A new TRE MARTELLI CD is always an event , considering how rarely and with what meticulous care they make records, the most recent of which include Omi e paiz (1995), Car der steili (2000) and Semper viv (2002). But now the historic Piedmontese folk group, soon to celebrate thirty years of music making, have decided to mark the event with the release of a new CD, reworking of old tunes that are faithful to the spirit of the orginals but free of superfluous olde-worlde preciousness, perfectly pitched between historical fidelity and the needs of the modern ear. From monferrine to scottish, curente to bourrée, brando to alessandrine there's no shortage of danceable instrumental tunes, elegantly reconstructed in a way that unites philological scrupulousness with the sheer pleasure of the playing. Significant too is the inclusion of numerous ballads, songs and satirical numbers (culled from the collections and research of figures such as Roberto Leydi, Alfredo Nicola, Frank Kidson and Alan Lomax ) through which the TRE MARTELLI trace a wide and varied panorama of rural Piedmont's musical culture that will make you laugh, cry and everything in between. Tra cel e tèra (Between Sky and Earth) offers yet more evidence of the value and vivacity of this musical motherlode which despite the assaults of empty consumerism continues to nourish the collective memory of a region too often overlooked by ethnomusicologists. For this new CD TRE MARTELLI have a new line-up (Renzo Ceroni, Enzo Conti, Paolo dall’Ara, Giancarla Guerra, Fernando Raimondo, Andrea Sibilio) and as usual have made excellent use of the talents of a number of prestigious guest musicians, including Laura Conti, Paolo Lodici, Rod Stradling, Beppe Greppi, Bernadette da Dalt and Vincenzo “Ciacio” Marchelli, giving Tra cel e tèra that edge that makes so many of its numbers such a delightful surprise to the ear, from the plangent O s’a na sun tre scularin, to the rustic Mal marià or the liltingly romantic E sur cunt a si marida, the strange melody of Margheritina a va al mulin, to the Langhian irony Il turututela, or the melancholy strains of Un cincèin, the perfect ending to this CD whose stylistic rigour releases a flood of emotion.
The result is a dense collection of dances – Monferrina, Scottish, Alessandrina – alternating with songs telling tales of kidnapping, wife beating and Napoleon. Melodeons, fiddles, bagpipes and hurdy-gurdies interweave in Andrea Sibilio’s clever arrangements.
(The Wire - UK)