RadiciMusic Records RMR-116
Fiore De Tutti I Fiori; Tarantelle Lucane; La Povera Cecilia; Saltarella Amatriciana; Pacienza Nenna Mia; Tarantella Di Montemarano; Tarantella Del Gargano; Ninna Nanna Molisana; Maitinata e Quadriglia; Alla Maenzana; Sia Maledetta L'Acqua; Danza In Minore / Tarantelle Campane; Jesce Sole; La Santa Allegrezza.It's a little odd that I get to hear a lot of music from the North of Italy and quite a lot from the South - yet very little from the central areas. Perhaps it's that the North and the South each have their own strong cultural (and political) identity, and so celebrate their own music more.
Musicanti del Piccolo Borgo are a group from central Italy, and have made the music of Lazio and Molise their particular area of interest - and study. The group was formed in the mid-'70s and has done a good deal of collecting work, as well as performing, in the ensuing 30 years. As well as learning the songs and music they found, they have also learned to play the instruments native to the area so, as well as the usual 'folk' instruments, we hear the piffero, zampogna, chitarra battente and buf¨ (the big friction drum of Molise).
There's a wide range of styles to be heard on this CD - from lullabies to stornelli and ballads; from several tarantelle to a 3:4 saltarella, a quadrille, and the Danza In Minore, which sounds medieval. Unfortunately I can't tell you too much about the individual tracks because the otherwise excellent Notes reveal nothing whatever about the songs and tunes! And since many of the songs appear to be in dialect anyway, I can't even apply my rudimentary Italian to their translation.
Without actually saying so, it appears that this CD is a compilation of tracks from five earlier records made from 1994 to 2003 - so it's a 'best of' release and, as the website indicates - in Italian - it's in homage to their 30 years of music.
And very nice it all is, too. Everything is well played and sung - no gimmicks or flash - and there's really not a single track which I don't enjoy. That said, the one I like most is Jesce Sole - so here's a short sound clip of it.
The CD is available from www.radicimusic.com - as are quite a number of others; but the website is only in Italian.
Rod Stradling - 13.1.07
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