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Flamenco Variations on Three Guitars


SABICAS - Flamenco Variations on Three Guitars Decca DL 8957 SABICAS - Flamenco Variations on Three Guitars Decca DL 8957
33MSabicas 1

DECCA...DL 8957...33 1/3 LP...Hi-Fi

Side 1
1) Embrujo Flamenco - Siguiriyas...5:14
2) Garrotin de Medianoche - Not Given...2:43
3) Sentir Malagueño - Verdiales...4:10
4) Variaciones de La Caña - Soleares...4:19
5) Rondeña de los Gitanos - Not Given...4:04

Side 2
1) Farruca de la Media Luna - Not Given...2:28
2) Ritmo de Huelva - Fandango...3:56
3) Alcazaba - Danza Arabe...5:13
4) El Sacromonte - Tientos...3:27
5) Zambra Canastera - Not Given...3:20

DeccaDL-8957a label SABICAS - Flamenco Variations on Three Guitars Decca DL 8957 DeccaDL-8957b label SABICAS - Flamenco Variations on Three Guitars Decca DL 8957



Flamenco Variations on Three Guitars

Sabicas, undisputed Master of the Flamenco Guitar, has been acclaimed by unnumbered thousands for his recitals, his numerous appearances on leading television shows, and for his Decca recordings. In recital, on television, and on records Sabicas has usually appeared as a solo guitarist, although in two recent recordings he was joined by another famed Flamenco artist, Mario Escudero. For his newest album Sabicas decided to do something neither he nor any other Flamenco guitarist had ever attempted—to perform on three guitars simultaneously!

An engineering trick? Yes, an engineering trick in that it was necessary to record Sabicas´ second guitar over the first and the third over both the others.

A gimmick? Yes, a gimmick too — but, because of the very nature of Flamenco, a most appropriate gimmick. For the essence of Flamenco is improvisation, an unrehearsed outpouring of music by one or more artists steeped in the Flamenco idiom. Because true Flamenco is unrehearsed — most Flamenco artists, like Sabicas, neither write nor read music — there is always the risk that individual variations in style or in skill at improvisation will prevent the full total realization of the music´s intent. Now, through the use of multiple track recording, Sabicas gives us the ideal performance of group Flamenco, a performance in which all parts are created, improvised and performed by Sabicas himself, long acknowledged the greatest Flamenco guitarist of our time.

Here there can be no conflict of style, no comparatively lesser talent to mar the perfection of virtuoso technique or of skill at improvisation. This is something new, something never-before-attained—group-played Flamenco which preserves the essential element of spontaneity, yet also possesses the unified inspiration of one creative mind.

A few words about the recording sessions. Except for a pair of earphones near Sabicas´ chair there was nothing unusual about the studio, but in the controlroom elaborate equipment had been set up for triple track, monaural and stereophonic recording. Sabicas played the first guitar part of one selection until a take which satisfied both him and the engineers had been made. Then, after Sabicas had listened to this take several times through the earphones, working out in his mind what the second guitar part should be, a second track was recorded over the first. Later, when a dual-track tape had been approved and carefully auditioned by the artist, the third guitar part was superimposed on the first two parts. Occasionally an effect which Sabicas had in mind did not turn out quite as he had intended, and this meant going back and doing over one or more parts; eventually, however, pleased with what he heard, Sabicas O.K.´d the final take and nodded. "It is good," he said. "It sounds like a whole orchestra of guitarras, each one playing just like Sabicas." And then he smiled; for this, after all, was just what he had hoped for... the essence of the whole idea.


Side One
1. Embrujo Flamenco (Siguiriyas). The Siguiriya is the most typical form of Cante Hondo (Deep Song). Some authorities believe that it developed from the music of the Hebrews, while others vehemently deny this possibility. All agree, however, that the Siguiriya is the most powerful expression of gypsy lament.

2. Garrotin de Medianoche. Not one of the pure Flamenco rhythms, the Garrotin is probably more closely related to folk dance. It is gay, almost playful, and lacks the touch of melancholy found in most Flamenco music.

3. Sentir Malagueño (Verdiales). The Verdiales originated in the sunny region around Malaga. Its style is simple and gentle, and its 3/8 rhythm indicates that in its primitive form it must have been related to the Fandango.

4. Variaciones de La Caña (Soleares). The Soleares is one of the basic Flamenco rhythms, so ancient that its origin goes back beyond the limits of research. Soleares, an abbreviated form of soledad, means loneliness.

5. Rondeña de los Gitanos. Also believed to have originated around Málaga, the Rondeña is a love song, probably another offspring of the Fandango. It is characterized by a free-flowing, even rhythm and a lyrical,darkly mysterious style.

Side Two
1. Farruca de la Media Luna. Originally a cante (song), the Farruca later became exclusively a baile (dance); Its fiery rhythm is accentuated by heel-stomping and finger-snapping.

2. Ritmio de Huelva (Fandango). The Fandango, one of the best-known of the classical rhythms of Flamenco, dates back to the folk songs of the Moors. Both melody and rhythm have an Oriental flavor, expressing the sadness and sorrow so typical of Flamenco music.

3. Alcazaba (Danza Arabe). This Arabic dance clearly demonstrates the phenomenal technique and superb artistry of Sabicas. We hear a group of dancers approach from the distance, perform in front of us, and then move off again into the twilight.

4. El Sacromonte (Tientos). Originally the Tiento was the guitar prelude played just before the singers and dancers joined in. Eventually, however, any short Flamenco piece was called a Tiento.

5. Zambra Canastera. The origin of the Zambra, usually a cante y baile (song and dance), is uncertain, but it was probably adapted from Moorish rhythms by the gypsies of Andalucia.

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