Actores Alidos: Galanìas

For the polyphonic quintet Actores Alidos, songs may entertain but they serve primarily as rhythmic frames for human activity—work, banter, celebration, telling love stories, amusing or calming children, lamenting loss and expressing faith. The women are based in Quartu Sant’Elena, Sardinia, and perform traditional and contemporary works that give voice to the island’s women. Led by vocal soloist and arranger Valeria Pilia, they sing in Sardinian—a cappella or accompanied … More Actores Alidos: Galanìas

Eros Ramazzotti: Perfetto

It’s not easy to hide two gems on a 14-track record, but Eros Ramazzotti’s latest album is so packed with enthralling songs that listeners can get distracted. Much reviewer praise has gone, fairly enough, to the country-tinged Alla Fine del Mondo (To the Ends of the Earth) and to the title track, a smooth-rock portrait of how ordinary details of the day become perfect in the reflection of new love. But consider those overlooked gems. … More Eros Ramazzotti: Perfetto

Fiorella Mannoia: A Te

A commanding presence on the Italian music scene for more than 30 years, Fiorella Mannoia is an artist who seems to get better with time. A Te (For You), her latest album, is a tribute to the Italian troubadour Lucio Dalla, who died in 2012. The best track of Mannoia’s homage is “La casa in riva al mare” (The house by the sea) about a prisoner’s dream of freedom and love: “From his cell … More Fiorella Mannoia: A Te