Italian Musical Odyssey

February 28, 2017 - Comment

There is more to Italian music than the Three Tenors, “O Sole Mio,” and “Volare.” A burgeoning folk revival has fostered a diverse crop of ensembles and singer-songwriters hailing from throughout the country, including Naples. Their styles range from contemporary neo-trad to the earthiest rural troubadours. Clichés quickly fall by the wayside before such a

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There is more to Italian music than the Three Tenors, “O Sole Mio,” and “Volare.” A burgeoning folk revival has fostered a diverse crop of ensembles and singer-songwriters hailing from throughout the country, including Naples. Their styles range from contemporary neo-trad to the earthiest rural troubadours. Clichés quickly fall by the wayside before such a startling wealth of cultural outpourings. Among the most surprising revelations are Agricantus and La Ciapa Rusa, both of whom would be perfectly at home sitting in with Celtic acts, and Lucilla Galeazzi, a noted musicologist whose mournful, flexible mezzo evokes the shadows of Portuguese fado. The Fratelli Mancuso are a Sicilian duo who sound as though they are channeling the spirit of Gordon Lightfoot. Calic does a kind of Sardinian toasting, while Riccardo Tesi, Tuscany’s melodeon virtuoso, exhibits his mastery. This is a stimulating introduction to an extraordinary family of performers and traditions. –Christina Roden

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