Arbëresh Polyphony from Basilicata
Music of the world
Following the Turkish invasion of Albania, during the 15th and 16th centuries Southern Italy, a place of intersection of peoples and cultures, was the destination of many Albanian refugees, called Arbëresh. Their isolation has enabled them to preserve their original culture. This CD presents Arbëresh traditional music from San Costantino Albanese. The songs give an idea of the richness and variety of Arbëresh polyphony, based primarily on female voices: Religious (Byzantine rite), ritual, propitiatory or satirical songs or dances accompanied on the "surdulina", the bagpipes of southern Italy. The ability of the four women singers is evident in their mastery of the most difficult repertoires, in the refinement of the performance and in the capability to change their vocal part in order to find the most appropriate vocal combination. The songs included on this CD are both a document on a singular musical tradition and a sample of a performance of the highest level.