SEVILLE'S BIENAL DE FLAMENCO
Silvia Calado Olivo. Seville, October 2nd, 2002
Photos: Javier Hurtado
'Medea'. Manolo Sanlúcar: music, orchestration
and solo guitar. Santiago Lara: second guitar. Tino di Geraldo and Antonio Coronel:
flamenco percussion. Orquesta Filarmónica de Málaga under the direction
of Leo Brower. Teatro de la Maestranza. Seville, October 2nd, 2002. 9:00 p.m.
Reworking old material is not a common practice in flamenco, and even less
so in a festival such as the Bienal which tends to value previously unpublished
work above all else. So it is gratifying to come across 'Medea' in the scheduled
program, a work conceived by Manolo Sanlúcar for the Ballet Nacional de
España and which was debuted in 1984 with the Orquesta Sinfónica
de Madrid with dancer Manuela Vargas. The work, which marked a before and after,
definitively marked the guitarist's search for symphonic flamenco and the essence
of Andalusian music
Backed up by the Orquesta Sinfónica de Málaga under the direction
of Leo Brower, Manolo Sanlúcar came to demonstrate from the podium of the
Teatro de la Maestranza the timelessness of great compositions...among other things.
The guitar is 'Medea', the one who suffers, who conspires, who is consumed by
jealousy, who seduces, who deceives, the rejected one, the one who takes revenge.
The guitar does not relate the myth, the guitar is the myth. For that reason,
like Medea, it is drowned by the din of the fiesta...and its lament is barely
heard. For that reason, like Medea, it explodes in anger...and that is when the
strings spit out fire. For that reason, like Medea, it weakly cries its stinging
pain. For that reason...
and the Orquesta Sinfónica de Málaga
And flamenco? Sanlúcar's symphonic version of the myth is more Andalusian
than strictly flamenco - in the same line as the composition for Sara Baras' Mariana
Pineda. Recognizing tango or bulería or taranta is the least of it - the
important thing is the composition's coherence, the understanding of the individual
flamenco guitar with the philharmonic group. Manolo Sanlúcar, as cerebral
as he is impulsive, couldn't resist acting as co-conductor along with the Cuban
conductor...his hands, words, his glance, everything was involved.
The "last cry of pain before the triumphal march" when "vengeance
has been wrought but the avenger is her own greatest victim" leaves one breathless
and satisfied enough to continue. No need even to watch the clock, nor resort
to justification from outside the script, but... With an improvised removal of
music stands in full light, Manolo Sanlúcar made Tino di Geraldo come down
from the percussion section - special mention for one of the few individuals who
salvages the percussive instrument - and called on Carmen Grilo to interpret several
cuts from 'Locura de brisa y trino'. Lorca and Carmen Linares showing through.