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Thread: Thoughts About Cante Flamenco

  1. #121
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Loved Camarón de la Isla! Lorca yes. There's that exuberant primal energy, and I often hear such a cry of anguish in the music, as if the musicians would explode if the couldn't get out the depth of their emotions. Ole!
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Sep-25-2017 at 23:53.
    “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” ~Lao Tzu

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  3. #122
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Here is an English translation of La Leyenda del Tiempo, The Legend of Time. There are several, but in my supreme lack of facility in Spanish, I prefer this one. I'll post the Spanish letras and maybe some of our Spanish friends can supply their own alternative translations.

    The dream passes through time.
    Floating like a sailboat
    No one can crack open the seeds
    In the heart of the dream

    Time passes through the dream
    Sunk up to its neck
    Yesterday and tomorrow they will eat
    Dark flowers of sorrow

    The dream passes through time.
    Floating like a sailboat
    No one can crack open the seeds
    In the heart of the dream

    Up on the same pillar
    Dream and time embracing
    The child’s cry crosses paths with
    The old man’s broken tongue

    The dream passes through time.
    Floating like a sailboat
    No one can crack open the seeds
    In the heart of the dream

    And if the dream pretends to be a wall
    In the mists of time
    Then time will make it believe
    That it is being born at that moment

    The dream passes through time.
    Floating like a sailboat
    No one can crack open the seeds
    In the heart of the dream

    The dream passes through time.
    Floating like a sailboat
    No one can crack open the seeds
    In the heart of the dream

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  5. #123
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Here the Spanish:

    El sueño va sobre el tiempo
    Flotando como un velero
    Nadie puede abrir semillas
    En el corazón del sueño

    El tiempo va sobre el sueño
    Hundido hasta los cabellos
    Ayer y mañana comen
    Oscuras flores de duelo

    El sueño va sobre el tiempo
    Flotando como un velero
    Nadie puede abrir semillas
    En el corazón del sueño

    Sobre la misma columna
    Abrazados sueño y tiempo
    Cruza el gemido del niño
    La lengua rota del viejo

    El sueño va sobre el tiempo
    Flotando como un velero
    Nadie puede abrir semillas
    En el corazón del sueño

    Y si el sueño finge muros
    En la llanura del tiempo
    El tiempo le hace creer
    Que nace en aquel momento


    El sueño va sobre el tiempo
    Flotando como un velero
    Nadie puede abrir semillas
    En el corazón del sueño

    El sueño va sobre el tiempo
    Flotando como un velero
    Nadie puede abrir semillas
    En el corazón del sueño

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  7. #124
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    Let me thank Strange Magic for initiating this thread on Flamenco, the oldest musical tradition on the continent (according to Lorca). My first experience was in a little bar, the 'Mar Chica', just off the port area in Tangier, years ago: a middle-aged woman with high heels, castanets, and a guitarist. Later, in Triana, across the river from Seville, I listened to the gypsies with their cante hondo, and was committed. Some ancient response was awakened. Like the impossibly intricate 'finger' rhythms of the Southern Spaniard, it is music that outsiders rarely seem to master.

    In a previous classical music forum I attempted to start a discussion on Flamenco, but no one seemed interested at the time. And now, here we are. I have little to offer in insight, but want to express my devotion to the art. It is a unique genre, neither classical nor folk. In passing, let me say that I am particularly impressed with El Nino de Almadén, and am fortunate to have the Mandala (harmonia mundi) series of 'Arte Flamenco'. As I mention this, the Nino's 'Farruca' comes to mind...and his 'saetas' for Holy Week in Sevilla. Flamenco recordings seem difficult to come by, and can be quite expensive.

    Mention was made of duende. Let me recommend Garcia Lorca's 'In Search of Duende', an invaluable resource. Ah, to be gifted with a quality impossible to define!

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  9. #125
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Flavius, welcome to our small but growing band of aficionados! Delighted to have you aboard. Please feel free to add whatever you choose to the thread. I also am a great admirer of el Niño de Almaden, one of the great payo cantaores. We are fortunate that so much great classic cante flamenco is available on YouTube, so even though it may continue to die away, it still lives on.

    Here is a bit of García Lorca that I first heard on the first flamenco album I bought. This copla still sticks in my mind:

    "Cuando fuiste novio mío
    Por la primavera blanca,
    los cascos de tu caballo
    cuatro sollozos de plata"
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Oct-10-2017 at 05:37.

  10. #126
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    Thank you for your welcome, Strange Magic.

    I have always been interested in serious music developed from popular, folk, or traditional sources. Have you heard Ohana's 'Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias'? It is based on the Lorca lament, and has a profound, cante hondo feeling. Argenta recorded the work with the Orchestra des Cento Soli (Accord). You probably already know the work. If not, you might find it worth hearing.

  11. #127
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Flavius, thank you for the suggestion. I am not familiar with that piece and will try to hear it.

    This TC thread would probably interest you, if you haven't seen it:

    I love de Falla's "Nights in Gardens of Spain"; who else has a Spanish influence?
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Oct-11-2017 at 05:42.

  12. #128
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Pilar Bogado Sings Saeta

    Even those unfamiliar with or disinterested in cante flamenco might be impressed by the vocal gift of then 11-year old phenom Pilar Bogado. Born in Huelva in 2000, Pilar sings quite traditional cante, and here sings one of my very favorite palos, a Saeta, the "arrow of song" that is sung accompanied only by muffled drums during Holy Week in Andalusia. Though the setting here is a TV variety show, young Pilar really delivers the goods vocally. A remarkable performance.
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Oct-11-2017 at 17:01.

  13. #129
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flavius View Post
    Thank you for your welcome, Strange Magic.

    I have always been interested in serious music developed from popular, folk, or traditional sources. Have you heard Ohana's 'Llanto por Ignacio Sanchez Mejias'? It is based on the Lorca lament, and has a profound, cante hondo feeling. Argenta recorded the work with the Orchestra des Cento Soli (Accord). You probably already know the work. If not, you might find it worth hearing.
    Flavius, the poem I remember I heard recited in English on TV many decades ago, back when commercial network television offered far more literate and culturally rich material, and the "Five in the afternoon" refrain still is with me, along with "The room was iridescent with agony". In Paco Sevilla's remarkable bio of Carmen Amaya, Queen of the Gypsies, probably the very best history of flamenco in the first half of the 20th Century, there is much material on Ignacio Sánchez Mejias. He was closely linked to Manuel Torre, the greatest of all gitano cantaores, to the bailaora La Argentinita, to García Lorca, to De Falla, and to a whole host of others involved one way or another in flamenco. If you wish to dig deeper into all the connections, Paco Sevilla's book is a must-have. But I consider it a must-have anyway, along with Donn Pohren's The Art of Flamenco.

  14. #130
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Pepe el de la Matrona, A Payo Master

    Pepe el de la Matrona, "he of the midwife" (his mother's occupation), was born in 1887 in the barrio of Triana, Sevilla to a non-gypsy family. José Núñez Meléndez, as a payo, had a difficult time convincing his family that a career in flamenco was what he was destined for, but destined he was. He began singing professionally in his early teens and slowly began his rise to pre-eminence in cante, one of the handful of payo cantaores who have reached the absolute pinnacle of his art (Aurelio de Cádiz, born the same year, was another such). Pepe was fortunate enough to be in Madrid when Perico el del Lunar put together the group of singers who would record the classic Antología del Cante Flamenco, and Pepe contributed several classic performances to that effort. His career spanned almost all of the years I regard as a Golden Age of flamenco, as he died in 1983. His voice and delivery are instantly recognizable, as the previous posts highlighting his Serrana and Polo have shown. Here are three more selections:

    First, Soleares:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eCGdO5-2y0Q

    Next, Tientos:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jNivL_xnoI8

    Finally, Siguiriyas:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=J9CgMTS_8Kw
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Oct-24-2017 at 21:40.

  15. #131
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    It's too bad there are no translations of these songs. But even without them, it's obvious the performers feel passionate about whatever they are singing. There's also a virility here that I consider hard, if not possible to find in other cultures, other than with some of the Russian voices that are simply indescribable singing Mussorgsky or sacred works. The Pepe el de la Matrona-Tientos 1965 is incredible. Here is the strummed intensity of the guitar as a great instrument of accompaniment rather than as a solo instrument. What I enjoy about such uncompromising masculine voices is that it reminds me of the women who loved them!
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Nov-09-2017 at 05:57.
    “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” ~Lao Tzu

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  17. #132
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Jarrito

    One of the truly fine cantaores asked by Perico el del Lunar to sing for the groundbreaking Antología del Cante Flamenco was Roque Montoya, "Jarrito". Jarrito got his nickname for having knocked over a jar in his youth, and the name stuck. Born a gitano in Algeciras in 1928, Jarrito possessed a strong, clear voice and also became a master of almost all of the palos of flamenco, both gitano and andaluz. We have previously posted his cante andaluz Fandangos de Huelva and amazing, powerful Saetas; now we'll hear some of his gitano palos. The guitarist for these selections is not indicated, but the faint background humming that accompanies the Soleares, plus the excellence of all the accompaniment indicate that the guitarist is the legendary Manuel Serrapi, "El Niño Ricardo". Niño Ricardo was known, like Glenn Gould, for humming along as he played. He and Ramón Montoya were regarded as the strongest influences upon the following generations of flamenco guitarists, such as Sabicas, Mario Escudero, and Paco de Lucía.

    First we have Jarrito singing Bulerias:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=uFHW18t2MSk

    Then we hear Tientos y Tangos:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ti14IxtBPh4

    Next, La Caña:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FLMtHo5v1MM

    And finally Soleares:
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=KbIA_nR3-rk
    Last edited by Strange Magic; Dec-04-2017 at 06:12.

  18. #133
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Flamenco Goes to Hollywood

    Time to stroll again down Memory Lane. It's 1957 and we see the film about Spain and the Napoleonic Wars, The Pride and the Passion, and a bit of Hollywood flamenco. Sophia Loren is clearly not much of a dancer--though we hear the tapping of heels, we do not see her contacting the ground. The singer is another story, however. The voice is oddly familiar and distinctive: it may be that of Eduardo Lozano Pérez, "El Carbonero", whom Alan Lomax had recorded in Sevilla just a few years previously, and who had a reputation as a saetero, a specialist in singing Saetas during Holy Week. Those who have been attending to differentiating among the various palos of cante flamenco will hear first a bit of Tientos and then a bit of Fandangos de Huelva. This is all Flamenco Lite, but it served to introduce some few of us to the Real Thing. Harsh critics of Andre Rieu, take note.


  19. #134
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Flamenco Goes to Hollywood, Part II

    It's a year or two earlier than The Pride and the Passion, this time it's Ship of Fools. José Greco and his troupe of that time are on board the ship heading for Germany as the menace of Hitlerism begins to unfold in the prewar years. We do get a rare chance to briefly hear the magnificent cantaora Manolita de Jerez sing a bit of Bulerias as Greco & Company dance standard-fare traveling troupe baile. It is a shame that Greco was so sparing in his autobiography of mention of the members of his group other than the women with whom he was having an affair. But back in the 1950s, long before the idea of YouTube was even imaginable, this something was far better than nothing. And there were the records.....


  20. #135
    Senior Member Strange Magic's Avatar
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    Default Ravel Experiences Flamenco

    First, a correction: I obviously transposed digits when I saw Ship of Fools' date as 1956 when even I should have remembered it from 1965. I read the book and saw the film--liked them both!

    Here we have José Greco and Company on The Tube way back when, dancing to Ravel's Boléro. Not flamenco puro perhaps, but actually not bad. Here we have a meeting of Classical and Flamenco, for good or ill....


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