Italian Treasury- Piemonte and Valle D'Aosta
The Alan Lomax Collection
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Another set culled from Alan Lomax's incredible library of field recordings, Italian Treasury: Piemonte and Valle d'Aosta is actually one of the most important. Recording over a short span of only two weeks in the fall of 1954, Lomax and his partner, Diego Carpitella, committed these performances to tape just a few years before the Piemontese traditions drastically changed due to the arrival of television in the area and the mass migration of the area's youth to large cities. Lomax and Carpitella were the first to make field recordings in both Piemonte and Valle d'Aosta, luckily catching the historically significant music on tape just before sweeping changes in the Italian social structure had settled, though the music and traditions in Valle d'Aosta remained more intact than those of Piemonte through the late '50s, '60s, and '70s. For pure listening pleasure, Italian Treasury: Piemonte and Valle d'Aosta is also one of the best of Lomax's library, with a greater diversity than many of his archives due to its mixture of brass/string bands and a cappella tracks. The songs are unique, somehow both romantic and spiritual, and filled with elegant polyphony, unlike most folk recordings of the time.