Link to Living Tradition Homepage






CORDAE La Talvera TAL21 

The minor languages of Western Europe are nearly all in a precarious state. A few enjoy support from governments though others face outright hostility from them. The Occitan language is spoken in seven isolated separated areas from the Italian borderlands across the very south of France to the Pyrenean border with Spain.

Song, music and dance play a central role in the promulgation of this language and culture, and La Talvera, along with their Association CORDAE, have been at the centre of this for decades now, and in particular the band members and activists, Daniel Loddo and Céline Ricard.

In this latest of their many admirable albums, they show that, despite their total commitment to their rich tradition, they realise that to survive it must create and evolve. Most of the lyrics here on a range of social and environmental issues are by Daniel and they are set to melodies that are taken from local dance rhythms. Nearly all the singing is led by Céline’s fine distinctive voice, with the musicians’ sound being lifted by the sheer enthusiasm that she brings to her performance, with Daniel’s multi-instrumental talent matched to their daughter Aélis Loddo playing fiddle and joining her mother in song.

The tracks are separated by ‘actuality’ recordings of various ceremonies and snatches of conversation and, like everything these people have been associated with over the last two decades, this release demonstrates their commitment to producing the highest quality product with careful attention to detail.

Vic Smith


This review appeared in Issue 137 of The Living Tradition magazine