Los Pajaros Perdidos / L'arpeggiata, Pluhar
Label: Erato Disques
Over the course of three albums for Virgin Classics (Teatro d'Amore, Via Crucis, and Monteverdi's Vespers), lutenist Christina Pluhar and her extraordinarily multi-faceted instrumental and vocal ensemble L'Arpeggiata have presented a kaleidoscopic fusion of musical styles and techniques, from jazz-tinged baroque to Spanish flamenco. On their new album, Los Pájaros Perdidos (`the lost birds'), the group has delved deep into the Latin American tradition, tracing its roots all the way back to African rhythms and European baroque structures before moving through Spain to current South American countries such as Argentina, Chile, Paraguay and Venezuela. The pieces on the album cover a broad spectrum, from the sensual bolero `Besame Mucho' (made famous by the late, great Cesaria Evora) to the lively `Pájarillo Verde,' which will be familiar to fans of the Buena Vista Social Club. Tangos, fandangos and more round out this brightly-colored, rhythmically-vibrant recording. Along with the virtuosic instrumentalists of the group, the album a variety of vocalists including French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky (fresh off his critically-acclaimed US tour with Apollo's Fire), Chilean-Swedish mezzo Luciana Mancini, Neapolitan-trained ballet dancer-turned-singer Vincenzo Capezzuto and many others. The end result is a joyous celebration of the spirit and of South American music, sure to please fans of Classical, Latin and World music alike.