Strictly a cappella, Polyphonic Singing from Sardinia is an appealing example of the type of traditional vocal-group performing that has been heard on the Italian island of Sardinia for centuries. There are some similarities between the harmonies employed by Tenores de Oniferi (one of Sardinia's most well-respected traditional vocal groups) and the harmonies used by Catholic monks in Italy, Spain and Portugal. In fact, play this CD next to the a cappella Chant by The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos (a fine collection of Gregorian chants by monks in a Spanish monastery), and you can't help but notice the parallels. But the Italian lyrics embraced by the Tenores de Oniferi can be either secular or spiritual in nature. Traditional Sardinian vocalists often come up with improvised lyrics, and sometimes, they turn their attention to Sardinian poetry of previous centuries. "Su Determinu" was written by the 19th century poet Paulicu Mossa, while "Sos Antigos" comes from poet Antioco Casula Montanaru (1888-1957). Music of the World can usually be counted on for thoughtful liner notes, and for this album, the label has printed the Italian lyrics as well as English translations. Recommended.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson