative words are "eclectic" and "entertainment." She and her ensemble are solidly grounded in principles of period performance practice, but she never loses sight of the fact that the music she performs was created with the express intent of entertaining audiences, and she throws her considerable creativity into making music that, while remaining true to the spirit of its time, is meant to delight and move listeners. Her approach may not find universal favor; her album of Monteverdi love songs, Teatro d'Amore, includes unabashed jazz interpretations of several madrigals, but her results are so engaging that even skeptics may be won over. The same dynamic is evident here. In addition to exquisite performances of Baroque instrumental pieces, and solos and duets sung by male soprano Philippe Jaroussky and soprano Núria Rial, she includes songs by the earthy (male) Corsican vocal quartet Barbara Furtuna that don't fit the usual conception of early Baroque music, but that are part of a folk tradition that stretches back hundreds of years. What all the performances have in common are immaculate musicianship, acute intelligence and sensitivity in the realization of the scores, and an irrepressible spontaneity and vitality. The sound is clean and warmly present. This is the kind of album that could be given to music lovers who are no fans of early music, with the reasonable expectation that they could come away with a heightened appreciation of the repertoire and of the power of the right performers to bring it fully to life. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 1, 2004 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 4 étoiles du Monde de la Musique - Timbre de platine
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Sacred Vocal Music - Released January 31, 2011 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Gramophone Editor's Choice - Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released February 28, 2014 | Warner Classics International

Hi-Res Booklet + Video Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released September 1, 2017 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
"Handel goes wild", that’s putting it mildly: in Christina Pluhar’s album, he goes wild to quite some extremes! Indeed the Austrian harpist, theorbist, and lute player picked a handful of Handel’s (and a bit of Vivaldi’s) arias, concerto movements and overtures, and put them not only in the hands of baroque musicians of the L’Arpeggiata Ensemble, but also of half a dozen jazz musicians of various styles. The result is a reinterpretation, in turn gypsy, Klezmer, salsa, New Orleans jazz, lounge, blues and so on, that everyone can either love or hate depending on their own degree of adaptability. Undeniably using a clarinet and piano in this language can be confusing for some… But Pluhar’s approach is simple: Handel himself reused, reshaped, tinkered, disguised, ransacked and rewrote, using both the works of other composers and his own, always with his own personal approach and the most immediate style of his time. So why not do the same nowadays?! In any case, this mixture of baroque instruments and voices with 20th-century instruments and genres is breathtaking. The artists invited include clarinettist Gianluigi Trovesi, pianist Francesco Turrisi and bass player Boris Schmidt in the field of jazz, but also countertenor Valer Barna-Sabadus and soprano Nuria Rial. © SM/Qobuz
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Classical - Released October 9, 2013 | Alpha

Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
L'Arpeggiata, a vocal-instrumental ensemble led by Austrian theorbist Christina Pluhar, specializes in the music of the 17th century as well as the popular dance music on which much of it drew. The combination has resulted in uncommonly lively performances of music by composers who have hitherto been neglected simply because nobody else has quite managed to bring them alive. L'Arpeggiata has gone on to make several acclaimed recordings for the major Virgin label, but the six albums collected on this compilation, recorded for the small Alpha label in France between 2000 and 2005, are equally good and are a bargain in this package. The Baroque works covered, by Kapsberger, Stefano Landi, and Emilio de' Cavalieri, have been better represented in music history books than on recordings, and each disc yields some gems. Even better is the disc entitled "La Tarantella," a sort of reflection on the history, philosophy, and meaning of that famous Italian folk dance, and the one called All' Improvviso, which approaches popular dances of the Baroque era in the spirit, although not the rhythm, of jazz. There's not a dull moment anywhere in the set, and the music played here can very easily be made dull. You can even get Alpha's remarkable original booklets in digital form, although they're not included in the box set, and the production values of the original recordings were uniformly strong. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released January 12, 2009 | Warner Classics

Distinctions 9 de Classica-Répertoire
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Classical - Released October 5, 2018 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 de Diapason
Those wondering whether Himmelsmusik falls on the experimental side of the output of Austrian-born ensemble leader and continuo player Christina Pluhar and her ensemble L'Arpeggiata can rest easy: there is nothing here in the vein of Pluhar's aptly titled Handel Gone Wild. Instead, Pluhar, countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, and her musicians play it straight and deliver a lovely album from the generally neglected German mid-Baroque, and from almost unknown music within that classification. Not all the music pertains to heaven, as the title might suggest; other topics (such as the Christ child) appear, but all the pieces have a calm, worshipful flavor. Pluhar's focus is the music between Schütz and Bach, with both of those composers added at the end to sum up the territory that has been covered. A major presence is French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who certainly can attract bigger clients; his participation is a clue to the music's worth. Some of the composers have direct connections with one or the other (Johann Theile was one of Schütz's last and best students, and the J.C. Bach on the program is not Johann Christian Bach or even Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, but the Arnstadt composer and organist Johann Christoph Bach, Johann Sebastian's first cousin once removed, some of whose later works were for a time accepted as J.S.'s own. Generally speaking, the vocal pieces are solo vocal "concertos" or arias that experiment with the Schütz model, finding new ways to express the texts as dramatic utterances. Sample Franz Tunder's Ein kleines Kindelein, with its substantial introduction and then its text that pours out in a single thought. The composers were aided in their quest by new developments in Italian instrumental music, some of which is included. Tunder shows up on organ programs, but the likes of Crato Bütner, Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, and Johann Rudolf Ahle will be unfamiliar even to Baroque enthusiasts. The music of some was mostly destroyed during World War II; others worked in obscure or distant courts and never made it into the history books. Pluhar's effort at reconstruction is impressive, and Jaroussky is an ideal collaborator; their music-making can be enjoyed by anyone. A deep dive of the very best kind. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 7, 2016 | Erato - Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions 5 Sterne Fono Forum Klassik
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Classical - Released March 4, 2013 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Hi-Res Audio
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Classical - Released January 16, 2012 | Warner Classics

Hi-Res Booklet
Since founding L'Arpeggiata in 2000 as an early music ensemble, Christina Pluhar has taken it in some directions not usually associated with the rarified world of historically informed performance practice, particularly into the traditions of Southern European folk music and jazz. In Los Pájaros Perdidos: The South American Project, she ventures even further afield into the world of modern Latin American popular song and folk song. She argues persuasively that the Renaissance and Baroque instruments the Spanish introduced to the New World in the 16th and 17th century remained essentially the same, while back in Europe they developed in entirely new directions so that the difference between the sound of an early music ensemble and a popular South American instrumental group is less significant than one might expect. Based on the sound of this album, she seems to be right. She uses both European and Latin American instruments and although the results are clearly not exactly the same as they would be with either group on its own, they're awfully close, certainly close enough to make the project entirely persuasive. Each of the songs or instrumentals uses instruments from both worlds and the blend is often magical. The addition of the European psaltery and distinctive American percussion in particular expand the traditional sound of either culture. The singers are all members of L'Arpeggiata and succeed in varying degrees in hitting the swing of the Latin rhythms. Countertenor Philippe Jaroussky is perhaps the least effective, although his singing is consistently beautiful. It's only in contrast to Lucilla Galeazzi, Luciana Mancini, Vincenzo Capezzuto, and Raquel Andueza, who sound like they have this idiom in their blood, that Jaroussky sounds less that fully effective. Mancini is especially impressive; her gutsy alto is ideally suited to fiery, passionate songs like Montilla, while Capezzuto shines in the sunnier songs, and Galeazzi and Andueza excel in the languid, achingly poignant ballads. Andueza's yearning Besame mucho is one of the highlights of the album. L'Arpeggiata and the quartet of Latin American instruments headed by Quito Gato play their hearts out. Virgin Classics' sound is immaculate, finely detailed, and warmly intimate. Highly recommended. © TiVo
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Classical - Released March 4, 2013 | Warner Classics

Booklet
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Classical - Released September 1, 2017 | Warner Classics

Booklet
Conductor Christina Pluhar and her ensemble L'Arpeggiata have made several recordings in which the improvisational bases of jazz and Baroque music are brought together. The ideas go back as far as the Modern Jazz Quartet's recordings of the 1950s, and Pluhar, on solid ground, has attracted plenty of critical attention and strong sales. Handel Goes Wild, as the title suggests, goes farther into the unknown. Pluhar asserts that the title refers to Handel's choleric personality, but it is also she who goes wild; the album's subtitle is "Improvisations on G.F. Handel," but it might be more accurate to say that Handel serves here as raw melodic material for further creative activity. Soprano Núria Rial and countertenor Valer Sabadus roll with whatever L'Arpeggiata throws at them, and there's nothing dull about the proceedings at all: the playing is not like the MJQ's, with its regular jazz rhythms substituted for Baroque pulses, but instead shifts freely between pieces and within a single aria. There is jazz, but there are also other styles of various kinds, and there is also straight Handel. Obviously, your mileage may vary here: you can sample Venti, turbini from Rinaldo, to hear what you're getting into. Whatever your personal verdict, the members of L'Arpeggiata are not dilettantes fooling with Handel; they know their stuff. © TiVo
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Classical - Released October 5, 2018 | Warner Classics

Booklet
Those wondering whether Himmelsmusik falls on the experimental side of the output of Austrian-born ensemble leader and continuo player Christina Pluhar and her ensemble L'Arpeggiata can rest easy: there is nothing here in the vein of Pluhar's aptly titled Handel Gone Wild. Instead, Pluhar, countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, and her musicians play it straight and deliver a lovely album from the generally neglected German mid-Baroque, and from almost unknown music within that classification. Not all the music pertains to heaven, as the title might suggest; other topics (such as the Christ child) appear, but all the pieces have a calm, worshipful flavor. Pluhar's focus is the music between Schütz and Bach, with both of those composers added at the end to sum up the territory that has been covered. A major presence is French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky, who certainly can attract bigger clients; his participation is a clue to the music's worth. Some of the composers have direct connections with one or the other (Johann Theile was one of Schütz's last and best students, and the J.C. Bach on the program is not Johann Christian Bach or even Johann Christoph Friedrich Bach, but the Arnstadt composer and organist Johann Christoph Bach, Johann Sebastian's first cousin once removed, some of whose later works were for a time accepted as J.S.'s own. Generally speaking, the vocal pieces are solo vocal "concertos" or arias that experiment with the Schütz model, finding new ways to express the texts as dramatic utterances. Sample Franz Tunder's Ein kleines Kindelein, with its substantial introduction and then its text that pours out in a single thought. The composers were aided in their quest by new developments in Italian instrumental music, some of which is included. Tunder shows up on organ programs, but the likes of Crato Bütner, Philipp Heinrich Erlebach, and Johann Rudolf Ahle will be unfamiliar even to Baroque enthusiasts. The music of some was mostly destroyed during World War II; others worked in obscure or distant courts and never made it into the history books. Pluhar's effort at reconstruction is impressive, and Jaroussky is an ideal collaborator; their music-making can be enjoyed by anyone. A deep dive of the very best kind. © TiVo
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Classical - Released September 7, 2018 | Warner Classics

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Classical - Released November 1, 2019 | Warner Classics

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Christina Pluhar in the magazine
  • Christina Pluhar's darling Rossi
    Christina Pluhar's darling Rossi The founder of L'Arpeggiata zooms in on the work of her favourite composer, Rossi, a master of 17th century Italian vocal music.
  • A Cavalli palette for Christina Pluhar
    A Cavalli palette for Christina Pluhar With L'amore innamorato, the founder of L’Arpeggiata met sous les projecteurs un compositeur et une période fascinants de l’histoire de Venise...
  • The Qobuz Minute #2
    The Qobuz Minute #2 Presented by Barry Moore, The Qobuz Minute sweeps you away to the 4 corners of the musical universe to bring you an eclectic mix of today's brightest talents. Jazz, Electro, Classical, World music ...