Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"Cancion del arbol del olvido" by Ginastera

Composer: Alberto Ginastera (1916-1983)
Alfredo Kraus, tenor
José Todesillas, pianist

El arbol del olvido

En mis pagos hay un arbol
Que del olvido se llama,
Al que van a despenarse,
Vidalitay, Vidalitay,
Los moribundos del alma.

Para no pensar en vos
Bajo el arbol del olvido
Me acosté una nochecita,
Vidalitay, Vidalitay,
Y me quedé bien dormido.

Al despertar de aquel sueño
Pensaba en vos otra vez,
Pues me olvidé de olvidarte,
Vidalitay, Vidalitay,
Encuantito me acosté.


The Tree of forgetting

In my neighbourhood there is a tree
that's called the tree of forgetting,
to which go to lay down their troubles,
Vidalitay, Vidalitay,
Those whose souls are dying.

So that I would no longer think of you
under the tree of forgetting
I lay down one evening,
Vidalitay, Vidalitay,
And I fell fast asleep.
When I awoke from that dream
I thought of you once again,
because I forgot to forget you,
Vidalitay, Vidalitay,
as soon as I lay down.

Translations are from
Lied and Art Song Page


  1. Great presence from both Kraus and Todesillas! I wanted more of this wonderful singer- pianist dance.

  2. I although I enjoy both parts individually I do not enjoy the ensemble between these two performers. The singer is far too loud to my ears and has complete clarity where the pianist does not. The pianist's playing is mysterious which I love. Perhaps these problems are to be blamed on the recording. I love Ginastera's musical language, just incredible.

  3. I so enjoy the pianist's separation of the right hand from the left. The two parts are completely autonomous and it lends the piece a lot of the surreality or ethereal aura it deserves. The swaying back and forth between the rhythm and the melody accurately portrays the sleep, dreaming, and also perhaps a gentle breeze that moves the leaves on the tree.

  4. I'm very fond of Todesilla's piano playing. That's why I put this one up. I think Derek says it quite well. I also like his almost jazzy approach to the rhythm and his voicing of the harmonies is ideal.

    Here's one I just found. Quirky, some intonation issues, but still intriguing.
    Take a listen.

  5. The pianist conveyed the character of the guitar very well, an idiom which I would think would be very difficult to imitate on a piano. I honestly liked Catherine's less declamatory, more introspective version of the piece better. I wonder if the largeness of the venue affected his approach to the song.

  6. The pianist, as others have said, is wonderful. The singer was too declamatory for me, given the melancholy, bittersweet text.

  7. I agree with Emily. The pianist delivered well. I so love the piano motives and sweet interludes that are heard between the verses.

  8. I will echo the other commenters' opinions regarding the pianist--he is fabulous. The articulation is superb and gives the perfect character to the piece. I think that the tenor has a beautiful instrument, but would like to have heard more attention to expressing the text and more of a feeling of partnership and ensemble with the pianist. This is a wonderful piece with many opportunities for shaping the phrases and milking the dissonances.

  9. I want to sing this song. There is a jazz feel to it that is subtle but heard throughout the accompaniment. I had the same thought as John because the singing could have been a little less declamatory.

  10. I know it's been said before, but there seems to be an obvious disconnect between the performers. The vocalist seems to to miss the nature of the piece and is slightly over singing. It's such a relaxed melody in the piano, and there are those gorgeous moment switching from minor to major that he seems to be missing. Despite this performance, this is one of my favorite pieces we have looked at in not only Spanish music, but the entire course.

  11. Hum... I might disagree from everyone else, but I actually like Kraus declamatory performance. To me, it sounded like the piano accompaniment portrays the image of the unperturbed tree, laying its spell on the singer, while he is passionately telling his story to his beloved. I loved it!

  12. I do not love Mr. Kraus' delivery of text and singing style. I feel that he evokes a Puccini-esque Italian Opera affect that betrays the text.

    On the other hand, I LOVE the piano motives and interludes. To me, the piano communicates more than the singer.