Landmark Bella Ciao Revisited

Riccardo Tesi, Lucilla Galeazzi, Elena Ledda, Ginevra di Marco, Gigi Biolcati, Andrea Salvadori, Alessio Lega – Bella Ciao (Buda Musique 4759288, 2015)

Bella Ciao revisits an essential 1964 show that marked the revival of Italian folk songs, the Nuovo Canzionere Italiano. Accordionist and composer Ricardo Tesi spearheaded the project, bringing together some of today’s finest vocalists and instrumentalists in Italian folk music.

The iconic artists recreated the songs their way, without restrictions, although they kept the essence. The selection includes marble quarry worker (a very dangerous profession) songs, songs of struggle, textile worker songs, rice field chants, migrant laborer songs, prison chants, protest songs, harvest songs, Sardinian sacred chants, anti-war songs, and suggestive songs.

The extensive CD booklet provides an introduction by Tesi, descriptions of the songs and the lyrics in Italian, English and French.

The lineup on Bella Ciao includes Riccardo Tesi as musical director, arranger and accordionist; Lucilla Galeazzi on vocals; Elena Ledda on vocals; Ginevra Di Marco on vocals; Alessio Lega on vocals; Andrea Salvadori on guitar, tzouras (a Greek instrument related to the bouzouki), harmonium and arrangements; and Gigi Biolcati on percussion, vocals and body percussion. Guests include Mirco Capecchi on upright bass and Michele Marini on clarinet.

Bella Ciao is an outstanding recreation of popular Italian folk songs and chants recorded by some of the most talented musicians and vocalist in the current Italian folk and world music scene.

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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.


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