Table of Contents
Federico García Lorca: Canciones populares españolas (1931) Partitura, sheet music, partition.
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Victoria de los Ángeles, soprano Miguel Zanetti, piano
1. Anda, jaleo (0:00) 2. Los cuatro muleros (1:25) 3. Las tres hojas (3:20) 4. Los mozos de Monleón (4:20) 5. Tres morillas (6:45) 6. Sevillanas del siglo XVIII (8:20) 7. El café de Chinitas (11:04) 8. Nana de Sevilla (14:19) 9. Los pelegrinitos (17:52) 10. Zorongo gitano (20:19)
Federico García Lorca
Federico García Lorca (Fuente Vaqueros, Granada, June 5, 1898-road from Víznar to Alfacar, Granada, August 18, 1936) was a Spanish poet, playwright, prose writer and composer.
Assigned to the generation of 27, he was the most influential and popular poet in Spanish literature of the 20th century, and as a playwright he is considered one of the tops of 20th century Spanish theater.
He was assassinated by the fascist (Francoist) rebels a month after the coup d’état that caused the start of the Spanish Civil War.
Lyrics / Letras
Yo me subí a un pino verde
por ver si la divisaba
y solo divisé el polvo
del coche que la llevaba.
Anda jaleo, jaleo;
ya se acabó el alboroto
y ahora empieza el tiroteo.
En la calle de los Muros
mataron a una paloma.
Yo cortaré con mis manos
las flores de su corona.
Anda jaleo, jaleo;
ya se acabó el alboroto
y ahora empieza el tiroteo.
LOS CUATRO MULEROS
De los cuatro muleros
que van al campo,
el de la mula torda
moreno y alto.
De los cuatro muleros
que van al agua,
el de la mula torda
me roba el alma.
De los cuatro muleros
que van al río,
el de la mula torda
es mi marío.
LAS TRES HOJAS
Debajo de la hoja
de la verbena
tengo a mi amante malo:
¡Jesús, qué pena!
Debajo de la hoja
de la lechuga
tengo a mi amante malo
Debajo de la hoja
tengo a mi amante malo
y no puedo ir.
LOS MOZOS DE MONLEÓN
Los mozos de Monleón
se fueron a arar temprano,
para ir a la corrida,
y remudar con despacio.
Al hijo de la viuda
el remudo no le ha dado.
—Al toro tengo que ir,
manque vaya de prestado.
Cuando el toro lo dejó,
ya lo ha dejado sangrando.
Aquí tenéis vuestro hijo,
como lo habéis demandado.
Tres moricas me enamoran
Axa y Fátima y Marién.
Tres moricas tan garridas
iban a coger olivas,
y hallábanlas cogidas
Axa, Fátima y Marién.
Y hallábanlas cogidas,
y tornaban desmaídas,
y las colores perdidas:
Axa, Fátima y Marién.
SEVILLANAS DEL SIGLO XVIII
Llevan las sevillanas
en la mantilla
un letrero que dice:
¡Vivan los trianeros,
los de Triana!
¡Vivan los sevillanos
Lo traigo andado.
La Macarena y todo
lo traigo andado.
Lo traigo andado;
cara como la tuya
no la he encontrado.
La Macarena y todo
lo traigo andado.
EL CAFÉ DE CHINITAS
En el café de Chinitas
dijo Paquiro a su hermano:
«Soy más valiente que tú
más torero y más gitano».
En el café de Chinitas
dijo Paquiro a Frascuelo:
«Soy más valiente que tú,
más gitano y más torero».
Sacó Paquiro el reló
y dijo de esta manera:
“Este toro ha de morir
antes de las cuatro y media.”.
Al dar las cuatro en la calle
se salieron del café
y era Paquiro en la calle
un torero de cartel.
NANA DE SEVILLA
no tiene mare;
lo parió una gitana
lo echó a la calle.
No tiene mare, sí;
no tiene mare, no;
no tiene mare,
lo echó a la calle.
Este niño chiquito
no tiene cuna;
su padre es carpintero
y le hará una.
Hacia Roma caminan
a los que case el Papa
porque son primos, niña.
Le ha preguntado el Papa
cómo se llaman.
Él le dice que Pedro, mamita,
y ella que Ana, niña.
Le ha preguntado el Papa
que si han pecado.
Ella le dice que un beso, mamita,
que le había dado, niña.
Y ha respondido el Papa
desde su cuarto:
que él es un santo, niña!
Las campanas de Roma
porque los pelegrinos, mamita,
ya se casaron, niña.
De noche me salgo al patio,
y me harto de llorar,
de ver que te quiero tanto
y tú no me quieres ná.
Las manos de mi cariño
te están bordando una capa
con agremán de alhelíes
y con esclavina de agua.
Cuando fuiste novio mío,
por la primavera blanca,
los cascos de tu caballo
cuatro sollozos de plata.
La luna es un pozo chico,
las flores no valen nada,
lo que valen son tus brazos
cuando de noche me abrazan.
García Lorca, music and Spanish popular songs
Undoubtedly, Federico García Lorca is one of the most prominent names in the history of literature. But he must also be recognized for his musical side, as he was a very good piano player. He met the most important Spanish composers in his days and really loved the flamenco and traditional music. He found songbooks from very different periods and even used numerous songs in his plays and productions with La Barraca.
The main topic in this article is going to be his role as an investigator, because he conducted numerous studies in his travels in Granada, his province, Spain and America. And it is focused on his recording from 1931, Spanish folk songs, made in conjunction with the dancer and singer La Argentinita.
APPROACH TO THE FIGURE OF FEDERICO GARCÍA LORCA: LINKS WITH MUSIC AND MUSICAL RESEARCH
Certainly, Federico García Lorca (1898-1936) is one of the great personalities in the history of art of all times. In this sense and logically, he is well known and his facet as playwright, poet and essayist has been widely studied; also his fondness for drawing and painting.
But, perhaps, it is necessary to emphasize the musical aspect, since this art was of enormous importance both in his life and in his work. Thus, in his brief career, skewed by the crudeness and madness of the start of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), music and musical research, understood in a very broad way, had a notorious relevance.
During his adolescence and in the first stage of his youth, Federico was considered a musician in his close environment, because, at that time, he was studying piano and used to play different works in public frequently. What’s more: at that time “his personality was outlined as that of a potential musician” (De Persia, 67-68), as we can affirm after analyzing different biographies and texts dedicated to the man from Granada.
Later, when literature took more space in his production, the closeness between poetry, theater and music, in the same way that it would occur in different authors within the generation in which he enrolled, that of 27, was very deep.
In this way, “in Federico García Lorca, music and poetry are, even more so, inseparable” (Torres, 72). He himself even commented in an interview with Pablo Suero in October 1933: “above all, I am a musician” (García Lorca, Obras Completas. III , 416). At the time of pronouncing these words, the conversation was focused on a conference that the man from Granada was going to give in Buenos Aires, How a city sings from November to November . In addition, the composer Ernesto Halffter did not hesitate to indicate: “in my country there are three great musicians: Falla, my teacher; I, who am his disciple, and Federico García Lorca” (García Lorca, Obras Completas , 487). For all this,
|Lorca’s work and life, in short, cannot be explained if the fact that Federico was a born musician is not taken into account. Had he lived – let’s not forget that he was only 39 years old when he was shot – perhaps the poet would have felt the need to attempt a more ambitious composition than those adolescent creations so admired by his peers (Gibson, 83).|
His musical relationship is of great interest, since “music was for García Lorca an imperative vital necessity” (Martín, 63). José Moreno Villa (Martín, 65-66) affirmed, along the same lines, that “Federico was a musical soul from birth, from the roots, with an ancient heritage. He had her in his blood like Juan Breva, Chacón or the great “Argentinita”. He gave the impression that he flowed music, that everything was music in his person. Herein lay his power, his fascinating secret.
Therefore, we must take into account the deep work he developed in the field of musical research; also in that of music for theater and interpretation. In this field, the friendships and relationships that he established with different personalities of enormous relevance in the world of composition are not left behind, among which his devotion, affection and appreciation for Manuel de Falla stand out. This connection and mutual admiration was crucial in the evolution of Spanish cultured music of the 20th century, under the judgment of Jorge de Persia (67):
|In the history of music of the Spanish 20th century there are two circumstances that act indicating the course of events. One of them is the Falla-Pedrell relationship established from 1902, a turning point that will take the proposals and reflections of the Catalan master to the stage of modernity. The other is the Falla-Lorca relationship from 1920, a new “intergenerational coincidence” that will be fundamental for the development of avant-garde experiences —not only musical— in Spain.|
In the field of traditional music, we can affirm without fear of errors that Federico García Lorca was, in addition to being in love with music, a great researcher, connoisseur and interpreter of a vast repertoire. “I have studied the folklore of my country for ten years with the sense of a poet,” he stated on one occasion (García Lorca, Obras Completas. III, 459). He also commented sympathetically “I’m crazy about songs” (De Onís, 87). The truth is that he showed a great musical retention that made him master a huge and varied catalogue. As Jorge Guillén summarized:
|Lorca’s memory is the richest treasure of Andalusian popular song. He has collected many, lyrics and songs, directly. In that direction, his art runs parallel to that of his great friend and teacher Falla. For something the sense of rhythm of this poet reaches a variety, a prodigious finesse. Rhythm is already also architecture. And don’t be fooled by the seeming lightness and carelessness of some of his songs. All his poems are, with perfect calculation, constructed, very wisely structured (55-56).|
But in his thinking, copying the songs on staves was not entirely appropriate. What was really valuable, in his opinion, was “to collect them on gramophones so that they do not lose that imponderable element that makes their beauty more than anything else” (García Lorca, Obras completas. III, 459 ) . Curious is, to say the least, the term that Ramón J. Sender gave to this aspect of the poet, “folklorquismo”.
In this sense, it is worth highlighting the definition that Lorca made of the term song (459): “songs are creatures, delicate creatures, who must be taken care of so that their rhythm is not altered at all. Each song is a marvel of balance, which can be easily broken: it is like an ounce held on the tip of the needle.”
In this way, perhaps one of the most unknown aspects of Federico was that of musicology. Since his childhood, his union and attachment to traditional music was more than remarkable, because in his house he heard songs from his elders and the maids who attended his home. Next and as we have mentioned, since his student days he made numerous visits to regions, towns and cities.
Afterward, the Residencia de Estudiantes was an important meeting point with musicologists and manuals that, without a doubt, had a significant influence on this area of Lorca’s personality. He also paid attention, to a large extent, to works from the 19th century and to some sections of different zarzuelas.
In short, not a few praised the poet’s knowledge and work in this line, a fact that he clearly reflected in his literary work. In many of his dramas, he even gave clear indications about the songs that should be interpreted as an integral part of his development.
Examples of this, of which he only included their texts, are the Song of the girls in Mariana Pineda and Canción de las Hilanderas , Songs of the Maid , Song of the wedding procession , Old children’s romance , Wedding song and Lullaby in Blood Wedding.
As a consequence, all this popular heritage inspired and was clearly present in his literary work, as Valls Gorina reported (96):
|A large part of the work of Federico García Lorca is nourished from this organism —the people— which in Spain has kept its cultural principles uncontaminated and intact, both in its poetic sphere (“Romancero gitano”, “Poema del cante jondo”, etc. .) as in its scenic environment in which, its characters, are either people of the town (“Yerma”, “Bodas de sangre”) or its intention and technical assembly is of popular origin (“El Retablo de Don Perlimplín”) or it has the mentality of an entire town as its protagonist (“The house of Bernarda Alba”).|
From an early age he carried out numerous investigations, some of them together with the philologist and historian Ramón Menéndez Pidal. The work of the Coruña native and of many other musicologists on ballads, lyric and traditional Spanish music are part of a movement of interest in this subject that was established in the first two decades of the 20th century and that would have a profound impact on Lorca. There was also another musical current in which the collected musical material was stylized.
As reflected in some of his letters, he took advantage of the multiple trips he made to different parts of the Spanish geography to come into contact with a very wide repertoire and carry out some field work on the ground:
|In his letters he mentions the collection —in Lanjarón, in the towns of Granada, in Santander— not only romances but also traditional songs, stories, “crime romances”—of which he claims to have found “precious things” in Granada— and the anecdotes of the musical repertoire of the puppets. Already in May 1918 —two years earlier— he had written to the poet Adriano del Valle: “I dedicate myself at the moment to compiling the splendid interior polyphony of Granada’s popular music”, and in Impresiones y paisajes (1918) he had announced as a work in progress Tonadas de la Vega ( Popular Songbook ) (Maurer, 16).|
In the same sense, Tinell (79) underlines different “searches for the Alpujarras”. For this reason, the popular heritage of Granada and Spain, understood in a very broad way, became part of his musical identity. Federico de Onís defined, in general, this aspect of the poet, treating, at the same time, his musical qualities:
|Federico’s work in the field was not the systematic and methodical work of a specialist, but that of an artist who sought the pleasure of discovering and interpreting a different art, full of originality, perfection and beauty, in the popular sphere. This inspiration from popular music was not used, as in poetry, for the creation of his own musical work. He limited himself to singing his beloved songs by himself, for his own pleasure, accompanying them on the piano… Fortunately for the quality of his artistic interpretation of popular songs, he was not a professional musician. His interpretation had a unique and supreme value, because he possessed a minimum of musical technique and a maximum of artistic genius and understanding of the popular music that he interpreted. So alien to any professional purpose was this musical work of his that, despite its success in the intimate circles that knew it, it was never possible for him to write the music for the songs that he played from memory with such enthusiasm (86). .|
In addition, in an article published in Blanco y Negro in March 1933 it was commented that Federico was going to record a documentary dedicated to songs, which finally and without knowing the reasons was not carried out:
|Lorca loves Spanish folklore like nobody else. Now a tape of regional customs is going to be filmed. Song, village, tradition, show, music. The production house wants Lorca to speak into the microphone, explaining all the shots, all the variations of the film. And Lorca doubts. If the film is good, Lorca will speak. And Lorca will be happy, facing Spanish folklore. His extraordinary sensitivity as a poet will touch gently, accurately, the background of our classical things, merging with Spain’s own sensitivity (Soria, 47-48).|
In addition, the man from Granada pointed out that the songs are similar to people, since they normally live and, in many cases, are perfected, although some degenerate and fall apart. Perhaps for all these reasons he never decided to transcribe them on lined paper. Thanks to the work and memory of some musicians and components of the theater groups in which he was imbued, we can count on some of them.
Along the same lines and thanks to the intense activity of the Student Residence, Lorca was aware of the publishing novelties referring to songbooks that were published in his time and other ancient texts.
Through the residents Álvaro and Jaime Disdier Mitjana, nephews of his editor, Rafael Mitjana, he was able to learn about the Upsala Songbook. He also came into contact with the articles on music from Spain and Portugal that the latter musicologist wrote for the Encyclopedia of Music published in Paris by De la Grave.
Another of the most relevant compilations was the Cancionero musical de la lírica popular asturiana by Eduardo Martínez Torner, which was published in Madrid in 1920. The Oviedo native presented it at a conference with musical examples held at the Residencia de Estudiantes. In the same sense, he came into contact with compilations of songs and traditional music from different regions. It is worth mentioning, along these lines, the Cancionero de Olmeda (Burgos) or that of Ledesma (Salamanca):
|He also studied very thoroughly the main songbooks dedicated to collecting in a much more complete and exact way than Pedrell had done, the music of certain Spanish provinces. From the Olmeda songbook, from the province of Burgos, which also had a memory of him, he contributed to popularize the song Yo no quiero más premio . From the Ledesma songbook, from the province of Salamanca, he drew several songs that have become popular through his interpretation, including the romance of Los mozos de Monleón , the fandango Ahí tienes mi corazón and the romance of El conde de alba . He also constantly played songs from Salamanca such as La Clara , El tío Vicente , El burro de Villarino , Segaba la niña and others, which had already been popularized by Dámaso Ledesma himself. He also took many Asturian songs from the songbook of that province made by Eduardo M. Torner (De Onís, 87).|
As we can see, he took as a reference some of the most important texts published to date related to Spanish music, understood in a very broad way. One of those that had the most influence on the playwright was the popular Spanish musical Songbook by Felipe Pedrell. Of the four volumes that the Catalan published, only one of them remains in the library that has been preserved from the García Lorca family.
Despite this, it is well documented that he knew them first hand and that he took them into account. By analyzing this compilation, he not only came into contact with traditional songs from different parts of Spain, but also learned music from the medieval, Renaissance and baroque periods transcribed by the composer and musicologist.
Lorca was greatly motivated by some of the works included in this text. On numerous occasions the fact that he performed some of these pieces in public repeatedly was made clear:
|He played on the piano many of the popular songs published in Pedrell’s book, such as the Galician cantar Campanas de Bastabales , a lullaby from Badajoz, the Galician romance Estando cosendo , and many others that it is not necessary to enumerate, because he really knew everything by heart. the songbook and his instinct made him stop with certain success in the most beautiful songs without any regional prejudice or of any other kind (De Onís, 87).|
He also studied the Cancionero de Palacio , called the Barbieri Songbook in honor of its researcher, Francisco Asenjo Barbieri, who found it in the Library of the Royal Palace in Madrid. This volume, discovered and transcribed in the last third of the 19th century by the composer, was published in 1890 under the title Spanish musical songbook of the 15th and 16th centuries .
It includes more than four hundred and fifty works from the Renaissance period composed, for the most part, in Spanish, although there are some examples in other languages. In this way, they are associated with the mandate of the Catholic Monarchs, and Falla could well put him in contact with him.
In the same line, it is necessary to write down his knowledge of the Salamanca Songbook, the so-called Ocón Songbook , and ‘s La tonadilla escénica española Subirá . In addition, he “also knew some fascicles of Andalusian music published in Madrid, on Calle de la Reina. He also had a good knowledge of Catalan music” (Francisco García Lorca, 426-427).
In general, and as we have mentioned, the repertoire that Lorca handled was extremely extensive, and included songs from very different latitudes that he used both personally in his recitals and in his literary works. We can point out, in addition to those already mentioned, the Zamora El tío Babú , the Asturian Señor San Juan , Pastor que estás en el monte , My lover’s sighs go through the air or La casa del señor cura , Las Agachadas , from Segovia… Without a doubt, the list would be very extensive.
We must also add other books present in the Lorca family library that belonged to the poet and are currently housed in the Federico García Lorca Foundation. One of them is Ordering of artisans made in the courts of Valladolid celebrated in the era 1389 (year 1351) by D. Pedro, the only one of this name , published in Madrid in the Viuda M. Calero printing house.
Another is the work of Pablo Nasarre, Fragmentos músicos divided into four treatises: in which general rules are found, and very necessary for Plain Singing, Organ Singing, Counterpoint, and Composition. Composed by Fr. Pablo Nasarre and published in 1700 at the Madrid Music Press (it is a copy bound in parchment). Lastly, it is worth mentioning Art of plainsong and organ or musical handbook: divided into four parts by Gerónimo Romero de Ávila, a book published in Madrid in 1830, the work of the racionero and melody teacher of the Holy Church of Toledo.
Even the man from Granada, in different writings, dared to approach with talent a possible definition of music in which he underlined its inexplicable nature (García Lorca, Obras completas , 1145):
|With words human things are said; music expresses that which no one knows or can define, but which exists in all of them to a greater or lesser extent. Music is art by nature. It could be said that it is the eternal field of ideas… To be able to talk about it, a great spiritual preparation is needed and, above all, to be intimately attached to its secrets. No one, with words, will say a heartbreaking passion as Beethoven spoke in his “Sonata apassionata”; We will never see the souls of women that Chopin told us about in his “Nocturnes”.|
LORCA AND TRADITIONAL MUSIC
Traditional music was for Federico García Lorca a great stimulus in which he was inspired. Numerous theorists point out that he did not create songs, although other scholars do agree that he composed some examples: “from time to time he grafted some of his own harvest among the popular songs” (Casares, 215).
In this sense, his brother Francisco also underlined: “what he had as a musician, his instinct, his sense of rhythm, was enough to dominate popular melodies interpreted with foreign harmonizations, but mostly his own” ( Francisco Garcia Lorca, 426). Be that as it may, the fact that he adapted many texts to already existing melodies is beyond doubt. Jorge Guillén defined this aspect of his colleague as follows:
|And he begins to sing as the people sing in their Andalusia, and he begins to poetize, round absolute universe, his Andalusia; saw, sky, man and ghost. He doesn’t copy them; sings them, dreams them, reinvents them; in a word, he poetizes them. But what a sublime integration of universal elements in a work that in turn integrates the great formal elements of traditional poetry! (Guillen, 45).|
As for the accompaniments that he carried out in the many public performances that he gave both in front of friends and family, as well as in meetings and parties, we can affirm that the vast majority were carried out by himself.
Composer friends, such as Gustavo Durán, helped in some of them, although Lorca always stood out for capturing and projecting the essence of the songs and imbuing them in a simple atmosphere but one of great arrival for the listener: “his interpretation had a great unique and supreme value because he had a minimum of musical technique and a maximum of artistic genius and understanding of the popular music he played” (De Onís, 88).
Perhaps the most underlined consequence of this fieldwork and this extensive knowledge of songs is located, in addition to his literary works, in the Spanish Popular Songs , extremely important for their impact on the musical life of Spain during the Second Republic ( 1931-1936) and his arrival in the republican songbook of the civil war.
Together with Granada , the Spanish Popular Songs are the only testimonies in score and registered in the Society of Authors that Lorca bequeathed. In the first case, it is his own composition, while in the second he harmonized on the melodies that he collected.
Thus, Gypsy Zorongo , Sevillanas of the 18th century , The four muleteers , Nana de Sevilla , Pascual Romance of the Little Pilgrims , In the Café de Chinitas , Las morillas de Jaén , Romance of the Moors of Monleón , The three leaves , Sones de Asturias , Aires de Castilla and Anda jaleo made up a shortlist that, as we pointed out, was widely disseminated through various media throughout Spain and Latin America. The radio also helped a lot in this regard.
He recorded these songs with the flamenco dancer and singer Encarnación López Júlvez, La Argentinita (1895-1941), for the La Voz de Su Amo label in 1931. The compilation consisted of five records in which Lorca played the piano and La Argentinita sang and played the castanets. Apparently, the idea came from the bullfighter, playwright and producer Ignacio Sánchez Mejías.
According to Miguel Espín (2884), “he proposes to Federico that he contribute his immense wealth of knowledge of the Spanish songbook and his talent as a man of the theater. In return, Federico overcomes his resistance and gets him to give a lecture on bullfighting to Hispanic students at Columbia University.
About his lyrics, Lorca remarked the beauty of the traditional lyric handed down orally from generation to generation (García Lorca, Obras completas. III , 460): “what more poetry? Now all of us who write and think poetry can shut up before that magnificent poetry that the peasants have made.
Since its release, they had great commercial success and were broadcast on numerous occasions. In addition, the tours that La Argentinita carried out in Spain and America also helped her knowledge. The extensive list of songs from which he started for his numbers was made up of a large number of examples.
Among them, it is worth mentioning Sevillanas from the 17th century, Zorongo , The four muleteers , If your mother wants a king , The little pilgrims , La Tarara , The three leaves , In the Chinitas café , Among you, waiter , The mail from Vélez , The smuggler …
A good number of critics received them very positively. In this way, the release of the second album was applauded by different media, which underlined its quality and “impeccable good taste presides over the choice of songs, and to this scrupulous criterion is added the finesse and humor of its production” (Casares, 217). Attention was also paid to
|… the beauty of the songs, for the grace with which they are interpreted, and even for the simplicity in their harmonization so in a popular style, we said when reviewing the first album, and we repeat it now, that this collection constituted the most admirable example “alive ” of Spanish songs from another time that are once again excitingly current.|
As we mentioned, Lorca used many of these songs in his plays. The Crítica newspaper on December 15, 1933 published an interview with Lorca who spoke of these fiesta purposes. He commented that the interpretation and dramatization of the songs raised it as a final entertainment of notable artistic interest; he also stressed the importance of what he calls staged song (García Lorca, Obras completas. III , 455-456):
|I wanted to do something fine, dignified, noble, with a lot of flavor, but with a certain stylization of art. It will last about half an hour, and there will be three parts. The first will consist of the staging of “Los peregrinitos”, as it sounds, since this is the popular and Andalusian pronunciation. It is one of the most popular songs of the Spanish 18th century, an anonymous romance, which I have arranged for this stage version. Next, the well-known song “Los cuatro muleteros” will be shown, and finally, Lola Membrives will interpret a 16th century romance, somewhat modernized, which we will title “Canción castellana”. I consider that staging the song, especially these romances, is a task of more importance than what can be inferred from its tone. The staged song has its characters, who speak to music, its choir, which plays the same role as the Greek tragedy. Therefore, it is within a reduced framework, especially time, a brief but complete show, full of suggestions and beauties.|
In its staging, the details were taken care of to a great extent. As a consequence, the decoration, the costumes and the value that was given to the human body were basic premises in the representations of the dramatized songs, as he also called them (García Lorca, Obras completas. III, 461 ) :
|Manuel Fontanals has prepared some wonderful decorations for the songs and some costumes that are delicious. You’ll see the whole show. In it, the human body, so forgotten in the theater, is revalued. We must present the party of the body from the tip of the feet, in dance, to the end of the hair, all presided over by the look, interpreter of what goes on inside.|
He stated the same in a new interview in connection with the performance of La zapatera prodigiosa in November 1933. In this case, he also included different songs in the development of the work, so they not only appeared as the end of the party, but also as some examples. they formed an integral part of his dramas.
Regarding the Autumn Song in Castilla , Lorca himself commented that it was sung in Burgos. Apparently, several works were assembled in its staging, including You are the daughter of the dream, my dove and I do not want more award . In an interview, after reciting some of the verses, he praised his literary quality (García Lorca, Obras completas. III, 460):
|to the tall trees|
the wind carries them,
and the lovers
Say if it is not that of a great beauty.
The weekends took place in numerous evenings. Lorca tried to respect the lyrics of the songs, although he distributed the verses among different singers and made different harmonizations.
The poet was aware of the great knowledge of songs that he mastered: “I boast of knowing a lot and of being capable of what they have not yet been capable of in Spain: of staging and making this songbook popular in the same way that they have achieved it the Russians” (García Lorca, Obras completas. III , 459). With this, he also referred to a tradition of the theater of the Spanish Golden Age:
|It should be noted, finally, that with his end of the party García Lorca did no more than partially comply with the scheme of the theatrical performances of the Golden Age, deciding to close his work with two brief stagings and a dance (in the case of Buenos Aires), which had the character of musical brooch of the show. It was a complementary diversion , foreign to La Zapatera , with which it was welded in a fluid way because it was about “singing and dancing scenes”. The style, not the theme, linked them to those already liked by the viewer during the representation of the farce.|
The truth is that they were widely accepted wherever they were performed, both in America and in Spain: “Spanish songs, many of which were selected here for La Argentinita, such as “Los cuatro muleteers”, “Los peregrinitos”, etc. Party weekends!… Yes, party weekends that have become popular throughout Argentina” (García Lorca, Obras completas. III, 509). Certainly, they seemed to excite the man from Granada, who noted: “I could spend years putting together these ‘end of party’” (Soria, 138-139). in the newspaper El Pueblo that spoke of these songs like this: A review appeared
|The general line of the theme is perfectly linked to the poetic idea, and in harmonizing the simplicity of the other original elements has been taken into account, in order not to create hostile atmospheres, which would certainly be harmful. The accompaniment has been made for two pianos, not always treated with the same efficiency, and the vocal face has been treated within the most elementary concept. The unison of the choirs reigns, made up of two sections of female voices, and the solo parts follow the melody without adding additions of any kind (Soria, 138-139).|
The songs represented were not always the same, but tended to vary according to different reasons in different functions. It is worth mentioning the fact that he represented Christmas carols by authors of great relevance in the history of Spanish literature, whom he also set to music, although we do not know the melody associated with them:
|Finally, we must add that the end of the festival was repeated in almost the same terms at the Coliseum in Madrid as the closing of La zapatera . A review of the Heraldo de Madrid (22-III-1935) gives us news of the chosen pieces: “Amanecer en Castilla”, which due to the title and scenic description corresponds to the formerly called “Canción de otoño”, “Los peregrinitos”, and “Portrait of Isabela”, defined by the newspaper as an “epigrammatic song” by Amadeo Vives. García Lorca, then, had not fixed the end of the party intended for his farce as immovable. Vives’ song could have been suggested by Lola Membrives. However, the poet had already spoken in Buenos Aires about renewing this type of staging, resorting to carols by Góngora, Lope, Calderón and Tirso (García Lorca, Obras completas. IV, 166-167 ) .|
In an article published in Crítica , the rehearsals directed by Federico, who was intense in his conduction, were described:
|“Don’t miss a beat! –And she marks it by singing and waving her arms rhythmically. -One moment; these bars are like that and so that there is no doubt, he gets on the piano and the rehearsal continues, having him as music and dance teacher” (Soria, 137).|
In November 1933, in an interview he gave to La Razón , the playwright explained new projects for Christmas, in which he intended to stage different Christmas carols by Golden Age authors:
|We will renew these staged songs with others, of a different tone, that we will offer making them coincide with the Christmas and New Year holidays. I plan to stage what is called “villancicos”, carols by Góngora, by Lope de Vega, by Calderón, by Tirso de Molina, very short and very tasty, with a deep meaning and a pleasant wrapper, which I hope will be truly liked by the public. , and very timely at the time of his exhumation (García Lorca, Obras Completas. III, 456).|
Along the same lines and through a letter from July 1929 that he sent from New York, we find another framework for interpreting some of these songs. Lorca himself highlights a word, with which he seems to highlight the multiple requests and interest that his studies and interpretations aroused during his stay in the American city. He also underlines his extensive knowledge of the field of song (García Lorca, Obras completas. IV, 483-484):
|And there was a small party, in which I inevitably had to play and sing on the piano. You have no idea how excited these Americans are about songs from Spain. I have what is called a full . Brickell ‘s house And since they spread the word to their friends, Mr. was bustling. Of course, there will surely be few people who know more songs than me. The poor are amazed. In the winter I will surely give several hearings of popular Spanish music in some very elegant room. It is good propaganda for Spain and especially Andalusia. So my day had a happy ending.|
In the same sense, in another of the communications that he carried out by letter with his family from the United States in 1929, he highlighted the great reception given to the songs he performed at different meetings (García Lorca, Obras completas. IV , 479-480 ):
|There was a boy who sang religious songs. I sat at the piano and also sang. And I don’t want to tell you what they liked my songs. The “moricas de Jaén”, the “don’t go out, dove, to the countryside”, and “the donkey” made me repeat them four or five times.|
As we have mentioned, La Argentinita, after forming her own company in 1932, made different productions using the Spanish Popular Songs as the basis for choreographic proposals both in Spain and abroad. In addition, she carried out different investigations about various Spanish dances, for which she compiled a good number of traditional dances in different parts of the Spanish geography that, later, she adapted and interpreted. Apparently, she “wrote a book on Spanish dances, still unpublished” (Vaquero, 2).
As we have tried to outline in this article, Lorca’s relationship with music is very close and defines his work and his personality; also magnetic for any researcher. Thus, we have tried to draw a few brief lines about his great relationship with the traditional heritage. The truth is that, in his life, the art of Orfeo occupied a privileged place since his early years as a student, in which he was considered a musician and his vocation was closer to the piano than to the pen and to paper.
But even when he opted to a greater extent for literature, music occupied a very relevant space in his catalog and in his future around the world: not only did he interact with great musical personalities of his time, but it was very common to see him sing and play the piano.
Apart from the compositions that he initiated, he also dedicated himself to research, and included in many of his theaters a good number of songs. In this sense, his work in the amateur theater company La Barraca was highly emphasized, since music had enormous importance in his productions.
In addition, the edition of the Spanish popular songs on the La Voz de Su Amo label together with La Argentinita in 1931 marked a new turning point in his musical career. Not only were they broadcast and listened to in numerous parts of the globe, but he also took them as a starting point to carry out different proposals in his theatrical performances as a finale.
In short, the truth is that his literary level stands out on its own, although we must not forget his great musical temperament. Perhaps it is due, as Jorge Guillén pointed out (14):
|We all know that in Federico a great musical temperament stood out, increased by studious vigilance. He could have been a composer if he had set his mind to it… In music it was perhaps where Federico’s taste was refined with more purity.|
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