THE FLAVOR OF SPAIN™-Music of Basque Country

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THE FLAVOR OF SPAIN™

castanetsfanguitar

MUSIC OF BASQUE COUNTRY

by Elena Greco

December 1, 2015

The Basque Country (“País Vasco,” or “Euskadi”) in northeast Spain is a region that is split across two countries:  Spain and France. The origins of the beautiful Basque people are unknown. Their genes do not match any others in the world. Not Latin in heritage, their genes, appearance, language and music are truly unique!

 

Language. The extremely ancient Basque (or “Euskada”) language, which is at least 2,000 years old, is completely unrelated to any extant language.  During the time of Franco, the Basque language was outlawed and, similar to the Ladino language, one of the primary means of protecting the language was through transmission of song.

Basque musicians playing txistu (pipe) and drums-from Wikipedia

Music. Basque folk music is traditionally played on “txistu” (a pipe similar to a complicated clarinet) and drum. It has plaintive melodies and robust, nationalistic anthems. The songs are earthy, primal and have an emotionally expressive melodic line. Well-known Basque composers include Sebastián de Iradier, Jesús Guridi and Jesús Arámbarri, as well as Maurice Ravel, a French Basque.

Basque countryside


Musical Examples

Jesús Guridi’s “Mananita de San Juan” (from “Seis Canciones Castellanas”):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st2Yjmt0M1s
Carmen Bustamante (soprano); Miguel Zanetti (piano)

Jesús Guridi’s “Mirentxu” (from the opera MIRENTXU):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ezn3d739QqA
Ainhoa Arteta (soprano); Teatro Lírico de Zaragoza orchestra

“Txoria Txori” – traditional folk song, sung by Joan Baez:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63GO1URJKOs

Traditional Music of Basque Country:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVmFTM4PlmI

Rick Steves (Steves is a terrific travel guide):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYwUUDdYi9I


THE FLAVOR OF SPAIN™

castanetsfanguitar

What is it about Spanish music that lets you know instantly that what you’re hearing is Spanish? The Flavor of Spain explores the exotic cultural influences that create that unique sound. Deep in the lush, passionate and thrilling sound of this music are influences of the Moorish, Greek, Turkish, Italian, French, Sephardic and Flamenco cultures, and you will hear all of these elements in the music of The Flavor of Spain concert series.


THE FLAVOR OF SPAIN
is brought to you by
ELENA GRECO MULTIMEDIA PRODUCTIONS

ELENA GRECO MULTIMEDIA PRODUCTIONS™ (EGMP) is sponsored by Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)3 non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of EGMP are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. You can be a part of EGMP, helping us create innovative shows that entertain, educate and enliven and bring our unique entertainment to the community by clicking here:

DONATE

For more information, please email Elena Greco.
For more information about The Flavor of Spain™ concert series, click here:  The Flavor of Spain™.

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