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on 28 January 2015
Before I make my comments, please note that I'm reviewing the one CD only version.

This brilliant and enjoyable music is just the job for classcial aficionados who are also jazz fans. For my shelves, I've categorised it as "Post-Modern Purcell". In Baroque music, there is alway dance and I believe the continuo players were permitted to improvise anyway, so the notions of rhythm and experimentation were always there.

The main reason for my review, though, is to contest the statement that the work contains "skiffle" and to quell the idea that it's going to be bashed out on strummed guitar, washboard and one-string tea chest bass. Nothing could be further from the truth. The pianist and guitarist play jazz at times, but the whole thing couldn't be more refined.

The use of a soprano who doesn't sound classically trained, or not fully so, is interesting - and poignant.
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on 1 September 2017
So every new CD of l’Arpeggiata is a happening in my house. Not so much with this CD. I listened to it and well I was disappointed, so I stashed it away. But now after a few years I tried again and I must say: I am pleasantly surprised. Everything that makes Apeggiata great is still there: musicality, interesting interpretations, beautiful instruments and the enjoyment of the musicians is still palpable.

I am a simple music listener and don’t know much about Purcell. I can say that I wasn’t as blown away by this interpretation as I was with the Monteverdi interpretation. Some tracks are up to par. Other tracks made me reach for a waterpipe and my flower power tracksuit; Dido’s Lament for instance. It’s like Dido and Aeneas just sat down for a nice dinner, she is already in her slippers and nighty but he has to take the dog out. He kisses her goodnight and goes out. Not quite what I had in mind when thinking about Dido. But as musical interpretations of goodnight kisses go: it’s a good one!

And Cohen’s Hallelujah, wellllll. It’s interesting and it made me laugh. Hard. But all in all a good CD. If it was any other ensemble I would have raved, but it being Arpeggiata; Pluhar has her own standards and they are high as a kite!
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on 5 August 2016
Don't actually posses much Purcell but read the review of this in a copy of Gramophone I picked up at the airport. Played the first track on I tunes - they give you a longer bit to sample than Amazon - and found myself dancing round the room - if you know me, you will realise this is most uncharacteristic - my daily workouts consist mostly of putting the kettle on.
Purcell's music does have an element of fun and he would almost certainly have approved of these zany arrangements - very Steeleye Span - yes that dates me. She sings these English songs with abandon and a strong German accent and that makes them even more fun. Her musicianship is never in doubt and I have repeatedly listened to this disc since "auto-ripping" it on Amazon and shall investigate her other recordings.
In short - music to light up your day - buy or download or like I have done - both.
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on 20 February 2015
It's a wide world and there's room for everything. I love Purcell and I've bought all of this ensemble's previous efforts and I was willing to listen with an open mind. For people who are limited to a classical only viewpoint (and I respect that) - fair enough, it's not their cup of tea. I always think different is good
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on 16 January 2015
A typically enjoyable, stimulating, somewhat controversial project by L'Arpegiatta... and Purcell's music is perfectly able to survive the jazz fusion treatment, which is reminiscent of Jacques Loussier at times, although more idiomatically and instrumentally varied. Most of the out-and-out improvisation, on clarinet, guitar and piano, is done in a mainstream, swing-jazz style, with blue notes etc. It would have been interesting to have heard more improvisation within the baroque style, rather than simply grafting on mid-20th century American jazz idioms, but there is some enjoyable stuff here - "Strike the Viol" is particularly funky, with a raunchy clarinet solo.
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on 22 September 2016
I am stunned by some of the negative comments about this collection. In reply to one, the music is not "skiffle" by any stretch of the imagination. This is an outstanding re-working of Purcell the only dud is the last track Hallelujah which must be the worst interpretation I have heard. The "jazziness" is what raises and distinguishes this bold beautiful venture.
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on 18 March 2017
Disappointed, this goes in my CD box of errors of judgement, Play around with Purcell all you like, but it does not satisfy this punter
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on 16 January 2018
See "Handel Goes Wild"
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on 22 January 2016
one or two duff tracks - don't rate their version of Hallelujah for instance - but most of it is fantastic and a really fresh take on Purcell
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on 26 July 2016
Not what I was expecting, however, enjoyable.
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