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Featured Album

Soul of Spain

Terrence Farrell   *   Guitarist


"Terrence Farrell plays the heart and soul of Spain."

Watch and listen to a video of Malagueña, one of the songs featured in the Soul of Spain album:

Or listen to MP3 samples:
  Malagueña  (with orchestra) arr. Terrence Farrell           La Filla del Marxant    Miguel Llobet
  España Cañi (Paso Doble) Pascual Marquina Narro     La Virgen de la Macarena  arr. Terrence Farrell
  La del Manojo de Rosas (Habanera)    Pablo Sorozábal      

1.  Malagueña (with orchestra)  arr. Terrence Farrell       9. La Maja de Goya  Enrique Granados
2. España Cañi (Paso Doble)  Pascual Marquina Narro   10. Solo por Bulerías  arr. Dennis Koster
3. Campanas del Alba   Eduardo Sainz de la Maza   11. La Filla del Marxant  arr. Miguel Llobet
4. Rumba del Día Nueva  Juan Martín   12. Danza Española #5  Enrique Granados
5. La del Manojo de Rosas  (Habanera)  Pablo Sorozábal   13. Soleá por Bulerías Raíces  Juan Martín
6. Serenata Española  Joaquin Malats   14. Danza Española #10  Enrique Granados
7. Capricho Arabe    Francisco Tárrega   15. La Virgen de la Macarena  arr. Terrence Farrell
8. Tangos  Juan Martín      

First a little background. I am black Irish and black Dutch. In both cases the black refers to the "Spanish" connection. Both countries are pretty far north and the natural hair color and complexions are light. In the Dark Ages, as the Irish say, they "kept the lamp of learning burning bright while the rest of Europe was in the dark." The reference is to the monasteries and the illuminated manuscripts that they made. In areas of northern Spain that were free from Arabic control, minor lords often sent their second sons to Ireland to be educated in the faith. Some left progeny behind, thus the "black" (headed) Irish! Years later Spain as a great power controlled the Low Countries where the Dutch were. During the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Jewish and Arabic peoples were expelled from Spain. For many years these peoples of dark haired races made their way from Spain to Holland in hopes of less persecution. Thus, the term the "black" Dutch. That's the dubious "Spanish" connection on my mother's side of the family. When Mom was a young girl her uncle once told her she was a direct descendent of Pocahontas. Pocahontas had no children ... but that's another story! I can honestly say that I have been listening to and playing this music most of my life.

This album comprises some of my favorite Spanish pieces, especially on the "con gusto" side of life. In recent years my wife and I have taken up Flamenco dancing. We are way too old and hardly fit the lithe profile of the young hot shots or the chicas bonitas. But, we do have our own sense of "aire" and it's a lot of fun! I have enjoyed the deepening of my experience in the music from Spain. I was raised playing the Spanish classics of which there are quite a few on this album. Added to that has been my trial by fire accompanying my dancing maestra when she performs. One night after dance class she asked if I would accompany her since her guitarist was leaving the area. That started me on a crash course learning the flamenco guitar to accompany her beautiful dancing. I am deeply indebted to heralicia Morena di Palma, for her instruction and help in understanding the "flamenco" way.

It has come with some interesting observations. Flamenco dance is the ONLY art form where the music follows the dancer. In all other dance forms like ballet, jazz and folk, the dancer dances to a set piece of music. One can speed up or slow down the music, but the music remains the same (think Swan Lake). In Flamenco a dancer could dance a soleá (a particular flamenco dance) that has been passed down from teacher to student. But, if you learned the soleá from a different teacher the whole choreography would be different, as would the music. Although some musical idioms could appear throughout, they would not be in the same order or duration. Thus, a guitarist becomes attached to a particular dancer and would have difficulty accompanying another dancer doing the same dance without a lot of rehearsal time. Enough said!

Quickly here is some information on the music. The Malagueña is recorded here for the first time with orchestra (orchestrated by Stephen Tosh). This is a Malagueña I have put together over years of playing it. Although there are virtually hundreds of Malagueñas, some themes remain in all and I do use several themes made famous by Ernesto Lucuona. The España Cañi is heard all the time in Latin ballroom dance and is often known simply as the Paso Doble. I especially liked it in the Australian film "Strictly Ballroom". La Virgen de la Macarena is a well known bullfighting song and refers to one of the most revered statues from Sevilla's Holy week celebrations. I have included several works by Juan Martin whose infectious melodies and wonderful method I enjoy playing. I recommend his method highly as I do Dennis Koster, whose homage to Sabicas and Mario Escudero is also included. Enrique Granados is well represented with three works. Although all were originally written for piano they are none the less some of the staples of the classical guitar repertoire. I cannot do a Spanish album without including the romantic music of Francisco Tárrega, the patron saint of the guitar. His great protogé Miguel Llobet is also represented by one of the delightful Catalonian melodies that he set. Joaquin Malats has written possibly the quintessential Spanish serenade. Campanas del Alba (the Bells of Alba) is an atmospheric piece. And lastly, a sweet habanera by Sorozábal, little known outside the Spanish world, he was a well known composer of Zarzuelas (Spanish light operettas).

Enjoy the music, con gusto.

Put on your attitude, pick up the castanets and ... Ole!

Terrence Farrell  

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P.O. Box 6543, Carmel, CA 93921

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