Scenette comiche playlist
The comic director has always had a place of honour in repertoires in dialect. This anthology presents some rare finds, telling the story of a genre that was quite popular when records made their appearance and lasting until at least the post-war period, when it was definitively overtaken by cinema. The brief duration of 78 rpms favoured the invention of theatrical and musical gags that borrowed from variety shows and foregrounded colourful expressions, whose basis in dialect often make them untranslatable into Italian. Puns, clichés and catchphrases enjoyed years of popularity, in part thanks to records. Our playlist contains iconic comic sketches, such as those by the Roman Sor Capanna (accompanied by the Pippo Barzizza orchestra), the divo Ettore Petrolini, the great actor Nino Taranto, and the father of Bolognese ballroom dancing Leonildo Marcheselli. Other lesser known performers include the Ciaramella husband and wife team from Naples, Gino Neri, and the troupes who recorded their dialogues in the dialects of Naples, Calabria, Sicily, Abruzzo and Veneto – a provincial Italy that no longer exists. The last piece (‘A risata nova) is a rarity which dates to over a hundred years ago, a remake of the first recorded disc in Italy (1895) by the Neapolitan Berardo Cantalamessa: the original version is a cover – or better, a radical rearrangement – of The Laughing Song by the African-American George W. Johnson; Cantalamessa re-recorded the song in 1907.