Performance Saturday, March 17, 2012 | 7:30 PM


Los Impossibles: Spanish and Neapolitan Music from the 17th Century

Weill Recital Hall
In planning Los Impossibles, Christina Pluhar—artistic director of L’Arpeggiata—traveled to Mexico to find folk music that forms the connective thread between the 17th-century Spanish and Neapolitan music at the heart of this concert. Pluhar says this program recounts her continuing search “all over the world for what we are calling the living Baroque.”


  • L'Arpeggiata
    Christina Pluhar, Artistic Director and Theorbo


  • BUONAMENTE Intrata
  • CAZZATI Ciaccona
  • Improvisation: Tarantella NapoletanaImprovisation: Jacaras
  • BERTALI Ciaccona
  • MARCELLO VITALE Tarantella a Maria di Nardò
  • Improvisation: Dia SpagnolaImprovisation: BergamascaImprovisation: Canario
  • PANDOLFI MEALLI Sonata for Violin, Op. 3, No. 2, "La Cesta"
  • L. ALLEGRI Canario
  • PANDOLFI MEALLI Sonata for Violin, Op. 4, No. 4 "La Biancuccia"
  • FALCONIERI La Follia
  • Improvisation: FandangoImprovisation: Tarantella Italiana
  • FALCONIERI La suave melodia

  • Encore:Improvisation: Tarantella Napoletana


  • L'Arpeggiata

    Founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Christina Pluhar, L'Arpeggiata ensemble is comprised of some of today's best soloists and collaborates with exceptional singers from the Baroque music world. Its aim is to revive lesser-known repertoire from this era, with a special focus on music from the beginning of the 17th century. The ensemble's performances are largely based on instrumental improvisations.

    Since its founding, L'Arpeggiata has received outstanding reviews for its albums and performances. Its albums La Villanella, Homo fugit velut umbra, La Tarantella, Teatro d'amore,  All'Improvviso, Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo, and Los Impossibles have earned a string of accolades and awards, among them Diapason Découverte, and ECHO Klassik and Edison Classical Music awards. The CD Via Crucis, recorded with the Barbara Furtuna vocal ensemble, came out in March 2010.  L'Arpeggiata's Monteverdi CD Vespro della Beate Vergine was released in February 2011.

    L'Arpeggiata has participated in many festivals, such as in Lufthansa Festival of Baroque Music in London, Oude Muziek in Utrecht, Printemps des arts de Nantes, Festival de l'Abbaye de Saint-Michel en Thiérache, Festival Baroque de Sablé, Bruges Festival Musica Antiqua, Philharmonie Köln, Schwetzinger Festspiele, Musikfestspiele Potsdam Sanssouci, Händel-Festspiele Halle, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Ruhrtriennale, Istanbul International Music Festival, and Hong Kong Arts Festival.

    Christina Pluhar, Artistic Director and Theorbo
    Doron Sherwin, Cornetto
    Veronika Skuplik, Baroque Violin
    Margit Übellacker, Psaltery
    Marcello Vitale, Chitarra Battente and Baroque Guitar
    Boris Schmidt, Bass
    David Mayoral, Percussion

    Christina Pluhar

    After studying guitar in her home city of Graz, Austria, Christina Pluhar specialized in lute with Toyohiko Sato at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. She earned a diploma from the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, where she studied with Hopkinson Smith. She then studied with Mara Galassi at the Scuola Civica di Milano. In 1992, Ms. Pluhar won first prize in the International Old Music Competition of Malmö with the La Fenice ensemble.

    Ms. Pluhar lives in Paris, where she performs as a soloist and continuo player in festivals with reputable ensembles such as La Fenice, Concerto Soave, Accordone, Elyma, Les Musiciens du Louvre, Ricercar, Akademia, La Grande Écurie et la Chambre du Roy, and Concerto Köln. She has also performed in ensembles directed by René Jacobs, Ivor Bolton, and Alessandro de Marchi. Her repertoire includes solo and continuo works from the 16th to 18th centuries for Renaissance lute, Baroque guitar, theorbo, and Baroque harp.

    Since 1993, Ms. Pluhar has been giving master classes at the University of Graz. She has also been conducting Baroque harp classes at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague since 1999.

    In 2000, Ms. Pluhar founded L'Arpeggiata. For 12 years, the ensemble has been recording CDs and performing throughout Europe. Both a conductor and musician on stage, she also programs, plans, and completes extensive research in order to produce L'Arpeggiata's concerts and recordings. In 2010, she celebrated the 10th birthday of the ensemble with several concerts in France and throughout Europe.

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Murcia Fandango

At a Glance

The idea for this project came out of simple curiosity. In Mexico, there exists a manuscript, composed by the Spanish Baroque guitarist Santiago de Murcia in the early 18th century, which contains a piece entitled Los Impossibles. This piece is a romanesca of the kind found in Italy, Spain, and Portugal from the 16th century onwards. The same theme is still common today in the traditional music of Mexico. My curiosity and fascination were aroused in the first place by the fact that a melody that found its way from the traditional music of the time into art music—and traveled in the course of a century from Italy, through Spain and Portugal, to Mexico—is still alive today in the orally transmitted traditional music of Latin America.

This prompted me to explore the early and traditional music of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America in search of a common thread that would link the many different styles and periods. That thread is to be found in rhythmic and harmonic characteristics, in the presence of instruments that originated in the Baroque period, and in the fact that in both early art music and traditional music of that time and ours, there is a blend of many different influences and cultures. The search for common features and origins, and the fascination of multicultural mixtures and connections, led us through the whole project: an exciting journey across continents and centuries.
Program Notes



L'Arpeggiata performs Kircher's "Tarantella napoletana, tono hypodorico"


L'Arpeggiata performs "Jacaras"

Perspectives: L'Arpeggiata

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