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La Furlancia
Musica tradizionale del nord italia
FolkClub Ethnosuoni

cd cover La Furlancia is a guitar and fiddle-based Italian trio who perform the traditional music of Northern Italy, particularly the areas of Liguria, Piedmont, Lombardy and the Italian-speaking area of Switzerland. Much of the music is based on traditional dances that used to be done in this region. These include the flamenga, the sotti, the tabachera and of course, the waltz. One of the album's highlights is "Viaggiatori di Liguria" (Voyage to Liguria), an eight minute medley of five traditional dances.

"Tipeto impregnativo /La luce in dispensa"
The song texts come from 18th and 19th century manuscripts. The CD includes a rather extensive bibliography, which is indicative of La Furlancia's approach to this music. These guys are scholars as well as musicians. Getting it accurate is as important as performance technique. Or as the group says in their liner notes "We think we can live more responsibly in the present if we can keep alive the memory of our past". An example of this link can be found in the ballad "Il Sirio", the story of a ship that was wrecked while carrying extremely poor emigrants from Northern Italy to America. At a time when modern Italy faces the issue of immigration from Albania and Africa, such a song may inform an inhospitable Italian opinion. Of course, ballads were oral newspapers, the precursors of newspapers and the electronic news media. In Italy, ballad singers performed at fairs and in towns on market days. They performed both broadsides and songs of famous characters and incidents of local history. One of the ballads on this album is an abbreviated version of "La bambina gettata," a story about a little girl who is thrown into a well and saved by St. Anthony.

The Italian folk scene is rich in talented bands playing native music. Given the fact that Italy was unified rather late in European history, local music played an important role in the lives of the people until quite recently. La Furlancia's album is highly recommended to both scholars and those approaching this music for the first time. - Aaron Howard

Audio:"Tipeto impregnativo /La luce in dispensa"
©2001 FolkClub Ethnosuoni, used by permission

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