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Close friendship of classical and flamenco in Spain   You are logged in as Guest
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Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2287
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

Close friendship of classical and fl... 

Marcelo Kayath inteviews Pepe Romero. The Brazilian Kayath is one of the great classical guitarists of his generation, but he left the profession of music and became a successful banker, still keeping his playing skills. Pepe Romero is one of the greatest classical players of his generation.

More than half of the interview is spent on Pepe telling how he learned flamenco as a boy. He learned in the traditional way, no written music. As Pepe says, "He played, then I played." Pepe learned to play solo flamenco guitar, and to accompany cante and baile.

Pepe's father was a professional guitarist, great friends with many of the most famous classical players of his generation and the generation just before him, his teachers. But Pepe also names as his father's "very close friends" --and eventually Pepe's friends--Niño Ricardo, Manolo de Huelva, Melchor de Marchena, Sabicas, Serranito, Manolo Sanlucar and Paco de Lucia. Also among his father's friends were Pastora Pavon "La Niña de los Peines, and Manolo Caracol.

Pepe says that in Spain, the classical and flamenco players were very close, and "helped one another."



After concerts Pepe usually sits at a table in the lobby and signs autographs. I seldom go for autographs, but the last time he played here I stood in line because I wanted to say something to him.

"The first time I saw you was fifty years ago, with your father and your brothers in San Antonio. The Gran Jota was very impressive that night. Tonight there was perhaps a little more poetry." I mentioned a mutual acquaintance. Thinking I might by then have a little of his attention, I said, "When you play, you seem to enjoy yourself so."

He paused briefly, then said with a smile, "Yes. I do."

"You take us along with you. You lift our spirits."

"Thank you," said Pepe. He signed my program, and shook my hand with a nod and a smile.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Nov. 30 2017 21:58:01
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 2617
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: Close friendship of classical an... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

In 1972, in Phoenix, Arizona, it was my great good fortune to attend a concert by the Romeros, the father Celedonio, and the sons, Angel, Celin, and Pepe. And in 2010, Marta and I, along with a couple of friends, attended the annual New Year's Eve performance by the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, featuring Pepe Romero on the guitar. It was a lovely performance. What a gifted family of musicians!

Bill

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And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2017 16:28:57
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3498
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Close friendship of classical an... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Pepe Romero goes without words!

-Only that one venyl of his named "Flamenco" leaves me cold. It remained mint since purchase ages ago.
In disbelieve have I been putting it on the turntable every other time again, hoping to find something I might have missed out on. But to no avail.

His territory is the classical music.
Maybe he could try Latin American genres. That might well turn out great.
-

Anyone here tried his son´s axes?
Pepe claims they would be not short of Torres. And I would be curious to know how Junior´s flamencas are.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 1 2017 18:34:56
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2287
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Close friendship of classical an... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

For an encore to his most recent concert here Pepe played a Sabicas bulerias. I would have to check it against the original to be certain, but Pepe was just about as fast, if not actually as fast as Sabicas. He was technically unerring, and completely faithful to the original. It was very impressive. If you didn't know the original, you would not have known that Sabicas played with more soniquete.

In the interview above, however, Pepe says he always considered himself a classical guitarist.

I may have that flamenco LP somewhere, but if I do, I haven't played it in decades. I remember recognizing more than one piece on it being copied from someone else, note for note.

As I remember it, Pepe was 19 when he made that flamenco disc.

I first heard it at the University Co-Op in Austin. You could take an LP out of the bin, go to a little booth, put it on a turntable and listen to it on headphones.

In the interview Kayath asked Pepe about composing. Pepe replied that he had written a few pieces lately, inspired by his love for flamenco music. He mentioned writing a colombianas....

In San Antonio I was a regular at a record store on McCullough, out toward Olmos Park. It was run by an independently wealthy young guy as a hobby. The store was as well stocked, or better stocked than anything on the East Coast. As far as I know that was unique for Texas in the late 1950s-early 1960s. In fact I don't think I knew of a better stocked record store until I started going to the HMV Shop in London in the late 1970s.

Though I lived in Austin I regularly visited my parents and grandparents in San Antonio. I would drop by the record shop when it wasn't busy, and we would sit around and listen to records.

Last time I went by there he told me he was closing the place up. He gave me a couple dozen records, saying, "I thought you might like these," and gave me tickets to an organ concert he was going to play.

I think he set one of his friends up in the mail order classical record business. I still see ads for the company in Gramophone and a few other magazines, though the friend is sure to have retired years ago.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 2 2017 5:42:11
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3498
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Close friendship of classical an... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

To me this kind of store was the original Saturn shop before it became a chain and was sold off later on. The owner was an enthusiast and made a difference in terms of personality still later as billionair.

He might have been the first in Germany who installed a listening cabine and the place´s inventory was unique, including very special releases like ethnic stuff etc. They wouldn´t invite everyone to the turntable though, and it was a bit flattering when you were allowed to collect your choice and have a listening in the quietness right there.

quote:

I remember recognizing more than one piece on it being copied from someone else, note for note.


Interesting! Maybe that is why the album is lacking organic articulation and mojo.
Eventhough adapting note by note can be very successful (see Grisha & others), the way Pepe might have done it may explain the missing breath. I assume that he might have put the material down as notation first and rehearsed the pieces off the sheet.

PS:
Just checked the video. Always knew that the Romero´s home was / is a place that one could only dream of growing up in as a guitar player. But as I just learned it was way more frequented and crowded with great artists than assumed.

Imagine, growing up where beautiful playing (& singing & dancing) is heard for hours every day. Mind blowing inspiration.

No wonder Pepe and his brothers approach the guitar so naturally. No stress, no awe before 'challenge'. Simply just as if it was a prolongation of one´s body.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 2 2017 6:28:36
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 2546
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: Close friendship of classical an... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Marcelo Kayath inteviews Pepe Romero.

thanks for posting that interview, very interesting.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2017 19:16:13
 
estebanana

 

Posts: 7103
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: Close friendship of classical an... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

Pepe is more out front, but I'm really into Angel, he's not as publicly chatty. I like his Hauser and the sound he gets.

The connection between Flamenco and classical us still a strident barrier- we all know people can play some flamenco, but he's a ' classical' player by conventional assignment by the collective guitar world.

People are always just going to be plain stupid in that there is a dearth of recognition of any post tribal enlightenment- it's really a blunder. I'm

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2017 6:13:08
 
Ruphus

Posts: 3498
Joined: Nov. 18 2010
 

RE: Close friendship of classical an... (in reply to Richard Jernigan

This thing stuck in my head, since Richard´s mentioning of friendship between classic and flamenco players. Since Segovia* the two camps on common image may consider themselves in opposition and I do see disregard at times (contemporarily rather from flamenco aficionados, otherwise from the older classical generation).
*Segovia´s -temporary- disdain, I believe to having been grounded on his aiming at promotion and distancing himself as sophisticated classic from 'illiterat' folkloristic. -And maybe he was a bit jealous about the Gitano's´ dexterity.)
Profanely, however rivalry makes no slightest of sense.

Yes, all in all flamenco is more virtuous, and the classical´s repertoir is more definite, but what is that to be meaning?
Don´t they love the same beautiful instrument? Aren´t they both bewitched by its characteristics, tactility and sound?

I can´t think of any practical reason for disrespect, and the mingling that I have seen (in my personal experience more between classical and latin guys, but anyway) has been amicable. And I think: Most naturally so.

In fact when I hear a flamenco saying that classical guitar wouldn´t touch him, I wonder whether he is actually friend of the instrument and its timbre, or whether he belongs to those who grabbed the guitar for unrelated reasons like picking up girls or for matters of image.

If that swinging nylon reaches to your senses, how could you in the same time be insensitive to the harmonic beauty of the other genre?

But that´s just my 2cents.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2017 8:25:27
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2287
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Close friendship of classical an... (in reply to estebanana

quote:

ORIGINAL: estebanana

Pepe is more out front, but I'm really into Angel, he's not as publicly chatty. I like his Hauser and the sound he gets.



I don't think I have ever seen Angel in person since that performance with the quartet fifty years ago.

I have seen Pepe a number of times, spoken to him a few times, and have heard stories from people who know him well, so I feel a little more familiarity. I like his concert persona.

There's a youtube of Pepe playing Asturias on a Hauser, which sounds quite Hauserisch to me. And here's a clip of him playing the same piece on one of Pepe Jr.'s guitars.



RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2017 23:41:23
 
mark indigo

 

Posts: 2546
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: UK

RE: Close friendship of classical an... (in reply to Ruphus

quote:

In fact when I hear a flamenco saying that classical guitar wouldn´t touch him, I wonder whether he is actually friend of the instrument and its timbre, or whether he belongs to those who grabbed the guitar for unrelated reasons like picking up girls or for matters of image.

If that swinging nylon reaches to your senses, how could you in the same time be insensitive to the harmonic beauty of the other genre?


I have a casual and at times curious interest in classical guitar, and I really have nothing against it as a genre, but on the whole it just doesn't move me. It may seem a sweeping and dismissive statement, but I find the tone too "syrupy". I just don't like the endless purity of tone that I know classical players strive for, even though I respect their artistry in pursuing and achieving it. Also I often find the treatment of rhythm quite distressing!

I also don't like blue cheese, or beetroot, or eggs (unless cooked in a tortilla or revuelto with lots of other stuff).

¡El libro del sabor es en blanco!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 6 2017 18:24:50
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 2287
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: Close friendship of classical an... (in reply to mark indigo

quote:

ORIGINAL: mark indigo

I also don't like blue cheese, or beetroot, or eggs (unless cooked in a tortilla or revuelto with lots of other stuff).

¡El libro del sabor es en blanco!


I like classical and flamenco both, and just yesterday afternoon I was listening with appreciation to the great Argentinian Atahualpa Yupanqui.



But then, I like huevos motuleños too. Starting from the plate: a toasted tortilla de maíz, a layer of refried beans, two eggs over easy, fairly mild red salsa (sometimes green salsa in Yucatan, based on tomatillo instead of jitomate), chopped ham, green peas, two strips of goat cheese, four chunks of fried plantain (not banana)--tasty and delicious. Followed by a capuccino and some pan dulce--at the Casa Santa Lucia, San Cristobal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

RNJ



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