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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 5 February 2012
Part of the success of Chistina Pluhar and Arpeggiata's projects connecting early music with other traditions has always been that they are well founded in musicological research, and this new disc - drawing on the music of Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina and Paraguay - is no exception. The point of connection in this case is that the music of these countries uses the instruments of the early baroque largely unchanged from when they were first introduced by Spanish and Portuguese colonisers. The descendants of the baroque guitar and Renaissance harp in particular play a central role in the music of Venezuela and Paraguay, and for this CD Arpeggiata's traditional crew is augmented by players of the Venezuelan arpa llanera, cuatro (a miniature guitar also found in Cuba and Mexico), charango and maracas. None of which tells you what is most distinctive about this CD - the fabulous rhythmic intensity of the music, which Arpeggiata carry off with great verve. High-octane, propulsive, multi-layered in its polyrhythm, much of this music is exhiliratingly paced stuff I would defy anyone to sit still to!

As for the vocalists, Vincenzo Capezzuto is a male alto whose tone has an unusual pressed quality, perhaps something of an acquired taste, but who is extremely effective in the faster 'patter numbers' such as El Currucha. Jaroussky of course is as consummate as ever, the tone of lament he must have honed through countless Monteverdi arias perfect for the slower numbers; he only seems out of place in the central section of the title track, where his purity of voice entirely lacks the raw edginess which might better suit the strident, abrupt tango. Luciana Mancini, in contrast, is a fabulously throaty mezzo whose deep voice powers out above the multi-layered accompaniment and sounds highly authentic in this repertoire. Wonderful Arpeggiata stalwart Lucilla Galeazzi also has a melancholy number well suited to her.

The most astonishing vocal performance, however, is saved to Raquel Andueza, who, aside from a duet with Jaroussky, we only meet at the end of the CD. The inclusion of Besame Mucho - covered countless times already by other musicians - might seem a risky move, yet the rendition here is extraordinary and among the most compelling I have heard. As with everything Arpeggiata does at this andante tempo, the sense of pacing is exquisite, and Andueza simply floats over the high notes as if effortlessly cresting the high point of a ferris wheel, then lets the vocal lines fall away in imitation of the valedictory side of the lyrics, while the rhythm section give it all the sway and swagger you need for such a sensuous track. Daringly programmed as the final number, it is a fabulous way to finish a thrilling album, and, for my money, worth the price of the CD alone.

Meanwhile, if this album inspires you to get to know the source Venezuelan music better, google for [no personal connection] a BBC Radio 3 World Routes production on the arpa llanera, where you can hear local musicians singing the joropo exactly as Christina Pluhar describes it in the excellent sleeve notes - long introductory note a la cante jondo followed by story-telling delivery.

A resounding five out of five stars then for another grounded but ground-breaking collaboration from Arpeggiata.
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on 24 February 2012
It is the sound of this disc which makes it so exhilerating. The tunes are mostly well known Latin American folk tunes. But the players are talented and superb performers, the voices strong, clear and enthousiastic. Finally, the sound of the barok instruments combined with a very clear recording make for wonderful listening. Excellent lethargy buster!
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on 8 January 2014
not as novel or exciting as L'arpeggiata's normal CDs. It could have been any music you might hear in a Spanish bar. I was disappointed as I love Christina Pluhar's music normally.
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on 16 March 2012
An intriguing decision to pair up Christina Pluhar's Arpeggiata baroque vocal and instrumental ensemble with a broad sweep of South American music from traditional folksongs to twentieth century tango and film music. The challenge is to not make it look like some condescending middle-class travelogue, and Pluhar achieves this with ease.

The singing is first rate, especially the remarkable countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and the underused soprano Raquel Andueza who gets a chance to shine on 'Besame Mucho', where the double bass player is also allowed a stretch. The trumpet playing on the Astor Piazzolla-composed title track is delightful.

If there are faults, these are confined to Pluhar's booklet notes. A little less information of the technical details of the instruments and musical styles, and a bit more background on the songs themselves (only the first two tracks are provided with this, in this edition) might have helped.

Though the instrumental tracks are very good, it would have been better - and would have demonstrated the individual talents of the group - if there had been more ensemble pieces and fewer harp solos among them.

Otherwise this is a highly recommended purchase.
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on 3 July 2012
Amid the mini avalanche of CDs from classical and other sources in South America, this one is a stand-out. That smiling genie, Christine Pluhar and her group, decided that their early instruments were very similar to those used in South America today, and put together this "project". They perform it in concert [more below] with elan and joy which does not get in the way of perfect musicality and precision of playing. It's the latest in a strong line of superb Spanish/Latin American CDs that stretches back to the Harp Consort's "Luz y Norte" all those years ago, which began it all for me.

The disc too has cost me a lot of money - following it up with various other offerings of L'Arpeggiata, "Teatro d'amor" in particular, and tracking down Erwin Schrott's version of the title song on his recent recital "Rojotango" and on a DVD of the Waldbuhne concert he, Netrebko and Kaufmann gave in Berlin in 2010.

To be cheeky for a moment, once you've bought it and got all the tunes in your head, equip your computer with the resources necessary to create FLV files [there are tutorials on YouTube], download FLV Crunch free from the net, and make an MP4 of the two hour concert L'Arpeggiata gave in Paris of all this music plus more. Your television set won't stop dancing for days.
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on 17 April 2012
This is a well engineered recording of a talented singer and her ensemble, ranging from the high octane Brazilian rhythms of Montilla to the hauntingly reflective Los Pajaros Perdidos of the album's title. The birds might be lost but this recording is definitely a find! Highly recommended if you appreciate Brazilian melodies and rhythms professionally executed.
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on 20 February 2012
This is one of the most beautiful discs I have ever heard. The music and the performers are exceptional. This Latin American music is so different from anything we hear in Europe as a rule. It's catchy, sweet, sad - everything rolled into one. I still cry every time I hear one song. It's so sad and so lovely - and the singer is truly amazing. Full marks for the booklet that accompanies the disc. It's both artistic and informative. Don't worry if you don't speak Spanish - the translations are all there.
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on 26 November 2016
As a jazz fan and someone who loves history I find the approach to music by L'Apreggiata" fascinating. The music is , on the face of it, the culmination of musical archaeology with music rescued from obscurity and then arranged and re-fashioned with musical instruments that belong to the 17th century but with a strong appreciation for improvisation. The earlier you go in Classical music, the less complex the music seems to become. Whilst I would generally chaff at listening to more literal interpretations of the musical discoveries Christina Pluhar unearths, somehow her approach adds a degree of vitality , not to mention swing, to the repertoire which totally transforms it's humble origins.

Over the years, as particular projects she had produced have interested me, I have snapped up her records with enthusiasm. "Los Pajaros Perdido" takes repertoire from South America and refashions it to the style of her ensemble, Whist this effort seems to introduce a number of guitar-related instruments to the mix, the overall feel does evoke the purity of the baroque. On this disc, the repertoire includes a lot of folk material which , on balance, represents the better selections. I am convinced that Pluhar is an extremely savvy musical figure and this disc also includes some 20th century pop songs such as "Besame mucho" which , I believe , was written int he 1940's. The only misstep on this disc in the Piazzola tango which replaces the composer's sexiness with an almost Chmaber music feel which does not quite come off. Other than this track, everything else clicks in to place as you would expect from a L'Arpeggiata record and the CD as a whole is fun, catchy and well crafted. Recommended.
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How to describe this CD? "Fusion" I think is the term in current use. It has elements of European Baroque, South American Baroque and South American contemporary and folk music. There are also echoes of African rhythms.

It is performed by L'Arpeggiata a group of musicians whose recordings of Monteverdi, Kapsberger and Lundi are exquisite but, for want of a better word, conventional, interpretations of European Baroque music.

Their disc, Monteverdi, Teatro d'Amore hinted at things to come.

I am too ignorant to go into the technical details of the instruments used. They sound like guitars, lutes, harps and violins and they take you from the stately measures of the seventeenth century to tangos in smoke filled bars. It seems mean to single out one performer when all are so good, but the quality of Philippe Jaroussky's counter-tenor voice is beyond compare.

I know it is a cliché, but on a cold winter's day in rural England, this music is lifting my spirits and warming my soul. Magic!
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on 24 January 2013
What a gem!
Having recently become an ardent admirer of Philippe Jaroussky, I was browsing through the catalogue and came across 'Pajaros'. I clicked to listen to the snippets, but by the fourth track, I stopped it, and bought it!
Not only is Jaroussky in exquisite voice, everyone involved is irresistible; a total joy throughout!
Do not hesitate to buy this.
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