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Concert cycles

Vocal-instrumental group "Al Qantarah" (Italy)

The group was created in 1990 with the aim of developing a project on Sicilian Music, based on the comparison between the Medieval repertoire and the oral tradition still alive and which also includes Arabian and Middle Eastern Music repertoires. The musicians of Al Qantarah have considerable experience not only as musicians but also musicologist and teachers. They are members of the most important Italian Medieval and ethnic Music groups with whom they have performed both in Italyand abroad carrying out numerous CD recordings also for radio and television broadcasting.

From 1992 Al Qantarah have performed regularly on tour in Italyand abroad and are frequently invited to perform for schools. Noteworthy is their participation in prestigious events and festival such as: Palermo Musica Antica (Palermo, Italy - 1993), Festival Cusiano di Musica Antica (Orta S. Giulio, Italy - 1995), Tage der mittelalterichen Musik (Freiburg, Germany - 1996), Viator Musicae (Bologna, Italy - 1996-‘98-‘99), Musica Instrumentum Coeli (Sale, Italy -  1997), Musica a Villa Patti (Caltagirone, Italy - 1997), V Rassegna Internazionale di Musica Medievale a Torrechiara (Fornovo, Italy - 1998), Perugia in canto (Perugia, Italy - 1998), Festival di Melfi - Omaggio a Federico II (Melfi, Italy - 1998), Serate a Castel Tirolo (Merano, Italy - 1999), Accademia Filarmonica di Messina (Messina, Italy - 1999), Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik (Innsbruck, Austria -  1999), Wellesley College (Boston, USA - 1999), World Music Institute (New York, USA - 1999), Konzerthaus (Vienna, Austria - 1999), Music Before 1800 (New York, USA - 2000), St. Johns University (New York , USA - 2000),  Teatro Chiabrera (Savona, Italy - 2000).

In January 1999 Al Qantarah recorded for the Italian label “Fonè” the CD “Abballati, Abballati!”.

In October 2000 the group went on tour to New Yorkwhere their success was highlighted in press reviews such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the weekly review Time Out. Their successes are further enriched by their participation in the Australian festival “Ten days on the island” in 2003.


Recent CD’s

“Abballati, abballati!” Songs and Sounds of Medieval Sicily(Foné 99 F 07 CD)

“Troparium di Catania”Music from the manuscript of Madrid, XIII cent. (forthcoming release)

Press Releases

“One of Sicily’s most popular traditional songs, “Abballati”, has a twin in Persian Folklore … it is a musical souvenir of Sicily’s many visitors, conquerors and settlers throughout the centuries … the song is central to the repertory of Al Qantarah who performed at the Washington Square Church in a sold-out World Music Institute concert … There were vigorous carnival songs and liturgical songs in austere parallel harmony as well as one of the earliest surviving fragments of vocal polyphony. The music glimpsed an old world that was anything but provincial.” (The New York Times,  07-10-02, Jon Pareles).

“Music Before 1800 at Corpus Christigot off to a lively start with the Italian vocal-instrumental group Al Qantarah, which specializes in medieval Sicilian music and folk music that has been orally transmitted … The music spoke for itself. Nothing sounded musty or resuscitated, even the dance of death was catchy!” (The Wall Street Journal, 03-10-02, Heidi Waleson). 

“The audience in the Spanish Hall raised its enthusiasm and quietened itself only after several fervent  encores. A concert that has no equal!” (Tiroler Tageszeitung, 15-07-02, Jutta Höpfel).

Ten Days on the Island
Medieval Sicilian Music

Organic & Instruments:
Fabio Accurso                        ud, daf, voice
Roberto Bolelli                       voice, scattagnetti
Donato Sansone                    friscalettu, daf, synphonia, voice
Nico Staiti                              tammureddu, riqq, tammorra
Fabio Tricomi                        kamanceh,  ud, zarb, tabor and pipe, tammureddu, marranzanu, ciaramedda, voice

Ud,  arabian lute
Daf,  middle eastern tambourine
Scattagnetti,  sicilian castanets
Friscalettu,  sicilian recorder
Synphonia,  medieval hurdy gurdy
Tammureddu,  sicilian tambourine
Riqq,  arabian tambourine
Tammorra,  neapolitan tambourine
Kamanceh,  arabian fiddle
Zarb,  persian drum
Tabor and pipe,  drum and small recorder of Middle Ages
Marranzanu,  jew’s harp of eastern Sicily
Ciaramedda,  sicilian bagpipe

Concert takes place:

Date, time, place


Ticket prices

10.07.2004  21:00
Black Head House

Vocal-instrumental group "Al Qantarah" (Italy)
“Abballati, abballati!” - songs and sounds of Medieval Sicily


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