Tag Archives: Spain

[166] Pablo Casals – Bach: Cello Suites Vols. 1 & 2

15 Jan

Mesmerizing.  Hypnotic.  Engulfing.  It’s like being in the room while a master plays.  What am I listening to?  Who cares – I like it.  There’s just so much of this warm, rich sound, in seemingly endless variations, clean and organic and inviting.

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It is so different to what I have become so accustomed to listening to.  I can’t sing along, can’t anticipate the next note or phrase, so there is a part of me that thinks I must like it less.  But I need this change, this variety in my life.  I need to hear what others hear, appreciate things wherein others find worth.  My bubble is closer and more impenetrable than it was three years ago, and bursting it once in a while would seem to be a necessity for my continued sanity, to remain a part of the larger world.

I know this is the truth.  I just wish more people felt this way.

These strings were bowed on the eve of war, in an era of isolation and nationalism.  And yet the result is unadulterated beauty.  I listen, and I hear the eternal hope and promise of art in even the darkest times.  And I need this reminder.

I also needed to be reminded that this was not the first appearance of Casals in the 1,000.  I already gushed over his interplay with Cortot and Thibault in performing Beethoven’s “Archduke” about five years ago. Time has not diluted his ability to affect me, and for this I am grateful.

On the other hand, I should not have been surprised at my love for these two hours of compositions – I have already recommended four out of four J. S. Bach recordings.  I wonder if Moon has any more hiding in wait in the next eight hundred or so selections . . .

Next Time:  Cascabulho – Hunger Gives You A Headache

Owned before blogging? No. (12 of 166 = 7%)
Heard before blogging? No. (21 of 166 = 13%)
Recommend? Yes. (139 of 166 = 84%)

 

[155] Camaron De La Isla – Le Leyenda Del Tiempo

1 Apr

I love the sound of a guitar.  Electric or classical, picked or strummed – even more than vocals, the guitar tends to be the touchstone for my musical appreciation.

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And the technical ability on display here from the very first notes is impressive.  It can be hectic fun in the more familiar, high energy flamenco moments, but these make up less than half of the recording.

It’s amazing that an album quite so short – the run time is just over a half hour- can be quite so scattershot.

Beyond the guitar work, this album is too eclectic even for my newly opened ears, too all over the place, with weird electric piano solos, odd disco riffs, chanting and wailing which appears to veer far from the Spanish roots one might expect,

The vocals are fervent, but quite raw and almost monochromatic.  Just one more facet of the sound that leaves me wanting . . . not more, precisely.  Perhaps the correct idea is wanting something different.

It’s kind of a mess, and not in an interesting or engaging way.

I want more wandering guitar, less experimentation, more melody and less uncomfortable wall of sound rhythm.  It has its moments, but not many of them, and they are not nearly consistent enough.

Is it that the sound is alien to me, or that it is actually less accomplished than most of the recordings to date?  Tough to tell, but I know I’m not enjoying it, and this time there is not enough surprise or suspense to hold my attention once I realize that this isn’t something that I want to be listening to.

Next Week:  Can – Tago Mago

Owned before blogging? No.  (12 of 155 = 8%)
Heard before blogging? No.  (21 of 155 = 14%)
Recommend? No.  (129 of 155 = 83%)

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