THE FLAVOR OF SPAIN™
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.
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.
Jesús Guridi’s “Mananita de San Juan” (from “Seis Canciones Castellanas”):
Carmen Bustamante (soprano); Miguel Zanetti (piano)
Jesús Guridi’s “Mirentxu” (from the opera MIRENTXU):
Ainhoa Arteta (soprano); Teatro Lírico de Zaragoza orchestra
“Txoria Txori” – traditional folk song, sung by Joan Baez:
Traditional Music of Basque Country:
Rick Steves (Steves is a terrific travel guide):
THE FLAVOR OF SPAIN™
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.
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: