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Landi: Homo fugit velut umbra... /L'Arpeggiata · Pluhar CD

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Landi: Homo fugit velut umbra... /L'Arpeggiata · Pluhar + Mediterraneo + Via Crucis
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Product details

  • Performer: Christina Pluhar, Johannette Zomer, Marco Beasley, Stephan van Dyck, Alain Buet
  • Composer: Stefano Landi
  • Audio CD (9 May 2011)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Alpha
  • ASIN: B0000632DG
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,290 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Homo fugit velut umbra - Passacaglia della vitaStephan Van Dyck 4:17£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. AugellinStephan Van Dyck 5:06£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. SinfoniaArpeggiata, L' 3:26£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Invan lusinghiJohannette Zomer 2:11£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Altri amor fuggaStephan Van Dyck 3:45£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Canzona detta La PozzaArpeggiata, L' 3:24£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. T'amai gran tempoStephan Van Dyck 5:57£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. A che piu l'arco tendereStephan Van Dyck 3:47£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Alla guerra d'amorJohannette Zomer 3:12£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Balletto delle VirtuArpeggiata, L' 1:47£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Canta la cicaletaStephan Van Dyck 5:25£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen12. DirindinMarco Beasley 1:17£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Quando RinaldoJohannette Zomer 4:47£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Quest'AcquaJohannette Zomer 3:41£0.59  Buy MP3 
Listen15. Amarillide, deh vieniStephan Van Dyck 2:46£0.59  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Pièces vocales / L'Arpeggiata & Christina Pluhar (Johannette Zomer, soprane - Marco Beasley, ténor - Stephan van Dyck, ténor - Alain Buet, basse - et instrumentistes)

BBC Review

So who was Stefano Landi? Well, it depends what you read. To the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians he is 'One of the most important figures in the early history of opera and a leading Roman composer of his day'. But this recording focuses on another, less public side of Landi's art, the more personal books of arias (Libri di Arie). It looks into Landi's 'double life, the reverse side of life at court and its struggle for we can discover in Stefano Landi's Libri di Arie pieces that on closer inspection lead the way into a universe all his own. These arias and villanellas, composed by a singer and continuo player, a rhetorician and philosopher, who accompanied his own songs on the harp or the Spanish guitar, constitute a miniature art form of concentrated perfection'.

This might sound like special pleading for a minor figure in Italian musical history, but I defy you not to warm to their cause as you listen to this enchanting cd.

The liner notes establish a useful human context for Landi's music: Landi was an alto in the papal choir, job-sharing with Grigorio Allegri, and one of the many musical employees of the wealthy and influential Barberini family. This meant he was surrounded by some of the finest artistic talent in Italy all gathered in the Barberini's unheated servants' quarters, all competing for the recognition, attention and exposure that would guarantee them a future.

This musical world behind the notes is the hidden universe of the shadows that gives the disc its title: Homo fugit velut umbra - man flees like a shadow - taken from the anonymous title track. After you've heard it, you're hooked; the performers breathe new life into Landi's musical world, with voices that seem to understand every nuance of the things about which they sing. The instrumental accompaniment is improvisatory, earthy and ingenious: lute, theorbo, guitar and harp continuo, plus up to a trio of violins, viola da gamba, a cornet and a gentle sprinkling of percussion.

There's imitative entertainment: Augellin (the little songbird) and Canta la cicaletta (the little cicada sings); opera-in-miniature (Quando Rinaldo invitto Armida abbandono); and songs of love disappointed, tortured and betrayed. This is punctuated with instrumental numbers that heighten the beauty of the singing around them. It all feels natural and unforced, yet this is truly sophisticated entertainment.

Style triumphs over content in a couple of ways: the cd is so keen on establishing context for the music it forgets to tell us which singers are which. There's such beautiful work from the tenors, Marco Beasley and Stephan van Dyck, it's almost insulting not to attribute the voices to the songs. Also, Landi's arie are taken from a number of sources, and we are not told which works are from where.

That apart, congratulations to Christina Pluhar, her singers and L'Arpeggiata, for illuminating the life of a little-known Italian master in such a beautifully rewarding way. The Paris-based label Alpha is a relative newcomer, but this joined-up contextual approach seems to be one of their main goals, as well as using interesting but not necessarily well-established artists and ensembles. I'll be keeping an eye on any future releases of theirs that come my way; this is one of the most pleasurable early music releases I've heard in an age.

Andrew McGregor - presenter of CD Review on Radio 3 --John Armstrong

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Kicek&Brys on 22 Nov 2002
Format: Audio CD
"Ut pictura musica", says the cover, "music is like painting", and indeed few recordings of seventeenth century music are as vivid and colourful as this one. Stefano Landi (c.1586-1639) was a composer at the court of the Pope in Rome and this collection contains fourteen of his short vocal and instrumental pieces. Some music lovers might be familiar with his rather introspective opera "Il Sant'Alessio" and a few movements from that work appear on this disc. But what's striking about the pieces here is their incredible rhythmic and melodic verve, making the music sound like a cross between Latin American folk music and Monteverdi. This is particularly true of the opening track, an anonymous tarantella (the only track not by Landi) whose infectious energy seems to belie the fact that the words are about the inescapibilty of human mortality until you realize it is a dance of death. Other pieces are no less evocative: 'Augellin' depicts a bird soaring in the sky with its upward sweeping melody and spacious accompaniment; 'Canta la cicaleta' is a delicate and charming portrait of a little cicada singing as it dies. Other pieces sound more like Monteverdi in the aristocratic elegance of their melodic lines, 'A che piu l'arco tendere' for instance. 'Quando Rinaldo' is almost a four-minute opera on the favourite Baroque theme of Tasso's Armida and Rinaldo. Other pieces are more madrigalesque while many have catchy rhythms that suggest twentieth century pop music more than anything else: the 'walking bassline' in the final track, 'Amarilli, deh! vieni' looks forward to blues or even funk. The music is given excellent advocacy by L'Arpeggiata.Read more ›
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By alexandria1121 on 17 Dec 2004
Format: Audio CD
I heard one track of this CD on BBC Radio 3's Late Junction and felt I had to have it. I was not disappointed. The songs are beautifully simple in presentation and yet complex in melody, and almost hypnotic. Try Augelin for example and see if it is not still in your mind hours later!
A lot of early music is dismissed by non-addicts as "churchy", but this certainly is not, even though Landi was a musician to Maffeo Barberini, who was Pope. These are love songs in the main, sung to the accompaniment of Baroque Harp, Guitar and Theorbo. Recorded live in a chapel where the accoustics are all that could be desired, the CD could not be improved on!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dobester on 22 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
This is an extraordinarily pleasant album, full of great singing and playing. The recording is particularly good, providing a powerfully "realistic" atmosphere, giving the listener the sense almost of being there. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert G Fray on 27 Feb 2013
Format: Audio CD
Having other L'Arpeggiata recordings, I decided to play the samples for this album. I didn't have to go beyond the second track (Augelin) to know it was for me. The whole set is beautifully recorded, and result is almost hypnotic.
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