SATB/piano or strings (also available in TTBB/piano CM 9348); Carl Fischer CM 9735
The tarantella is a popular southern Italian dance with origins in the 11th century. Of the possible sources of the dance, the most popular comes from the villages of Tanto and Tarentum (“little spider”), in Italy. During harvest, workers in the field were sometimes bitten by the tarantula spider. To combat the “poison,” the afflicted workers went into a frenetic, almost musical exorcism to sweat the venom out of their pores. Combine this tradition with the poetry of Christopher Smart – whose brilliant writing sometimes bordered on the absurd, and you get this whimsical, rhythmic, patter-like, obsession for language.
Recording by the New American Voices.