Letizia Fiorenza & David Sautter


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Songs of love, passion and jealousy

Neapolitan villanelles and other songs from Naples could be heard on Tuesday night in the Villa Grunholzer in Uster. David Sautter accompanied Letizia Fiorenza on the guitar and enhanced the concert with Scarlatti sonatas and improvisations.

For the past two decades, the couple, Letizia Fiorenza and David Sautter, have been appearing together in concerts both at home and abroad. During this time, they have researched and collected songs from the centuries-old folk music heritage of southern Italy.
«Imagine del cuor», images of the heart, is what they call their concert. They opened their recent tour with this concert in Uster and in their songs, they allow us a glimpse into their hearts and show real emotion. In the villanelles, love and passion are sung about very openly and humorously, and jealousy and death threats are not shied away from, either. The lyrics are at times bawdy and raunchy. The two musicians translated the lyrics for the audience beforehand since they were sung by Fiorenza in an Italian dialect.
With a tinge of melancholy
The vocalist sang the old melodies in a powerful, yet light and tender voice, tinged with melancholy and a good deal of southern temperament. She lingered on the vowels at the ends of the words and allowed the tones to caress the listeners’ ears. Fiorenza accompanied herself with different percussion instruments during some of the songs.
In the song «Li ffigliole» (the girls), she sang in a caressing voice that young women without lovers are like trees without fruit and exhorted the virgins to enjoy life to its fullest as long as they are still young and beautiful. A song by Vinci advises them to wait until the nespole (loquats) are ripe. The suitors must likewise show patience and soften up the young women with gifts. David Sautter accompanied his wife with great sensitivity on the guitar. He wrote the accompaniment himself, although neither he nor the vocalist used any notes during the entire concert.
Scarlatti and improvisations
Three one-movement sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti further enhanced the concert. Scarlatti composed over 500 sonatas for percussion instruments. Sautter played variations and the notes just danced off of the guitar strings. «It’s not exactly easy to play Scarlatti sonatas on the guitar.» he says. «It is no longer baroque music, and you can tell that Scarlatti spent many years working in Spain.»
The guitarist rounded out the concert with a number of improvisations. He says he often gets an idea and always has a final goal while improvising. Although he always runs a certain risk when improvising, it gives him great satisfaction when he succeeds in creating something especially beautiful.
Letizia Fiorenza grew up in Rome. She instructs in breathing and voice techniques in Germany and even in Japan. Together with David Sautter, she appears in «Adelheid oder Lieder für Chind und Chindschöpf», a musical program for children that was awarded the «Goldige Chrönli» in 2001 and is also available on CD. David Sautter has been a member of the Eos Guitar Quartet since 1988 and plays in this ensemble at home and abroad. In addition, he teaches guitar at the cantonal school in Dübendorf and at the Musikhochshule in Lucerne.
Werner Gubser

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