Farrell * Guitarist
Farrell plays the heart and soul of Spain."
(with orchestra) arr. Terrence Farrell
Maja de Goya Enrique Granados
Cañi (Paso Doble) Pascual Marquina
por Bulerías arr. Dennis Koster
del Alba Eduardo Sainz de la Maza
Filla del Marxant arr. Miguel Llobet
del Día Nueva Juan Martín
Española #5 Enrique Granados
del Manojo de Rosas (Habanera) Pablo
por Bulerías Raíces Juan
Española Joaquin Malats
Española #10 Enrique Granados
Arabe Francisco Tárrega
Virgen de la Macarena arr. Terrence
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,
Put on your attitude, pick up the castanets and ... Ole!
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