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Via Crucis Import

4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, April 20, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

2009 release from L'Arpeggiata, the French-based ensemble directed by Austrian-born harpist and lutenist Christina Pluhar. L'Arpeggiata has made a speciality of exploring and exploiting the close links between Baroque repertoire and the traditional music of the Latin world and its characteristic forms such as the tarantella, the folia or the canario. On Via Crucis, 'the way of the Cross', the focus is on the pervasive presence of religious feeling in Southern Europe. The Passion of Christ evokes the same fervour in composers such as Giovanni Felice Sances (1600-1679) or Tarquinio Merula (1594-1665) - both active in northern Italy -- as it does in the streets of Naples or the villages of Corsica. The two main works in the collection are Sance's extraordinary Stabat Mater and Merula's Hor ch'e tempo di dormire, in which the Virgin Mary lulls her baby to sleep while weeping for his future suffering and both enthrall the listener with a basso ostinato and hypnotic swaying rhythms.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 20, 2010)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Erato Disques
  • ASIN: B0035W8QUQ
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,441 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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That's an open, and I hope non-judgmental, question. "Via Crucis" embodies both a radically creative direction in the performance of 17th C music and an apparently sincere 'spirituality' expressing itself in the concept of a penitential procession in music and words. I make no bones about my indifference to spirituality, so any praise I offer this performance has to do with its musicality.

Harpist Christina Pluhar and her ensemble L'Arpeggiata have stretched the limits of "historically informed performance" well beyond any notion of time-machine replication of the sounds people heard in the 1600s. For me, this was and is an inevitable evolution; the purpose of the "early music" movement was never museum-like costume music but rather the development of a NEW playing tradition based on both scholarly and intuitive understanding of OLD music, using old notation and other archival sources, surviving traces of old practice in traditional musics, and of course reproduction of the old instruments along with rediscovery of their virtues. L'Arpeggiata has arrived on the scene at a moment when the skills of the singers and instrumentalists committed to that NEW/Old playing tradition are ripe. It's those skills that make Pluhar's amalgamations and experimentations plausible. But there was precedent for her notions decades ago. Cornettist Doron Sherwin could testify to that; in the late 70s, he was doing some of the same jazzy licks in the California-based ensemble "Pastime with Good Company."

Sherwin's role in L'Arpeggiata is indispensable. His improvisations are the 'fire' that ignites many of the tracks on Via Crucis, as well as on Pluhar's earlier CD of Monteverdi, titled Teatro d'Amore. Without Sherwin, a lot of what L'Arpeggiata does would sound heavy-handed.
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Format: Audio CD
For those fascinated by the obscure works occasionally unearthed from the history of music this 'musical happening' will surely appeal. This recording is a mixture of works by the 17th century composers Giovanni Felice Sances (1600 - 1679) and Tarquinio Merula (1594-1665) as well as folk music from Italy and Corsica. The combination is tied together with the theme of 'The Way of the Cross' by Christina Pluhar, a lutenist and harpist, who has gathered friends with period instruments into a group known as L'Arpeggiata. In this recording the male quartet of singers known as Barbara Furtura joins L'Arpeggiata in mixing the 'serious music' with the 'people's music' and the result is fascinating and transporting. The major works in this collection are Sance's extraordinary Stabat Mater and Merula's 'Hor ch'e tempo di dormire' in which the Virgin Mary lulls her baby to sleep while weeping for his future suffering and both enthrall the listener with a basso ostinato and hypnotic swaying rhythms.

In addition to the separate instrumental works and the works such as the hauntingly beautiful 'Maria (Sopra La Carpinese) sung by Barbara Fortuna end ensemble, there are wroks that incorporate the entire instrumental, 'choral' ensembles with soloists. And to emphasize the importance of this recoding the soloists are French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and Spanish soprano Nuria Rial. The results are works that are at once deeply spiritual as marvelously passionate. This is a sound that changes with every track in a way that challenges the listener to hear the variations in mood and technique while falling under the spell of this otherworldly music making. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, February 11
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Format: Audio CD
L'Arpeggiata, the French-based ensemble directed by Austrian-born harpist Christina Pluhar has achieved another success, with the release of the new album titled "Via Crucis." The vocal and instrumental components blend together very well, and make this CD an even more powerful listen. There is a religious component that is audible when listening to this piece, which makes sense because "Via Crucis" translates to the way of the Cross. Even if you are not a fan of music with religious undertones, you will still immensely enjoy this CD.
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First heard this on an Air France flight home last May. I enjoyed it so much that I played it several times, (could it have been the wine?!). The second thing that I did the following day after sorting through bills, was to order Via Crucis, which has been a regular among my favorites. I find it calming, meditatively inspiring, uplifting despite its title and subject matter. Highly recommend.
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Format: Audio CD
Profond et très décomplexé, le dernier l'Arpegiatta dirigé par Christina Pluhar tient la corde de ses productions initiées au début du millénaire chez Alpha ; son passage chez Virgin donne de l'ampleur à la production ; j'avais lu ici et là des commentaires mitigés : Pluhar nous ressert la même soupe, ce qui n'est plus très original, d'autres, plus convaincants soulignent l'indéniable talent de l'autrichienne et sa capacité immense d'interprétation autant que celle de savoir adapter un répertoire totalement oublié et qu'il est bon d'exhumer. Je partage cette tolérance car ce disque est bien produit et il est difficile de ne pas se laisser troubler par ces 18 morceaux en forme de consolation avec le monde entier. Jarousky chante comme Jarousky, sans essayer de faire autrement et, au fond, c'est tout ce qu'on lui demande car il le fait si bien...
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