L’Arpeggiata, Christina Pluhar – Christina Pluhar: Orfeo Chaman (2016) [Qobuz FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Christina Pluhar – Orfeo Chaman – L’Arpeggiata, Christina Pluhar (2016)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:09:22 minutes | 1,34 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download  – Source: Qobuz | Booklet, Front Cover | © Erato – Warner Classics
Recorded: Institut Culturel Roumain de Paris, Salle Byzantine, Palais de Béhague, Paris, 8-12 November 2015

A unique retelling of the Orpheus myth drawing on Baroque music and folksongs from South America to Sicily, with a real-life Orfeo – the blind Argentinean singer-guitarist Nahuel Pennisi – in the title role. The resulting opera composed and arranged by Christina Pluhar reveals the mysterious shamanic side of the legendary musician who ventures into the underworld for love.

The ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice has had rich resonances in the modern world, ranging from balladry to the play by Vinícius de Moraes and its spectacular film adaptation. The latest entry into this tradition is Orfeo Chamán, composed and led in performance by theorbist Christina Pluhar. Like Moraes, Pluhar sets her Orpheus story in Latin America and draws on non-European belief systems: in Moraes’ case Afro-Brazilian, in Pluhar’s pre-Columbian. The work’s title means Orpheus Shaman, and instead of going to the underworld to search for his Eurydice, he enters a world populated by the souls of inanimate objects. Although it’s been called an opera and has been staged as one, Orfeo Chamán only occasionally reflects the action of the text, by Colombian poet Hugo Chaparro Valderrama. Instead, the work consists of a series of set pieces with little climaxes of strong emotion; “cantata” would be a better word for it. There are four solo parts, for Orpheus, Eurydice, Orpheus’ half-brother Aristaeus, and a nahual, a figure in South American beliefs who can accompany a human visiting the spirit world. Most interesting is the mix of genres in Pluhar’s music, which somewhat resembles the combination of Baroque and popular materials in some of Jordi Savall’s recordings, but consists entirely of original material except for a few traditional dance tunes. This is an accomplishment in itself; you might easily think you were listening to material hundreds of years old, and the range of music Pluhar has mastered is impressive. The accompaniments, from ensemble ground bass pieces to simple folk harmonies, are likewise strikingly varied yet coherent. The end result is a work that catches the ear and then stays in the brain as you begin to appreciate just how difficult it was to pull off. –AllMusic Review by James Manheim


Christina Pluhar (b.1965)
Orfeo Chamán
1. La selva (Butes) 02:21
Act 1
2. O eterno (Orfeo) 05:19
3. Passacaglia di Euridice 01:25
4. Habra una ninfa (Nahual) 02:05
5. Romance de la luna tucumana (Euridice, Orfeo) 04:34
Atahualpa Yupanqui / Pedro Aznar, arr. Nahuel Pennisi
6. Pajarillo (Euridice) 03:19
Traditional (Venezuela)
7. Zumba che zumba 02:49
Traditional (Venezuela)
8. Aristeo intento (Nahual) 03:02
9. Cubramonos con cenizas (Orfeo, Nahual, Aristeo) 06:47
Act 3
10. Sinfonia 02:38
Giovanni Battista Pederzuoli (d. after 1691)
11. Cirene, madre 03:02
Christian Ritter (c.1645/50-d. after 1717), arr. Christina Pluhar
Act 4
12. Esta barca (Nahual, Orfeo) 08:01
13. Si me escuchara (Orfeo) 04:05
14. Sigue bebiendo (Nahual, Orfeo) 02:06
15. Aparicion de Euridice (Nahual, Euridice, Orfeo) 04:39
Traditional (Mexico), arr. Christina Pluhar
16. Lamento de Orfeo (Orfeo) 03:32
Simón Díaz, arr. Christina Pluhar
Act 5
17. Bucimis (Dance of the Bacchantes) 02:25
Traditional (Bulgaria)
18. La cabeza de Orfeo (Orfeo, Aristeo) 07:36

Nahuel Pennisi, Orfeo
Luciana Mancini, Eurídice
Vincenzo Capezzuto, Butes, Nahual
Emiliano Gonzalez, Toro Aristeo
Christina Pluhar, theorbo & direction