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Passacalle de la Follie (Jaroussky/Pluhar)

Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor); L’Arpeggiata/Christina Pluhar (Erato)

Our rating 
4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

Passacalle de la Follie
Works by Bailly, Bataille, A Boesset, Guédron, Hervelois, Lambert, M Marais, Moulinié and Visée
Philippe Jaroussky (countertenor); L’Arpeggiata/Christina Pluhar
Erato 5419722187   62:55 mins


Christina Pluhar leads her ensemble L’Arpeggiata and countertenor Philippe Jaroussky in a very particular take on airs de cour(courtly songs) from the reign of Louis XIII. In her previous recordings of vocal and instrumental music by Monteverdi and Purcell she explored and developed the jazz elements inherent in Renaissance and Baroque music. Here she offers a more ‘authentic’ approach to early 16th century vocal works and instrumental arrangements of songs. That said, Pluhar, Jaroussky and L’Arpeggiata draw out this music’s irresistible ‘swing’ qualities, accentuating Latin rhythms and liberally adding Iberian-inspired instrumental flourishes. This is especially evident in Henri de Bailly’s passacaglia ‘Yo soy la locura’ (from his Ballet de la folie) and in Pluhar’s arrangement of Robert de Visée and Marin Marais’ improvisation on ‘Les Folies d’Espagne’, a hugely popular tune in that period.

Michel Lambert’s air ‘Vos mépris chaque jour’ is, by comparison, delivered with classic French simplicity by Jaroussky, whose voice – a touch thicker than one is used to hearing – is ideally suited to this kind of repertoire. Pluhar plays the theorbo as well as directs, and her instrumental settings of several numbers allow other members of L’Arpeggiata the chance to shine – notably Josep Maria Martí Duran
on baroque guitar and Rodney Prada on viola da gamba. The recording (from the studio of the Orchestre national d’Île-de-France) is warm and well balanced.


John-Pierre Joyce