Córdoba remembers Julio Romero de Torres, the artist who cherished and painted flamenco | Culture | EUROtoday

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Julio Romero de Torres (Córdoba, 1874-1930) was a painter in love with flamenco artwork, a truth that may simply be verified with a easy evaluation of his in depth work. Through it, one can hint the hint of his deep fondness for flamenco. jondowhich even led him to strive his hand at being a singer when he was younger. This love is expressed in a few of his most well-known works, corresponding to Deep Singing, The consecration of the copla or Alegrías. He typically included artists of his time in them: the dancer and actress Lolita Astolfi presides over the primary and the good Pastora Imperio, the second, in one of many numerous representations she had within the portray of the Cordovan. He additionally portrayed, amongst different figures of the time, La Niña de los Peines and a really younger Encarnación López, La Argentinita.

In addition to the human determine, particularly the feminine one, so necessary in Romero de Torres' symbolism and allegories, there may be one other outstanding presence, that of the guitar, which in his work symbolises flamenco. The six strings had been additionally a part of his life, as demonstrated by the picture of the sonanta he owned, the protagonist of the poster for this forty third version of the Córdoba Guitar Festival, which revolves across the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the painter's beginning. To commemorate it, and with due foresight for a artistic work, Juan Carlos Limia, who was the overall director of Culture for town council, instructed to the guitarist, additionally from Córdoba, José Antonio Rodríguez, that he “go salivating”, given the approaching anniversary. That was earlier than the early dying, in 2023, of the previous.

Guitarist and composer José Antonio Rodríguez, at the 2024 Córdoba Guitar Festival.
Guitarist and composer José Antonio Rodríguez, on the 2024 Córdoba Guitar Festival.Rafael Alcaide

This will not be Rodríguez's first work for guitar and orchestra. A virtuoso of the flamenco live performance sonanta, he has a protracted profession wherein, along with a dozen solo albums and the composition of plentiful music for ballet, he has composed works corresponding to Guajira for guitar and orchestra (1987), Wind of freedom (1990) and particularly, The Blue Guitarista symphonic work in 4 actions, which, after its premiere in 2001, he carried out once more in 2015, throughout the Guitar Festival. On that event, he had the participation of the Córdoba Orchestra, performed by Michael Thomas, whereas one other composer, Enric Palomar, was accountable for the orchestration of the rating. They are the identical ones who accompany him once more on this premiere, however they aren’t the one collaborations, so the guitarist highlights on this creation its element of overcoming individualism: “When you start, you want to be a soloist, but, with time, you realize that it is impossible to be totally autonomous.” And, though he claims authorship of the composition, he affirms that “the work is a puzzle of many people.”

A moment from guitarist and composer José Antonio Rodríguez's performance at the 2024 Córdoba Guitar Festival.
A second from guitarist and composer José Antonio Rodríguez's efficiency on the 2024 Córdoba Guitar Festival.Rafael Alcaide

In its premiere, the live performance, lasting greater than an hour, confirmed this choral character, and never solely due to the interplay between the guitarist and his personal group with the orchestra, which was very measured, but additionally due to the particular interventions of some artists who added enriching nuances to a piece that aspires to replicate the plural view of Romero de Torres on his Córdoba and on the flamenco that he cherished. In this view, the reality of José Valencia's singing couldn’t be lacking, who, by way of toná, appeared to throw a saeta on the painful determine in one of many painter's work. There was additionally room for the lyricism of Javier Ruibal, who put himself within the pores and skin of the artist to sing to his muses and the Guadalquivir. The dancer Lucía Ruibal was accountable for giving life to his symbolist feminine figures —these of his work Joys particularly—infusing them with ardour and motion: that of very plastic arms and musically percussive ft. Towards the tip, the music by Randy López, former singer of the Cordoba rock group Mezquita, added the penultimate look.

The work composed by Rodríguez, translated to the orchestra by Enric Palomar, has the character of descriptive music with impressionistic particulars, and is the reflection of the meant double journey: by way of town and thru flamenco. The latter is revealed in all of the musicality of the work, independently of its most flamenco-defined components: the farruca and the cordobesa soleá, which acquired a particular prominence. The growth of the composition, with its foremost theme and its melodies supported by the orchestra, acquired at occasions a cinematic high quality that isn’t alien to the compositional expertise of its creator.


The look of Romero de Torres. Original composition by José Antonio Rodríguez. Orchestration: Enric Palomar. Cordoba Orchestra performed by Michael Thomas. Lighting and set design: Pedro Serrano. Guitar: José Antonio Rodríguez. Second guitar: Manuel Montero. Bass: Paco Peña. Percussion: Patricio Cámara. Singing: José Valencia. Voice: Javier Ruibal. Voice: Randy López. Dance: Lucía Ruibal.

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