Alan Lomax

The Spanish Recordings: Galicia

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The music of Galicia has received a lot more exposure as it's become viewed as part of the Celtic world. But in 1952, when Lomax made these recordings, there were no such thoughts. However, a simple listen to the piping on "Muinera De Carballo" or the martial "Alborada de Ournese," with its heavy drumming, should be enough to stir familiarity. What is very different, however, is the vocal work, with its keening female harmonies, as on "Viene Cargado De Trigo," powered along by the sound of the tambourine. "Cantar De Vendimia" is choral with male and female voices, a folk song with liturgical overtones. What sets Lomax apart from many others making field recordings is his ability to coax a real performance from the singers or musicians, so they produce something special -- and that often results in full songs rather than the fragments that tend to appear on other collections. And that is what takes this out of the realm of the purely academic. For anyone interested in Celtic music and the Celtic diaspora, there's plenty of meat here, tracing similarities in vocal styles and the folk song of "O Nenino," for instance. Or you can simply revel in some untutored, unearthly harmonies on "Ay Rosina," with its almost-funereal pace giving the singers a chance to dig deep into emotion. Whether you listen to learn or simply for pleasure, there's plenty to enjoy here.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:06
2
2:02
3
3:38
4
3:38
5
2:31
6
2:37
7
3:58
8
0:55
9
1:23
10
0:36
11
1:55
12
2:26
13
3:35
14
0:39
15
6:06
16
1:38
17
1:44
18
2:27
19
1:02
20
2:14
21
1:09
22
1:10
23
2:25
24
1:39
25
feat: Emilio Soto
1:21
26
3:33
27
3:04
28
1:08
29
2:23
30
2:13
blue highlight denotes track pick