The final concert of L'Arpeggiata's four-concert Perspectives series takes place on March 17. Entitled Los Impossibles, Artistic Director Christina Pluhar expands further on the challenges of "the living Baroque" and how this project fits in with that goal.
We love early music. I'm very much in love with this repertoire, the Italian repertoire of the 17th century. I have spent so many years studying and researching and going to libraries and looking for music. My fellow musician says, "We spend a lot of time specializing in this music." At the same time, we know that not everything can be written down. The music is not alive on the paper. You have to create it with the sound that you are making. Besides the research in the libraries, we look all over the world to find what I like to call "the living Baroque." For example, we did one project called Los Impossibles, where we invited musicians from Mexico. There are songs that are still alive in that country that can be traced back to manuscripts from 17th-century Italy.
I think that some musical cultures try to preserve rather than change. You can find this in Indian music and Persian music and music from many different cultures, where the high art is being transmitted from generation to generation. Very interestingly, this all includes a manner of improvisation that can only be learned, of course, person to person. It's something that preserves the tradition and culture. And that's why it's quite hard to reconstruct early music, because there was this transmission from the masters to the students. Once you were discovered as a musical talent, you were trained every day. It's not like our system now, where you study and you see your teacher maybe for half an hour every week. Students would live with the masters back then, as you can observe in the teaching of Indian music. It's very interesting. You learn it like speaking a language.
Related:Perspectives: L'ArpeggiataMarch 14, L'Arpeggiata: Los pajaros perdidosMarch 15, L'Arpeggiata: Via CrucisMarch 16, L'Arpeggiata: La Tarantella: Antidotum TarantulaeMarch 17, L'Arpeggiata: Los Impossibles: Spanish and Neapolitan Music from the 17th Century