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Polyphonic Singing From Sardinia
Tenores de Oniferi

1. Su Determinu
2. A S'omine
3. Gosos Di San Gavino
4. Sos Antigos
5. Muttos
6. Ottava Del Tre
7. Sa Supposta Partenzia
8. S'andira
9. Tiu Bustianu
10. Serenada De Lerru

Release Date: March 23, 1999
Genre: International
Styles: Mediterranean
Label: Music Of The World

Strictly a cappella, Polyphonic Singing from Sardinia is an appealing example of the type of traditional vocal-group performing that has been heard on the Italian island of Sardinia for centuries. There are some similarities between the harmonies employed by Tenores de Oniferi (one of Sardinia's most well-respected traditional vocal groups) and the harmonies used by Catholic monks in Italy, Spain and Portugal. In fact, play this CD next to the a cappella Chant by The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos (a fine collection of Gregorian chants by monks in a Spanish monastery), and you can't help but notice the parallels. But the Italian lyrics embraced by the Tenores de Oniferi can be either secular or spiritual in nature. Traditional Sardinian vocalists often come up with improvised lyrics, and sometimes, they turn their attention to Sardinian poetry of previous centuries. "Su Determinu" was written by the 19th century poet Paulicu Mossa, while "Sos Antigos" comes from poet Antioco Casula Montanaru (1888-1957). Music of the World can usually be counted on for thoughtful liner notes, and for this album, the label has printed the Italian lyrics as well as English translations. Recommended.



Mena said...

One of my favorite film-makers, Werner Herzog, is a big fan of this stuff. It features prominently in 'Wild Blue Yonder' and 'White Diamond'. Another close relative is Corsican polyphonic chant, of which I have a few records of. Georgian polyphonic folk song could be a scion of this interesting and rare music; they are all built on tertiary harmonies and feature similar ornamentations.

Thanks for the up, Tom.


zhao said...


Janas said...

Amazing voices from my ancient island!

8m2stereo said...

.. 2 other great ones: tenores de bitti on peter gabriel's excellent realworld label, and, hector zazou's "les nouvelles polyphonies corses" (1991 phonogram, france) where he embeds some amazing ancient voicings in a tender and deeeeply cinematic electroacoustic production, in my top 10 of all times ..