Beyond poetry: Federico Garcia Lorca as musician

Though Federico Garcia Lorca’s poetry is universally appreciated and acclaimed, his work as a musician and composer is less known. His musical works, which were presented last winter in a concert tribute on the 60th anniversary of his death, have now been recorded on CD. Last year’s concert, which took place at the Athens Concert Hall, was led by singer Maria Farandouri, accompanied by the Orquestra de Cordoba under the baton of Leo Brower (the prominent Cuban-born classical guitarist). On the program were Lorca’s compositions, as well as two song cycles based on his written works and put to music by Greece’s leading composers – Manos Hadjidakis with «Blood Wedding» and Mikis Theodorakis with «Romancero Gitano» – which were greatly responsible for the great public appeal of the Spaniard’s poetry in Greece. The new CD containing the poet’s songs is titled «Tou Fegariou ta Pathi» (The Moon’s Passions) and also includes the cycle «Canciones Populares,» which are 11 Andalusian folk songs originally recorded by the composer himself. «It was one of the most special collaborations I have ever had because I am a person who is very closely tied to the poems of Lorca,» said the popular Greek singer Maria Farandouri at the recent CD launch. «We are tied to Lorca, he is an intrinsic part of us… He has expressed the poets of the Mediterranean with passion and truth.» Conductor Periklis Koukos, who worked with Brower on the music for the CD, said the material «needed very special attention because of the music’s intense energy.» He also added that he and Farandouri have «a long history as friends and working partners and we have experienced the poetic dimensions of these songs.»