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World Music CD Reviews Europe

Various Artists

By Doug Merlino
Published March 16, 2007

Soffi d’ancia: Decennale del Festival “Pifferi, muse e zampogne”
RadiciMusic 113

This album, which translates as “Breaths of Ancia,” celebrates the 10th year of an Italian music festival dedicated to bagpipe music and the pifferi, an oboe-like instrument. While this collection will surely be a mother lode for bagpipe fans, it’s also a good chance to check out a varied group of Italian folk musicians. The 21 tracks include quite a few gems. “La Pastora e il Lupo,” by northern Italian folksters Calicanto, stomps along with a driving bass line and female vocals reminiscent of Finland’s Värttinä. “Uè Mamma Mamme,” by Uaragniaun, who play southern Italian folk music, features Maria Moramarco’s impressive voice. Barbapedana mixes Balkan, klezmer and Gypsy music to good effect, Massimo Giuntini’s pipe-playing fronts his Celtic influences, and Din Delón play the music of Lombardy. Perhaps most memorable is “Danza del Cieco,” a stew of Goffredo Degli Esposti’s crazed bagpipe, frenzied drums and Nando Citarella’s impassioned, Neapolitan singing.