Tarantella. Composed by Joseph Kaspar Mertz and performed by Vera Danilina.
The tarantella is a traditional style of music and dance from southern Italy (esp. the city of Taranto in Puglia) dating back to 186 B.C. Apparently, it was believed that a bite from the wolf spider — then called “tarantula” — would make people hysterical. It seems that this was a good enough inspiration for the musicians of the time to create this very fast and upbeat style of music. The tarantella was originally an instrumental style of music played mostly by mandolin, guitar, accordion, and tambourines. Here, Vera Danilina shares a very virtuosic solo guitar version of the style.