Letizia Fiorenza & David Sautter

I Cantimbanchi - Letizia Fiorenza and David Sautter

«Imagine del cuor»
Neapolitan villanelles and other Neapolitan songs from the 16th to 18th centuries with music by Domenico Scarlatti and improvisations.

«Real folk singing is above all a representation of an inner world,» writes the great musician and musicologist Roberto de Simone in his work “La Tradizione in Campania”. The words of the songs present a stark contrast to the beautiful melodies. The light and soothing tones conceal hurt feelings, anger and disappointment, as well as unquenchable desires, forlornness in the face of one’s own passion and the wish to be swallowed up within this very passion.
Letizia Fiorenza and David Sautter have been researching and working with the richness of the folk music heritage of southern Italy for the past 18 years and these songs have had a place in their hearts since the beginning of their musical collaboration. The songs are a reflection of their own feelings and desires and lend an audible form to their inner emotions. The phrase “Imagine del cuor”, according to Michelangelo, refers to a picture in one’s heart that is given expression through music.
The music by Domenico Scarlatti, originally composed for the harpsichord, as well as guitar improvisations, supplement, connect and carry over the universal elements of these old songs into the present.

«Metamorfosi» is a collection of songs which all have “transformation” as their theme. The singer transforms himself into a tiny mouse, a fish, or a bird and goes to his beloved. Sometimes, he sends an animal ahead as a messenger: a goldfinch is supposed to spy on his beloved for him; a butterfly should kiss her for him. A common motif in folk literature, transformation is a form of delegating, of separating a part of one’s inner self. It both evokes and banishes the fear of losing yourself within your love for another person. «Transformed into a bird, I can approach my beloved; when I sing about it, I remain who I am.»

The program is enhanced by variation pieces for solo guitar. With such pieces, the composer takes a motif and varies it, transforms it. This, too, is a metamorphosis.

Advent program
«La Santa Allegrezza», a tradition of the heart

The Cantimbanchi songs from Campania and Sicily draw from the tradition of Advent and Novena, the nine days preceding the coming of the Christ child. The unadorned directness of the text and music once again hearkens back to the folk songs of southern Italy.
The story of the birth of Jesus, as told by the blind “cantastorie” in Palermo, for example, is dramatically reproduced with the same intensity demonstrated in the famous knightly epics performed with the golden armoured “pupi” in the streets of Palermo.
The Christmas story is given a heart-warming human dimension. We suffer with Mary, quake in fear with the shepherds and rejoice with the kings as they finally discover the Christ child foretold in the ancient prophecies.
Mary receives special attention. She is not merely portrayed as an innocent child bride, but rather as a worthy mother-to-be who rules over water and treads upon the snake that bars her path.
The selected classical guitar pieces offer a chance for contemplative reflection, forming a contrast to the suspenseful drama of the songs.


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