Letizia Fiorenza & David Sautter

I Cantimbanchi

The Dance of the Tarantella upon burning ground

Any stereotypes that ever existed about folk music are instantly laid to rest by the cutting-edge work of these two musicians.

Letizia Fiorenza, who spent her childhood in southern Italy, selects songs and then frees them from any constraints of sentimentality. What remains is a diversity of texts that are not in any way limited to describing the carefree cheerfulness of the south. Instead, room is made for biting satirical wit, sadness, melancholy and easily aroused anger. In racing, crackjaw “parlando”, a speech-like form of singing, and with a strong, unaffected voice, she tells stories of the people living between Rome and Sicily. Dancing songs, not at all tender lullabies, sarcastic satirical songs, as well as Italian “lamenti” express the most conflicting emotions. Letizia has discovered songs of resistance against the power of the state and the omnipotence of the church, as well as magical incantations, funeral dirges and songs of fertility and she does not just sing them off of the page – she enters completely into each role. In this way, she has created a brand-new and fascinating musical genre.

David Sautter uses the songs that Letizia Fiorenza has chosen as the takeoff point for his own musical adaptations. He absorbs the archaic and immortal elements in the music and joins them together with his own experience and background, the background of a classically trained musician who spent his childhood in the northern latitudes. This combination of ability and spontaneity, of emotion and knowledge, steers away from the area of maudlin nostalgia and deliberate ethnology: the power and expressivity of this music take centre stage. David Sautter accompanies the vocalist with a confident and sensitive style, yet his virtuousity thrusts him far beyond the usual role of a musical accompanist.

As “I CANTIMBANCHI”, Letizia Fiorenza and David Sautter use suspense and humour as they explain the content of the songs of southern Italy to their audience before the singing begins. This enables the listeners to grasp the storyline and allows them to completely immerse themselves in the Italian singing and sounds and thus enjoy “Italianità” to the fullest.

Claire Linnekogel

Letizia Fiorenza & David Sautter, Guschstrasse 52, CH-8610 Uster, Fon. & Fax: 0041 44 942 20 68,