‘A Canzone ‘e Partenope
Napolitan songs by Bel Ayre
"A sunny, yet intimately melancholic album. The music flows like an easy chat on a summer's eve. Something tells us that this duo has a few more tricks up their sleeves.." - De Standaard on 'A Canzone 'e Partepone (****)
The tale about the founding of Naples is surrounded by a poetical atmosphere and is based on the myth of Odysseus. This classical hero sailed his ship past the sirens (half-women, half birds), without being mislead by their enchanting voices. Because of this, their spell was broken and the sirens turned into rocks. Except for the siren Partenope, whose faith was different: she threw herself into the sea to drown. On the shore where her body washed up, Naples was founded. Reality obviously tells us a different story, but it is extraordinary nonetheless that Naples turned out to be the city par excellence when talking about cities with a unique musical tradition.
In 'A Canzone 'e Partenope, Bel Ayre echoes the beautiful and seductive sounds of the siren Partenope, with a refined selection of Canzoni Popolari Napolitane. The music has been selected from a repertoire that stretches from the 12th century up till now. Sweet melodies mixed with raw protest songs, popular folk tales drenched in noble desire, authentic and traditional music entangled with ‘higher’ art. And on top of that, the Neapolitan song tradition has been influenced by a wide variety of cultures: the ancient Italian and Greek, the Arabic, Spanish, French, … And as icing on the cake, guitarist Peter Verhelst has been composing under the spell of the Neapolitan siren. The astonishing, instrumental pieces throughout the program flew out of his pen and fingers.