VICENTE AMIGO – Spain
Concerto for flamenco guitar and symphony orchestra
With words, one opens doors onto the sea.
～ Rafael Alberti, Concerning the Angels, 1929
Cordoban composer Vicente Amigo is renowned as a contemporary maestro of the flamenco guitar.
He studied under El Marengue (Rafael Rodríguez Fernández) and El Tomate (Juan Muñoz Expósito). His career took off when he was only 15: he accompanied Manolo Sanlúcar, and then El Pélé, before embarking on a solo career. He has crossed paths with the renowned singer Camarón de la Isla, with the virtuoso guitarist John McLaughlin, and also with Paco de Lucía, Milton Nascimento and Enrique Morente.
It is said that Amigo can immediately be recognised by his swift and ethereal style as well as by his accessible, popular songs in the spirit of the 19th century Romantics. Flamenco is always there, in the depths of the sound and the traditional compas (rhythms).
Twenty years ago, Amigo realised his dream of bringing together the dance of strings with the grace of words. His dream has developed since then into symphonic form: Poeta, and has its raison d’être in the seminal work of that famous son of Andalusia, Rafael Alberti (1902-1999).
The first collection by this avant-garde poet was entitled Marinero en tierra (A Sailor Ashore). Within its pages lay an overwhelming enjoyment of playing – with images, sounds, rhythms, the élan vital. Even the inspiration of nostalgia is swallowed by the movement of the sun in summer. A powerful voice arises from the maritime universe of his childhood in Puerto de Santa Maria to celebrate the huge poetic territory spread before him. At the age of 23, he won the national poetry prize and joined the Generation of ’27. Always totally engaged, exile took him from his land.
Vicente Amigo made this collection his companion and composer. And just before his death, Rafael Alberti recognised him thus: ‘Vicente, so young and yet already well rewarded, has injected into his music the pulse and tremors of my verses.’
Poeta is a work that reflects the magnificence of the sea. Here we experience the changing surface, the troubled depths and the irresistable horizon. Alegrías of Cadiz (songs), palmas (clapping) and violins, quejíos (laments) and strings …