ETHINC BAROC Project 2003/04

Lo Guarracino

tarantellas, calacionates and Neapolitan arias at the end of the 18th century

Maybe for too long the repertoire, nowadays known as "Neapolitan song", has mixed genres and centuries making the survival possible of numerous songs of the 18th century, re-examined by the singers of the genre. For a long time the research of the popular traditions has tried to forget the heritage of the 18th century, so to say songs "of the salons", ignoring the fact that it actually contributed to hand down a lot of these precious songs, that we would like to present. Besides a few manuscripts, containing sources of the 17th and 18th century, there is a precious document called "I passatempi musicali" commissioned by Guglielmo Cottrau at the beginning of the 19th century which has saved many of these melodies from the loss of memory. At the same time this illustrates a way of listening to the tarantellas, calacionates and Neapolitan arias also widespread in the "salons" of the bourgeoisie. Never the less the survived oral tradition, which is still alive, delivered us a few other starting points who allow us to identify other compositions of an ancient origin. That is, in fact, how the idea grew to recreate the sound and atmosphere, maybe in a way more cultured, but certainly from an acoustical point of view very close to that time. The sound of the ancient instruments and the musical practice allow us to perform today the famous songs of the genre with an "ancient "taste. This could be a meeting point where cultured and popular traditions meet each other. And also what the voice concerns, we remark that it assumes a different character, re-echoing the voices of the Neapolitan sopranists (very requested in many courts) and embodying a particular taste for the virtuous "embroidery" of the voice and instruments.

Ensemble Cantilena Antiqua - dir. Stefano Albarello

Stefano Albarello: voice, ancient guitar, battente guitar, mandolin

Paolo Faldi: recorder, baroque oboe

Gianfranco Russo: viola da braccio, mandolin

Stefano Rocco: archlute, baroque guitar

Marco Muzzati: percussions