Sunday, March 22, 2009

"El vito" by Obradors

Composer: Fernando J. Obradors (1897-1945)
Teresa Berganza, soprano; Felix Lavilla, piano
Aix-en-provence festival 18 July 1964

El Vito
Text: Anonymous

Una vieja vale un real
y una muchacha dos cuartos,
[y yo, como]1 soy tan pobre
me voy a lo más barato.
Con el vito, vito, vito,
con el vito, vito, va.
No me haga 'usté' cosquillas,
que me pongo 'colorá'.
An old woman is worth a real1
and a young girl two cuartos2,
but as I am so poor
I go for the cheapest.
On with the dancing,
on with the dancing, ole!
Stop your teasing, sir,
else I'll blush!

Note: a vito is a dance full of fire, performed in the taverns by a woman standing on a table before an audience of bullfighters.
1 Real: A silver coin.
2 Cuarto: A copper coin.

Translations are from
Lied and Art Song Page


  1. I love this piece!!! It was so nice to hear it performed by such an expert vocalist. It was also nice to hear a performance with a different dialect than Spanish from Spain or Mexico, which is what I've typically heard this piece performance. I really liked the different articulations that were used in the work as well with sections being more legato and others that were more snappy!

  2. I love the piano's role with the repeated notes. Another example of a translation from guitar to piano. Her body language was great as well. Very subtle and a fantastic final note from her.

  3. This seems like a really fun song to perform. The piano is very reminiscent of the guitar with the repetitions, and the singer uses her face very well to interpret the text. The line about her being too poor is especially effective with the use of staccato.

  4. I love this song in her interpretation (oh, yes - the true is that I love EVERYTHING in her interpretation) This piece is really wonderful, but not me first I heard with her. Thank you for posting it for us.

  5. What fun! She communicates so much with just her eyes. It was playful without feeling affectated.

  6. I want to learn this piece! It looks so fun to perform. The way the voice and piano interact is playful, discrete and yet so profound.

  7. The guitar figures are apparent in the piano accompaniment. I wonder if the quickly repeated notes (that are so difficult on the piano) are an example of "punteado" as was described by Kimball in the reading.

  8. Sassy! That was immediate impression I got after hearing this recording. The piano prelude made me think of Lara's Granada.

  9. Beautifully rhythmic. It reminds me of Flamenco music, and I can see her move her shoulders slightly as if she's controlling herself from breaking into Flamenco dancing. Lovely.

  10. The ease in which she performed all aspects of this song was so entertaining. From the "no, no" to the fiesty "Ay!" was energized yet grounded and confident. I am LOVING listening to Berganza.

  11. I want to play this piece now!! Wonderful rendition! Another interpretation where the rhythmic vigor relies much more on crispness and precision than in weight of accents. Need to say it again: Love Berganza!!!!!

  12. LOVE THE PIANO! I can really hear the inspiration from the guitar. Teresa Berganza, as always, perfectly exemplifies this style. Whenever she executes a melismatic portion on “ay”, I can’t help but feel an guttural, internal wail—which I’m sure is what the composer had in mind. Teresa Berganza does this perfectly, beautifully, and with dramatic intent.

  13. This piece is so passionate. I really love the rhythmic qualifies in the piano, and how they are mirrored in the vocal line. Berganza's ability to maintain the crisp, piano sections of the vocal line and then sing in full legato later create an exciting performance.

  14. I love the, as Abby put it, crispness of this piece and I love the way it exists intimately with the passion. Another thrilling piece that keeps you on the edge of your seat!

  15. What a sensual piece. Berganza has a lovely sense of line, and the soft stacatti sections almost feel like teasing. You have these lithe and bouncing stacatti sections that serve as the buildup to the larger, sweeping melodic figures, giving the entire piece a sense of tension and release.

  16. The rhythmic impulse in this piece is absolutely driving and unrelenting. Somehow Theresa Berganza sings this with a sense of relaxed ease, you can see it in her body and hear it in her voice. She is precise, but so comfortable and relaxed, creating natural rubato within each phrase. It is such an effective performance.

  17. I enjoyed the rhythmic energy and drive of this music. The piano here sounds purposeful and well used from a compositional/arranging point of view, giving the song a sense that it is meant to be played by the piano. The drama and excitement is gripping and very much sounds like something that would appeal to bull fighters.

  18. The piano part somehow reminds me of Falla's "Polo" (the repeated notes). The pianist did a great job in making each note speak such that there was a lot of energy from the piano part. And I really like Teresa Berganza's facial expressions and body language in here.

  19. The introduction reminds me of Albeniz's Leyenda. Some of the runs sound more pianistic than guitaristic, but the majority of the writing definitely sounds guitar inspired.

  20. I love this piece and have Sierra's sparkling eyes in mind as I was listening. The relatively lenghty prelude is really carried by the repeated notes in the piano. I really can imagine a woman in a sea of bullfighters. How exciting when the images are so clear from listening to a piece.