L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

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lennygoran
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L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by lennygoran » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:07 am

Never heard of L’Arpeggiata or Luigi Rossi. Regards, Len

Review: L’Arpeggiata Continues to Push Early Music’s Boundaries

By JAMES R. OESTREICH OCT. 8, 2017


An early-music group whose predictable encore is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”? It must be L’Arpeggiata.

And was. Vincenzo Capezzuto, a sweetly mellow alto (not exactly the raw, raspy, self-described “golden voice” of Cohen fame), led a performance of the song on Saturday evening, backed by mostly Baroque instruments, to close L’Arpeggiata’s second program at Zankel Hall: as usual, a lighter and more varied affair.

The first program, on Friday, “La Lyra d’Orfeo,” consisted mainly of music by Luigi Rossi, a younger contemporary of Monteverdi. There were songs by Rossi and excerpts from his two operas, “Il Palazzo Incantato” (“The Enchanted Palace”) and “Orfeo,” interspersed with a few instrumental numbers by others.


The Rossi pieces, mostly little known and many of them fascinating, were exquisitely sung by Céline Scheen, soprano, and Giuseppina Bridelli, mezzo-soprano. Ms. Bridelli had more of the choice numbers, and she was particularly impressive in the “Lamento d’Arione,” an extended dramatic narrative in which the voyaging Greek poet Arion, attacked by pirates, jumps overboard and is led ashore by a dolphin.
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Ms. Scheen and Ms. Bridelli combined beautifully in a duet from “Orfeo,” “Sleep, beautiful eyes.” And they offered another predictable encore, “Pur ti miro,” the transcendent closing duet of Monteverdi’s opera “L’Incoronazione di Poppea.”

The concert offered ample evidence of the adventurous artistry and enterprise of L’Arpeggiata, whose artistic director, Christina Pluhar, anchored the performances on the theorbo (a twangy, deep-voiced, long-necked lute). As is their wont, the superbly skilled and imaginative players — most notably the incomparable Doron David Sherwin, on the trumpetlike cornetto — improvised freely and smoothly, whether in momentary embellishments or in bravura solos.

But it was in the second program that they pulled out all the stops. Called “La Festa d’Arpeggiata,” with a justifiable element of self-celebration, it ranged from ancient folk songs (handsomely delivered, mostly by Mr. Capezzuto) to music of Monteverdi, Purcell and other Baroque composers, and from an improvised jam session to “Hallelujah.”


L’Arpeggiata’s style is to test borders relentlessly, with, say, a modern piano and rhythm section in songs of Purcell. And most forays succeed on some level.

Several numbers were performed here in a more or less straight, historically informed manner. This time, Monteverdi’s “Pur ti miro” was part of the actual program, and Ms. Scheen and Ms. Bridelli put it across meltingly again, in a slightly more restrained performance.

But another “greatest hit” of the Baroque era, “When I am laid in earth” from Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” as moving a lament as has ever been written, fared less well. Accompanied in jazzy fashion by piano and drums and partially crooned by Ms. Scheen, it was utterly defanged.

All of this is a matter of taste rather than technique or artistry, and none of it is to denigrate the quality of the performances, which were all of the highest level. But this question of taste has come up before in L’Arpeggiata performances. Perhaps paradoxically, the group’s ventures farthest afield turn out to offer less consistent fun than its serious — which is still to say, wildly inventive — performances of standard Baroque repertory.




https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/08/arts ... ctionfront

Thank you, you tube:


jbuck919
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:25 am

Excellent, but these instruments were already archaic or archaizing at the time the music was written, even though both Bach and Handel utilized them. (The theorbo, the lute, the viola da gamba.) Here is Bach's greatest work using archaic instruments (viola d'amore), which knocked me flat on my back the first time I heard it. It is quite the most difficult aria he ever composed:

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by lennygoran » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:37 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:25 am
Here is Bach's greatest work using archaic instruments (viola d'amore), which knocked me flat on my back the first time I heard it.
Thanks for this-the singer is Thomas Moser-I've broken bread with him in NYC-he looks so different in this video-I can hardly believe it's him! Regards, Len

jbuck919
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:31 am

lennygoran wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:37 am
jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:25 am
Here is Bach's greatest work using archaic instruments (viola d'amore), which knocked me flat on my back the first time I heard it.
Thanks for this-the singer is Thomas Moser-I've broken bread with him in NYC-he looks so different in this video-I can hardly believe it's him! Regards, Len
Incredible.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

lennygoran
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by lennygoran » Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:06 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:31 am
Incredible.
Sue took a look-she couldn't recognize him either-it was over 20 years since we first met Thomas-the performance was 1985--a great guy! Regards, Len

Belle
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by Belle » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:35 pm

It's a reminder, as if any were needed, of how astonishing the music of Bach is - how 'modern' and also 'challenging' for the listener. I must say that these period instruments are, for me, the only way to hear Bach. I once sang with the altos in a university choir for the St. John Passion and it was that experience which taught me, well over 2 decades ago, how difficult it is to sing Bach and just how much dissonance is there in the score.

And it's great to look back at the heyday of Nikolaus and Alice Harnoncourt!! This recording was made in 1985 and I hadn't heard it before. Oh dear, another distraction today...!!

John F
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by John F » Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:53 pm

You're right, Len, he doesn't look or sound like our Thomas Moser. But this was filmed 32 years ago, and these things change.
John Francis

lennygoran
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by lennygoran » Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:15 pm

John F wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:53 pm
You're right, Len, he doesn't look or sound like our Thomas Moser. But this was filmed 32 years ago, and these things change.
John thanks for confirming this-so true. Regards, Len

Belle
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by Belle » Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:06 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:25 am
Excellent, but these instruments were already archaic or archaizing at the time the music was written, even though both Bach and Handel utilized them. (The theorbo, the lute, the viola da gamba.) Here is Bach's greatest work using archaic instruments (viola d'amore), which knocked me flat on my back the first time I heard it. It is quite the most difficult aria he ever composed:
The closing chorale of the St. John Passion always knocks me flat!! What a work; what a conductor. If anything is calculated to reduce me to a quivering mass it's this final couplet in that chorale:

Lord Jesus Christ, give ear to me,
I would thee praise eternally!

jbuck919
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:39 am

Belle wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:06 pm
The closing chorale of the St. John Passion always knocks me flat!! What a work; what a conductor. If anything is calculated to reduce me to a quivering mass it's this final couplet in that chorale:

Lord Jesus Christ, give ear to me,
I would thee praise eternally!
The title of the chorale is Herzlich hab' ich dich o Herr. (It took me years to discover this.) What we hear in the St. John is one special verse. Riemenschneider, who assembled all the Bach chorales in a single collection which I own, ventured that this was his greatest achievement, at the same time qualifying his thought for having run through such a treasure trove.It remains a mystery why Bach chose to conclude the St. John with a "simple" chorale when he had already written the miraculous movement Ruht wohl.


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by John F » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:13 am

Not to mention "Wir sitzen uns mit Tränen nieder" which concludes the St. Matthew Passion. (Somehow the St. John Passion doesn't get to me as the Matthew and many of the cantatas do.)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vb6IlH8MuGE
John Francis

Belle
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by Belle » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:36 am

jbuck919 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:39 am
Belle wrote:
Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:06 pm
The closing chorale of the St. John Passion always knocks me flat!! What a work; what a conductor. If anything is calculated to reduce me to a quivering mass it's this final couplet in that chorale:

Lord Jesus Christ, give ear to me,
I would thee praise eternally!
The title of the chorale is Herzlich hab' ich dich o Herr. (It took me years to discover this.) What we hear in the St. John is one special verse. Riemenschneider, who assembled all the Bach chorales in a single collection which I own, ventured that this was his greatest achievement, at the same time qualifying his thought for having run through such a treasure trove.It remains a mystery why Bach chose to conclude the St. John with a "simple" chorale when he had already written the miraculous movement Ruht wohl.


Ruht wohl is totally stunning and I think the 'Herzlich hab' ich dich o Herr' chorale verse provides an excellent contrast to that as a simple final statement, almost coming as a release from the tension of the preceding music. It has a transcendent quality; a prayer and plea after the drama. I prefer this Passion overall to the St. Matthew - though they are both so great it's a magnified hair split.

Can you explain what you think personally is the difference between the two? I have sung an English translation (ugh!) of the Johannes with a university choir, and it does seem to have more dissonance overall.

Last year in our music group a friend brought a DVD of the Berlin Philharmonic/Rattle performance of St. Matthew with the Peter Sellars realization, and played much of it for her presentation, discussing aspects of the work. Though the arm movements of the choir and some of the on-stage choreography was annoying, there were moments when I just cried like a baby - much to my utter horror and embarrassment. I'm afraid this is the effect this music has on me.

maestrob
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by maestrob » Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:08 pm

What does it for me is the B Minor Mass, and the Christmas Oratorio, both of which I sang in Carnegie Hall many moons ago in my twenties. I still am moved by this great music when it's done well.

BUT, we're way off Len's topic now, so I'll stop here before I start comparing recordings.

jbuck919
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Re: L’Arpeggiata Luigi Rossi

Post by jbuck919 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:16 pm

Belle wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:36 am
Can you explain what you think personally is the difference between the two? I have sung an English translation (ugh!) of the Johannes with a university choir, and it does seem to have more dissonance overall.

Last year in our music group a friend brought a DVD of the Berlin Philharmonic/Rattle performance of St. Matthew with the Peter Sellars realization, and played much of it for her presentation, discussing aspects of the work. Though the arm movements of the choir and some of the on-stage choreography was annoying, there were moments when I just cried like a baby - much to my utter horror and embarrassment. I'm afraid this is the effect this music has on me.
I've sung in the Johannes Passion twice, the first time in college The second time was more locally, and though it was an excellent performance, they could not find the forces to perform the Arioso "Betrachte meine Seel" or the ensuing aria, so they simply skipped them. I've also been to both churches in Leipzig where the passions were premiered. The St. John is fairly easy to figure out, but even though I know and have personally seen the configuration for the St. Matthew, I am still at a loss as to how Bach could have directed it at the Thomaskirche, as I imagine is every conductor who has attempted it since then, including Mendelsshon.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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