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21.3.12

L'Arpeggiata Cuts a Rug

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Charles T. Downey, Genre-bending L’Arpeggiata makes Washington debut at Library of Congress
Washington Post, March 21, 2012

available at Amazon
La Tarantella: Antidotum Tarantulae, L. Galeazzi, M. Beasley, L'Arpeggiata, C. Pluhar
(2001)
L’Arpeggiata brought its ear-catching brand of pseudo-baroque crossover to the Library of Congress on Monday night. It was the Washington debut of this genre-bending ensemble from Europe, directed by lutenist Christina Pluhar. L’Arpeggiata’s program was derived from a recording made a decade ago, a cocktail of one part historical music and two parts popular and folk music of more recent vintage.

Pluhar sees in this process of popularization a form of contact with a “living baroque” culture, but one hardly needs to accept the veracity of such a claim, tenuous at best, to enjoy what the group does. The program bears the title of that disc, “La Tarantella,” which explored music from southern Italy supposedly used to cure spider bites, but most of the pieces on this program were not tarantellas. [Continue reading]
L'Arpeggiata (dir. Christina Pluhar)
With Lucilla Galeazzi
Library of Congress

PREVIOUSLY:
In Her Own Words: Christina Pluhar (Ionarts, March 14)

One thought that did not make it into the print version of this review concerned the novelty of improvisation, which is one of the things that helps make L'Arpeggiata's performances of interest. The claim to be getting at some hidden Baroque improvisatory style by performing jazz or folk music is nonsense: what L'Arpeggiata does is crossover. In fact, other groups are doing better work with improvisation and actually performing all historical music: a concert by Le Poème Harmonique at La Maison Française last year comes to mind.

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