Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Sevillanas del Siglo XVIII" by Federico Garcia Lorca



Lorca and La Argentinita performing together. Clicking on La Argentinita will take you to a link to learn who she is.

Sevillanas del S.XVIII
Text:Federico García Lorca

¡Viva Sevilla!
Llevan las sevillanas
en la mantilla
un letrero que dice:
¡Viva Sevilla!

¡Viva Triana!
¡Vivan los trianeros,
los de Triana!
¡Vivan los sevillanos
y sevillanas!
**************************
Long live Sevilla!
The women of Sevilla wear a sign in their mantillas that reads "Viva Sevilla!

Long live Triana!
Long live the people of Triana!
Long live the women and the men of Sevilla!

Poem here is incomplete. There are more verses.
Trans.Milagro Vargas

21 comments:

  1. García Lorca was an outspoken anti-fascist when Francisco Franco was coming to power in Spain. He was arrested in Granada by the "Black Squad" on August 16, 1936, and after three days of savage beatings, he was shot and buried on farmland. Go here for more on Lorca. Other related links under the Links section of this blog.

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  2. The two Lorca songs posted, Sevillanas and En el Cafe de Chinitas are from Lorca's group of songs 15 Canciones Populares. His early passion for music and great interest in folk songs resulted in these wonderful arrangements.

    In 1931, García Lorca recorded five gramophone records with ten themes from his Colección de Canciones Populares Antiguas (Collection of Ancient Popular Songs). Lorca himself played the piano to accompany "La Argentinita."

    These performances are rare and treasured documents.

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  3. This song reminds me of a folk tune form or almost that of the 12 bar blues with its similar chords progressions. I love Lorca's fresh touch on the piano coupled with the Argentinita's slippery but solid vocal line. You can really see her dancing while you listen to her singing!

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  4. This strophic song is immediately recognizable as "Spanish"! It reminds me of music that might be heard at a bullfight. Every element of this piece exudes joy - from the exuberant piano part to the ornamented vocal line to the spirited percussion.

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  5. Kata,I've removed the weird long coded thing that appeared with your original comment and pasting your comment here:

    Kata said:
    Maravilloso! Qué combinación de elegancia y precisión! Gracias por esta contribución.
    (Hope, that the spelling and grammar is ok.)

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  6. I had no idea there were recordings like this! I'd learned about La Argentinita as a bailaora and learned that she collaborated with Lorca, but I didn't realize that she sang as well. The music is clearly a sevillana - it's lovely to hear the dance rhythms and crispness of everything.

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  7. The folk elements of Spanish song are so prevalent in this piece, it makes me want to get up and dance! I enjoyed listening to the percussive clapper and virtuosic piano that created a lively and festive atmosphere.

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  8. It is amazing to me that Frederico Garcia Lorca was so talented as a pianist and poet and that he was also a composer and painter. I enjoyed hearing the castanets accentuate the rhythmic singing.

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  9. I enjoyed how the piano is used to mimic the guitar while the castanets adds a latin dance feel to the performance.

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  10. It's so wonderful to hear Spanish musicians perform Spanish music. It's even more wonderful to hear Lorca accompany his own song. I agree with Yoshi, the piano mimics the guitar. This seems to be a normative in Spanish keyboard writing.

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  11. What a fun piece! It's so exciting to hear composers performing their own music. Not to mention hearing vocalists with percussion skills!

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  12. Wow! This recording displays so much rhythmic energy and vigor! But it is really striking that it does so without excessive "weight" or accents in the sound, it is just crisp, as Emily said. I'm also impressed with Lorca's multiple talents! Also, La Argentinita's performance seems so unforced, so natural, it sounds really improvisatory!

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  13. Cool! As mentioned, I'm astounded at the singers ability to execute the characteristic melismatic "runs" without weight. She floats through them effortlessly. Similarly, she sustains the line for what seems like forever before taking another breath.

    I find the accompaniment to be a little "boom chuck boom chuck"....which isn't necessarily bad, but surprising as it does not mimic the voice, or impart any of the exotic "Spanish-isms".

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  14. What a great song! This sounds like party music, and the castanets are amazing. I really enjoy the arpeggiated chords in the piano; they sound so clean and percussive.

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  15. You can really hear Lorca's passion for folk music in this piece, but despite the simple melodic and harmonic language, the performance is executed with an impressive level of precision. The rapid right hand patterns in the piano evoke a sense of unshakeable happiness that make this piece sound like music at a party.

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  16. I'm absolutely swooning over this piece! I love the castanets and the dance rhythms! And not to mention the rhythmic precision!

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  17. It is interesting to note that in 1931 was the year that the Spanish monarchy gave way to a republic and for the first time elected officials were ruling in Spain. Before the unrest that led to Lorca's death and the Spanish Civil war, there is a sense of victory and positivity that really comes through in this music. I feel that you can really hear that sense of pride in Lorca and La Argentinina's performance.

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  18. As Ednaldo had mentioned in a previous post in another thread, instrumentation plays a very important role. I have such a different impression from one of these folk songs when I hear guitar accompaniment vs. piano accompaniment. There is an article by Busoni about the nature of transcriptions in which he basically says that every time you rewrite a piece of music or musically readapt it, it undergoes a transformation that essentially departs from its prior state. I find that the use of piano accompaniment in this arrangement gives me more of a sense of "arrangement" versus composition, which is perhaps what Garcia Lorca was aiming to accomplish or left to do as a means of preservation.

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  19. I like how the castanets make provide strong rhythmic drive to the song! I think the piano is imitating guitar in here. It would be nice to hear a version played by guitar and make a comparison.

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  20. If I heard this song out of context and was asked to identify what it was, I would have difficulty identifying it as art song. It sounds so traditional, and the simplicity of it captures the folk quality of the song.

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  21. The castanets really bring even more life to an exciting piece. My only experience of Lorca is as an author and playwright and my memory of his work is quite dark. It is great to hear such a spirited song about pride for one's city.

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