Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cañizares — Flamenco Guitar Concert

     So there I was, sitting in my favorite café, at a different table than usual, when I glanced at the wall and saw a large poster advertising concerts at the Centro Nacional de Difusión Musical. I browsed the events to see if there were any I might be interested in attending. Then I saw the concert series titled "Andalucía Flamenca." Then I saw "Cañizares, guitarra flamenco." Then I saw the show was in an hour and a half. Then I went to the concert.
     An hour before the show, the box office opens up to sell "last minute" tickets to people under 26 years old. Lucky me. I bought a ticket for 6 euro and sat down to watch "Guitarra Solo Dúo Flamenco." The featured guitarist was Juan Manuel Cañizares, accompanied by Juan Carlos Gómez on second guitar. Cañizares, called the poet of the guitar, is a world-renouned guitarist from Spain. He represents ( I'm translating now from the concert agenda), the image of the contemporary flamenco artist, open and flexible, cultured and attentive to multiple influences of the best music in five continents— though above all, and as has been manifested many times, he is considered a flamenco guitarist. Cañizares has toured with flamenco legend Paco de Lucía, and is the only flamenco guitarist to have been invited by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra to interpret the Concierto de Aranjuez in a gala celebrated at the Teatro Real de Madrid, under the direction of Simon Rattle. He was also awarded the Premio Nacional de la Música in 2008 and has composed different works for the National Ballet of Spain. That is all to say, he is good at what he does.

(Juan Manuel Cañizares)

   The show itself was amazing. Cañizares played the first few songs my himself, after which Gómez, the second guitarist, joined him on stage. They were unbelievably tight, playing arpeggios, fast lines, and chords in perfect time with each other. Here's a link to a video that will give you an idea of what they did (except there were no drums at the show I attended), and here is a link to some videos on his website that give you an idea of the different types of songs that were played.
     They played everything from guajiras to tangos, ballads to rumbas. The show was varied in tempo and feel, and lasted for nearly an hour and a half. It was an inspiring and very, very humbling experience. These guys grew up with guitars in their hands and have not put them down. The things they can do require decades of dedication. This is not something a guitarist watches and thinks, "I could do that." They are on a level that makes one feel like going home to practice and also like going home to throw away one's guitar. Fortunately, I do not aspire to become a professional flamenco guitarist, so seeing the performance was not as crushing as it was uplifting to me.
     The concert series runs through May, with a show every month by different notable flamenco artists. I hope to go to most of them, and aside from that, the venue has many other types of concerts that I plan to attend in the coming months. It's nice to think about how a glance to your left at a café can have a lasting impact.

3 comments:

  1. What a wonderful experience! When we were in the south of Spain we heard several Gypsy guitarists - also very cool.

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  2. Hey :-), You are looking experienced in it. I wish I will also get some chance of listening you. Have a great job. Wish you a very best of luck for future.
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