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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 11 September 2012
Somebody thinks that classical music is... hem... not properly boring, but ground for intellectual and refined tastes, not viable for amusement.
Well, this selection from Monteverdi is exactly "fun music". Not trivial, but absolutely entrancing and also, yes, intellectually ravishing.
It is a charming challenge listening Monteverdi mixed up in jazz sonorities, sung by a countertenor and discovering that it is something absolutely harmonious and that perfectly fits in the listener's ear!
Arpeggiata's members have an absolute maitrise of their art and give in this CD a great example of a lively performance. The singers also are at ease with this repertoire; they approach Monteverdi's pieces not in an operatic way, that would be maybe too stiff and bombastic, but in an intimate, soft, sometimes even ironic way that perfectly fits this repertoire.
Most of all, I appreciated Jaroussky. I have never been fond of countertenor: their sonority was always poor in my ear, a little rigid, and bereft of nuances; muuuuch better Marilyn Horne or Cecilia Bartoli! This was before I listened to Jaroussky, that maybe has not a great power in his strings, but has a so tender, nuanced, allusive voice, that finally I found a meaning in countertenor vocality! Now, in this CD at least two pieces are a wonderful exemple of his interpretative art: Ohimè, ch'io cado (so full of irony!) and Pur ti miro (tender, intimate, allusive). Just these two pieces would be worth the whole CD's purchase.

Try it, at least the preview offered by Amazon, it is really a refreshing musical experience!
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on 24 January 2009
As someone who really enjoys L'Arpeggiata's performances, this is a disc which does not disappoint. I simply love the interpretation of 'Chiome d'oro', really refreshing and one of my favourite pieces of Monteverdi, 'Zefiro Torna' it really swings along very nicely. If you have not discovered L'Arpeggiata's music, this would be a good place to start. My one regret is that Virgin failed to think that we in the UK would not want or enjoy a DVD that comes as a limited edition in France, I would love to see that!
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on 31 August 2010
I love L'arpeggiata and applaud Christina Pluhar's efforts to endeavour to make 16th and 17th Century music sound vibrant and relevant. Part of the appeal is to rescue obscure material and through a combination of diligent research and original presentation produce recordings that are both scholarly and infectious to listen to. Generally, they play music that makes you want to dance. The "All improviso", "Los impossibles" and the Tarantella CD's are rarely off my player and the chance to hear Monteverdi given a more infectious spinning was too compelling to pass.

As ever , the playing sounds exceptional and this is probably the largest L'Apreggiata ensemble on any of the four groups that I have in my collection. There are moments where the music generates a jaunty swing such as the second track (which even features subtle brush work from a precussionist and some pithy , trumpet interjections) and the wonderful "Chiome d'oro," yet most of this record seems pretty straight forward and probably loyal to the composer's intentions. As good as this music is, this CD lacks the appeal of their other records I have heard and the jazz influence is nowhere near as obvious as the "All improviso" record which benefits from the inclusion of Italian jazz clarinetist Gianluigi Trovesi amongst it's ranks nor on some of the "Los impossibles" tracks which even conjure up similarities with Bossa Nova, not to mention the inclusion of Juan Tizol's "Caravan" (written for Duke Ellington's orchestra) that was arranged by CP. Examples of the walking bass lines identified in some of the other reviews are also more obvious on the other recordings. To my ears, these reservations are largely contributable to the material which only yields it's pleasures after repeated listening as opposed to the physical clout that marks the group's other records. Monteverdi's music has accumulated more respect over the years than some of his contemporaries and there is a degree of reverence in these performances that means the high spirits of the earlier records is lacking. Notwithstanding, the CD is still hugely enjoyable and well recommended to fans of Chistina Pluhar's group. Newcomers should try some of the earlier discs first which I would consider to be essential listening.
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on 25 April 2016
Just fabulous. I discovered the wonderful music of L'Arpeggiata and Christina Pluhar after hearing Pur ti miro on Classic FM. With the superb countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and brilliant soprano Nuria Rial, though there is so much more to what L'Arpeggiata do--and so much simply divine music that I never knew existed. We love Bach and Handel, and I've heard some wonderful early music through Harry Christopher and the wonderful Sixteen, but this Monteverdi music is something else. Just wonderful--it literally goes straight to the soul. I just love it.
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on 28 August 2009
Quite simply these performances are life-enhancing, musicologically both respectful of the spirit and appropriately disrespectful of the letter.
I challenge any listener not to smile, dance and prick up your ears; this is worth hearing again and again.
We should be grateful for performances like these.
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on 15 June 2009
Monteverdi - Teatro d'Amore [Includes 44 Page Booklet]
For the most part, this is CD is straightforward Monteverdi, beautifully and energetically performed on period instruments. But watch out for track 2- a surprise awaits, based on the idea that walking bass lines, as used in Jazz, were common in Monteverdi's writing. It actually took me a while to twig what was going on! Purists may hate the liberties taken, but come on! Claudio himself would have approved heartily, I am sure!
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on 19 December 2009
Teatro d'Amore by L'Arpeggiata, Christine Pluhar and Phillipe Jaroussky is one of the best early music recordings I have heard. The playing and singing is exceptionally good, and brings out the brilliance and intensity of Monteverdi's music. The wind players are unbelievably good on instruments with no valves, as is the continuo playing by Christine Pluhar. The singing is divine (particularly the duet from Poppea). Highly recommended.
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on 2 December 2015
Wonderful recording from this early music group with some really special songs. It has made me want to hear more of Monteverdi's secular works and more recordings by Philippe Jaroussky and Nuria Rial with their gorgeous voices and interpretations of the songs.
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on 28 October 2014
This is an annoying recording. The world (and especially this section of reviews) is full of gratuitous enthusiasm whenever musical styles get 'fused'. As if, in this modern/post-modern age, any act of artistic creation that blends chopped-up elements of different styles is somehow, a priori, to be slavishly enthused over. I do not agree. I believe every musical style has its own particular integrity, its own core conventions and modes of expression. If you can't pay homage to those, well, make your own music, form your own style, create something powerfully new. DON'T insert bits of jazz into Monteverdi - it just smacks of music students who haven't yet formed their own authentic and original creative ideas, sitting around drinking coffee and going "oh yeah, wouldn't it be really great to combine x with y". Pathetic. I love Monteverdi and I love Jazz. They have their own specific power, integrity and beauty. I don't mix them up.
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on 1 February 2013
How glad I am to have discovered this wonderful ensemble. This recording is full of beautiful things, especially the exquisite duet from 'Poppaea'. No, not just that... all of it! Buy without hesitation, and revel in an hour of joyful, glorious music.
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