Vicente PRADAL (b.
1957) El Diván del Tamarit (2007) Gacela del amor imprevisto (vals) Gacela de la raíz amarga (rumba) Gacela del recuerdo del amor (canción) Casida del herido por el agua (balada) ¡Ay, voz secreta del amor oscuro! (java) Gacela del mercado matutino (tangos) Gacela del amor desesperado (jaleo) Casida del llanto y Casida de la mujer tendida (libre
y soleá) Casida de la muchacha dorada (jaleo) Casida de los ramos (siguiriya) Gacela del niño muerto (poema y cante)
Pradal (voice); Servane Solana (voice); Alberto García
(voice); Rafael Pradal (piano); Emmanuel Joussemet (cello);
Hélène Arntzen (saxophone); Renaud
García-Fons (double-bass); Edouard Coquard (percussion); Paloma Pradal (voice);
Luis Rigou (kena)
Studio Malambo, Bois-Colombes, 10-16 January, 4-12, 19
February 2008. DDD VIRGIN CLASSICS 5190332 [44:36]
Divan del Tamarit is
the third of Vicente Pradal's cycles of songs setting
the Andalusian poet, painter, pianist and composer
Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936). The others are again
por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías,
1999 and Romancero
Gitano, 2004; both on Virgin Classics.
These titles and the poems set relate to Lorca’s collections
of poetry with each of these titles: 1928 (Romancero Gitano), 1935 (Llanto
por Ignacio Sánchez Mejías),
1936 (El Divan del Tamarit).
notes to this collection Pradal speaks of bringing out
the melodies which Lorca's poems give off. "Refined,
mysterious, sensual, sorrowful, solitary and profound ...
Federico here 'draws hope from hopelessness itself.'”
is a fusion of the 1980s cooling sophisticated jazz, muezzins
and minarets and dark Iberian sensuality. The voices (Vicente
Pradal, Alberto Garcia, Servane Solana) are hoarse with
relished emotion but vary the tone and dynamics. The eleven
songs (one in two tracks) are sung in Lorca's - and Pradal’s
- original Spanish. Imagine an intimately close popular
balance, three voices and a varied combination of instruments
drawn from cello, double-bass, piano, saxophone and percussion. With
the exception of one poem all are either 'Gacelas' or Casidas'
- Moorish Andalusian poetic forms. You may know of these
from classical sources such as the Five Ghazals of Hafiz as
set by Bantock - but not yet recorded. Qasidas are referred
to in Flecker's play Hassan to which Delius
provided the music. Pradal’s cycle has a real Moorish tang:
that characteristic North African swaying trill. For many
Europeans this still sounds exotic and will be familiar
from the work of de Falla, Rodrigo and Nin. You can hear
it in the saxophone solos in Casida de la muchacha dorada where
the piano's liquid trills evoke the cooling fountains and
shaded courtyards of the Palaces of Granada. Hear it also
in the shudderingly wonderful nasal melisma of Alberto
Garcia in Casida de los ramos. The singing by all
three is resinous and the exact opposite of bland. The
instrumental lines are full of interest; one examples is
the high-cycling harmonics of Gacela del niño muerto.
downside this disc runs to only 44:36 yet there is a vibrant
harvest in the inner worlds to which it admits the listener.
Lorca’s inscapes glower back with an unwavering stare that
reaches across the centuries.
that the translation in the booklet is from Spanish to
French and not also to English and German. The booklet
is however well done and the size of the print sensibly
enjoy ethnic jazz, Berio's Folk-songs, Capercaillie
or Granuaile then you should have much to enjoy
here if you also respond to flamenco and the Hispanic tradition.
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