14 February 2012

Manuel De Falla wrote El Amor Brujo in 1914 in Madrid after he had lived in Paris from 1907 to the outbreak of war, where friends Debussy and Ravel were drawn to Iberia and he was learning from them how to orchestrate his traditions. He intended his reworkings of Andalusian folks songs to be sung offstage by the sort of mezzos that seem to have finished a shift rolling cigars with Carmen, and this singer I cannot identify fits the bill..

The dramatic tension of the song cycle is really the purgation of love, as the female protagonist is entranced by the spell of the ghost of the unfaithful ex, who before the opening credits of Saura's film version (Piri' Miri Muli' recommended) was bequeathed to her by their parents, and her new lover was wrongly accused and did time for his stabbing, so upon his release they contract the village spell caster to organize a fire ritual (which may have been descended from Hindu Homa rituals brought by Gypsies from Rajastan) after which they want the ghost to refocus his attentions on the girl he'd made away with in the first place..

The second song of both videos relates the nocturnal lights of the Will-o'-the-wisp, which has inspired myths the world over including references by Shakespeare, Milton, Goethe, Coleridge, and Brontë, to the appearance of the ghost, leading to Miles Davis' toots to the ghost in his tribute to De Falla and Joaquin Rodrigo.

No comments: