L’Arpeggiata, the French-based ensemble directed by Austrian-born harpist and lutenist Christina Pluhar, releases its second Virgin Classics album, following Teatro d’amore, a program of Monteverdi which blended instruments and voices, score and improvisation in a kind of sublime Baroque jam session. Figaro magazine observed that “L’Arpeggiata invests Monteverdi with a dazzling array of vocal and instrumental colors. A touch of improvisation raises the singing to an incandescent level … A unique distillation of explosive vitality.”
L’Arpeggiata has made a specialty 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. In this new collection, Via Crucis, ‘the way of the Cross’, the focus is on the pervasive presence of religious feeling in Southern Europe.
Founded in 2000, the members of L’Arpeggiata are some of the leading European soloists in their field. The group’s particular focus is on French, Italian and Neapolitan music of the 17th century and it works with often daring instrumental improvisations, exploiting rich textures created by blending a variety of plucked instruments, and a vocal style influenced by traditional music.
Featured on Via Crucis is an impressive line up of Baroque stars like Nuria Rial, Philippe Jaroussky and the male vocal quartet Barbara Furtuna (Corsican Choir), whose earthy, but highly-disciplined sonorities evoke centuries of Mediterranean culture.