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Cavalieri: Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo
 
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Cavalieri: Rappresentatione di Anima, et di Corpo

L'Arpeggiata / Christina Pluhar
18 May 2009 | Format: MP3

£21.98 (VAT included if applicable)
Also available in CD Format
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2:30
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1:48
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2:25
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2:21
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2:34
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1:37
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8:08
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1:54
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Disc 2
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1:51
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2:10
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3:11
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0:56
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2:12
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1:07
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3:03
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3:26
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3:18
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2:01
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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 1 Jan. 2004
  • Release Date: 18 May 2009
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Alpha
  • Copyright: 2004 Alpha
  • Total Length: 1:21:32
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002A5ZGWU
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 435,703 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)

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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Having recently heard and reviewed the recording under René Jacobs of Cavalieri's groundbreaking sacred opera, I have found that the present version by Christina Pluhar's L'Arpeggiata, recorded ten years earlier, offers a fascinating comparison. Just to recap on the nature and significance of this work - and with apologies to both of my regular readers for any repetition - Emilio de Cavalieri's extraordinary 'Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo' was a seminal work in European music. First performed in Rome in the 'Holy Year' of 1600, it is often referred to as an oratorio or sacred opera, but either way it was an utterly original work, composed before any other examples of those formats existed.

Whatever you choose to call it, it is by nature a dramatic work. As its title suggests, it takes the form of an earnest, often tormented dialogue between Body and Soul, with the participation of several other allegorical figures such as Intellect, Pleasure, World, Guardian Angel, Good Counsel - each of these being represented by a singer, of course, with additional choruses of Blessed Souls, Damned Souls or just plain chorus. And then there is the very substantial instrumental accompaniment. The various dialogue sections between the characters are conducted in a mixture of arioso and quasi-aria passages, choruses and instrumental interludes, the pace and mood of the music constantly varying in response to the text. There are also many lively and powerfully expressive choruses with instrumental accompaniment, and these are performed with vigour and imagination by Pluhar's singers and period instrument players.
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Format: Audio CD
This is possibly the first printed opera, the first with stage directions, and the first given in Rome. Cavalieri did not specify the exact instrumentation to be used, so that used here is based on later works, and a bit of guesswork. The theme is a medieval dialogue between body and soul. But never mind this. What does it sound like?

In a word, fabulous. There is nothing to fault. Sound quality, singing and playing are superbly well done. The music itself varies from beautiful to quite frightening. I'm not always a fan of music from this period, but this is as good as I've heard. Whether this is how it would have sounded in 1600 I don't know, or really care to be honest. What we have here is what matters, and it's damned good.

Shop around, though. You can get it more cheaply than on Amazon.
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Format: Audio CD
Having listened to many performances of this work over the years I find that this performance probably comes out on top.I am not a great musical "officionado".I like what I hear and I love this performance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8d3f78d0) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c880774) out of 5 stars Un très grand raffinement 21 Jun. 2011
By Pèire Cotó - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Sorry ! I am not able to write my review in English.

La Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo, d'Emilio de 'Cavalieri (circa 1550 - 1602), de la génération immédiatement antérieure à Monteverdi, est considéré comme le premier oratorio, représenté deux fois à Rome en 1600, dans l'Oratorio della Vallicella, siège de l'Oratoire, la congrégation fondée depuis peu par Saint Philippe Neri, en présence des personnalités religieuses (35 cardinaux au total) de la ville, sans compter les laïcs. L'occasion en était l'Année sainte, décrétée par le pape Clément VIII et le cadre historique celui de la Contre-Réforme.

Le Moyen Age connaissait des dialogues de l'Ame et du Corps, mais le livret de Manni multiplie les personnages qui sont en fait surtout des allégories, Consiglio, Intelletto, Piacer, Vita mondana, Anime beate, Anime dannate, sans compter l'Angelo Custode (l'Ange gardien). Le résultat aurait pu être bien fade, surtout pour nos oreilles, mais la musique, très variée, directe et même spectaculaire, en rend l'écoute attrayante. C'est un chef-d'oeuvre, c'est évident, mais ce n'est pas une oeuvre difficile. On est bien dans l'esprit de la Contre-Réforme qui s'adresse aux sens des hommes ignorants pour édifier leur âme.

Je connaissais la version de Marco Longhini Rappresentatione Di Anima E Di Corpo, mais celle de Christina Pluhar et de l'ensemble l'Arpeggiata est très différente. La première, enregistrée de façon globale dans une église, était en public. Celle-ci, version de studio, offre une perspective sonore bien plus fine et précise et chanteurs et instrumentistes sont entendus de plus près. On observe des différences dans l'ordre des morceaux. Marco Longhini, suivant l'exemple de Loehrer et peut-être conformément à une tradition, faisait entendre au début un choeur "O Signor santo e vero" qu'on retrouve dans la version Pluhar et dans celle de Vartolo Cavalieri: Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo (2 CD Set) à la fin du troisième acte. Pluhar commence par une Sinfonia qui est répétée à la fin du premier acte, où d'ailleurs on l'entend aussi chez Longhini et chez les autres. Christina Pluhar explique que certaines variantes sont libres, notamment parce que Cavalieri laissait la possibilité de faire entendre ou non des intermèdes instrumentaux, ainsi que de terminer l'exécution de l'oeuvre d'une manière ou d'une autre. Elle prend l'initiative d'inclure des intermèdes signalés comme étant de compositeurs différents. Un des résultats est que son interprétation dépasse de peu le cadre d'un CD alors que Longhini s'y inscrivait.

On est enchanté par le soin des chanteurs, le pittoresque de certaines interventions instrumentales et de leurs rencontres savoureuses, de même que par l'impression d'exactitude, bien servie par la transparence de la prise de son. On apprécie aussi le texte qui est fourni, la notice très développée, due notamment à Christina Pluhar elle-même, un peu moins le visuel qui n'est pas d'une folle gaieté, ce qui ne va guère dans le sens de l'oeuvre très tonique de Cavalieri. Il y a généralement un très grand raffinement, ainsi qu'une science très approfondie de la musique ancienne et du style d'interprétation qui lui convient. Ce qu'apportait Longhini était bien différent : l'impression d'entendre une oeuvre s'adressant à une collectivité, l'atmosphère sensuellement italienne que permettait la présence de chanteurs et d'instrumentistes du pays. Avec l'Arpeggiata, le studio nuit un peu à l'atmosphère et le caractère italien est moins évident, malgré le soin apporté à la prononciation et la présence de Marco Beasley. Il va de soi que la plupart des amateurs de musique ancienne à la pointe du goût moderne préféreront de beaucoup l'interprétation de Pluhar à celle de Longhini. A mon avis, la perfection formelle et stylistique de cette version ne doit pas plonger dans l'ombre les réalisations plus imparfaites mais plus chaleureuses.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c880a50) out of 5 stars Spontaneous and engaging version of a groundbreaking work 19 April 2015
By Stephen Midgley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Having recently heard and reviewed the recording under René Jacobs of Cavalieri's groundbreaking sacred opera, I have found that the present version by Christina Pluhar's L'Arpeggiata, recorded ten years earlier, offers a fascinating comparison. Just to recap on the nature and significance of this work - and with apologies to both of my regular readers for any repetition - Emilio de Cavalieri's extraordinary 'Rappresentatione di Anima e di Corpo' was a seminal work in European music. First performed in Rome in the 'Holy Year' of 1600, it is often referred to as an oratorio or sacred opera, but either way it was an utterly original work, composed before any other examples of those formats existed.

Whatever you choose to call it, it is by nature a dramatic work. As its title suggests, it takes the form of an earnest, often tormented dialogue between Body and Soul, with the participation of several other allegorical figures such as Intellect, Pleasure, World, Guardian Angel, Good Counsel - each of these being represented by a singer, of course, with additional choruses of Blessed Souls, Damned Souls or just plain chorus. And then there is the very substantial instrumental accompaniment. The various dialogue sections between the characters are conducted in a mixture of arioso and quasi-aria passages, choruses and instrumental interludes, the pace and mood of the music constantly varying in response to the text. There are also many lively and powerfully expressive choruses with instrumental accompaniment, and these are performed with vigour and imagination by Pluhar's singers and period instrument players.

The soloists, ranging from sopranos to bass, are all excellent and include a number of distinguished names including Johannette Zomer, Nuria Rial, Stephan MacLeod and Marco Beasley. They are extremely effective communicators, powerfully expressive and all fine, stylish voices. The instrumental ensemble including strings, woodwind, cornetti, sackbut, dulcian, percussion and substantial continuo section, here consists of around twenty players - a smaller ensemble than in the Jacobs recording, reflecting the more intimate nature of Pluhar's approach. The cornettists, Doron Sherwin and Gebhard David, are kept very busy indeed and do an outstanding job with their improvised embellishments. In Act 3, the scenes depicting the way to Heaven and the mouth of Hell are especially well depicted, the latter by the lower instruments.

Pluhar's approach to the work is generally more fleet-footed and more personal than Jacobs. Scoring is lighter - the mood more like an opera or masque than you would expect of the first sacred oratorio - and tempi are generally quicker, with the result that the present recording is a few minutes shorter than that of Jacobs. Since the composer himself did not provide his own instrumental interludes - or at least, none that have survived - there is a degree of freedom in choosing suitable passages from other composers, and here the two recordings differ noticeably. Pluhar opts for pieces by Susato, Vierdanck and Merula. Shortly before the ending, Pluhar brings us a gorgeous Ciacogna, stated in the booklet as being by Philipp van Wichel although to me it sounds exactly like Tarquinio Merula's Ciacona. Either way, it's wonderfully played and provides a spirited and engaging climax. Booklet notes and track listing are also unclear about the origin of the very last item, an Epilogo which may or may not be by Cavalieri - here again, booklet notes, libretto and track listing are contradictory. Anyway it provides a rather subdued close but, philosophically, this actually suits the work well. Evidently the conclusion of Cavalieri's work is problematic because Jacobs has trouble with it too.

All texts and translations are provided, and booklet notes are very good. The musicianship in both Pluhar's and Jacobs' recordings is superb. I am very happy to have both of these versions but, if forced to choose, I believe I would have a slight preference for Jacobs: Cavalieri: Rappresentatione di anima et di corpo. There is an air of spontaneity about Christina Pluhar's work, which is impressive and engaging here as in her other recordings. But in the present work I feel that the profound thought and care which Jacobs puts into everything he does, pays off extremely well and conveys even better both the philosophical weight and the ambitious musical substance of Cavalieri's extraordinary masterpiece.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c886eb8) out of 5 stars Lovely, Lovely Music 10 Jun. 2012
By Alyssa Vetter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I generally find early music somewhat grating after listening to it for an extended period.

It rarely seems to flow beautifully and the bongo type drums are annoying. Some period instruments I can't appreciate - but that's just my personal taste.

Not so with this lovely piece by Cavalieri. The trumpet is wonderful and blends wonderfully with the other period instruments. None overpower any of the others, example: the flute and trumpet can both be heard when playing together. The other period instruments are soothing and bright at the same time. A fine job by the recording people.

The music is rather "simple" in composition, but produces an extremely pleasing end product. The vocals are first rate and the choice of singers fit who they are in this "opera". I love these CDs (there are 2) and listen to them often.

My only complaint is that the liner notes with the English translation were really hard to follow and after 3 or 4 tries, I gave up and now I just sit back and enjoy this fantastic piece of music in its original language.

It is an excellent buy for someone who is not familiar with early music and wants to become acquainted with it. (Alas, they will be spoiled and might expect something this great with their next purchase!) But, by all means buy this and revel in it!!
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