Courtesy of Paxjorge
The Concordu de Orosei is unique in the whole of Sardinia. With only seven cantors the choir performs the whole orally-transmitted repertoire of polyphonic ecclesiastical and secular songs in so-called tenor voices. In this work we hear the choir performing the cantos de cescia (hymns).
Orosei is one of the few villages where such a rich repertoire of polyphonic songs was preserved. The songs are performed especially during the solemn services of the Passion Week, but can also be heard at processions during special religious ceremonies or events.
The group of Cantores (cantors) consists usually of four voices: the lowest voice is su bassu (the bass), the highest sa mesuvoche (the mezzo voice). The precentor takes the lead and finally sa contra (the contra voice) inserts itself between the bass and the precentor. The language which is mostly used is Latin.
The Gotzos, on the other hand, have their origin in Spain and are songs of praise to the Saints. In them the Sardinian Logudoresic dialect is used. The hymns performed during the church service were usually accompanied by organ and harmonium, these being the only instruments officially admitted by the church. During processions, however, they were performed a-cappella, thus without instrumental accompaniment.
In the forties, songs began to be sung in the Italian language as well. Towards the end of the sixties, when - after the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council - vernacular was introduced into the liturgy, Italian prevailed almost exclusively.
With this, the songs lost their function and after the older cantors passed away it lead to an impoverishment of the oral tradition.The transmission - of the songs through the Ordinarium Missae, and of the Gotzos - was interrupted. For the survival and continuance of the songs we are indebted to some of the older cantors, such as the precentor Antonio Maria Nanni, and his friars Antonio Dessena and Antonio Gusai, whose efforts kept many songs alive.
Towards the end of the seventies these three inspired some adolescents from Orosei, who were interested in the culture of their own village, to learn the traditional musical repertoire. The members of the Cuncordu are, therefore, the direct successors of a tradition which carried on uninterruptedly over the course of time. This tradition is closely connected with the history of the order - whose friars were motivated to join by a range of philanthropic, charitable and sectarian considerations. Founded in Orosei between the 17th and 18th century, the Order is still active, although with considerably reduced numbers.
The origin of the songs can probably be found in educated circles. It must be assumed that these songs were composed by experts in the musical language, or by musicians who made use of the instruments allowed in church services, and who created polyphonic arrangements of melodies borrowed from hymns or other popular tunes. The song tradition, then, developed in the course of time according to the rules of oral transmission and was therefore kept alive through the active participation of the Order's cantors.
In spite of the environment in which the songs originated, it would be wrong to restrict their value merely to the religious. These songs take their place amongst the world's finest and purest orally-transmitted, polyphonic musical forms. They are the vivacious expression of an island's culture, going back to its very roots. In an age of global communication through modern technology, these experienced cantors conjure a universal message which invites all people of the world to keep their artistic and cultural inheritance alive
Salvatore Dessena: bassu
Martino Corimbi: contra
Patrizio Mura: voche
Tore Mula e Piero Pala: voche e mesuvoche
01. Sendhe mortu chin rigore [Gotzos de sas Animas]
02. Tzeleste tesoro [Ninniu de Pasca ‘e Natale]
03. Miserere [Oratoriu de sas A.]
04. Gotzos de Sant’Antoni ‘e s’ocu
05. Stabat Mater [Oratoriu de sas A.]
06. O Vizu meu istimadu [Gotzos de Santa Rughe]
07. Libera me, Domine [Oratoriu…]
08. Sendhe in sa rughe incravadu [Gotzos de su Rosariu]
09. Ave Maria
10. Magnificat de s’Incontru [Oratoriu de Santa Rughe]
11. Gotzos de su Nefressariu [Oratoriu de sas Animas]
12. Sa seportura Santa [Gotzos de Santa Rughe]
13. O viv’arbore fiorida [Gotzos de Santa Rughe]
1998 • Winter & Winter Voches de Sardinna 910 022-2