Reviews - Week 18

 

Don Quijote

VVAA The Flair of Spain

Don Quijote - Cd Lp

(Siesta)

About what happened when a collection of Spanish musicians decided to honour the ingenious hidalgo Don Quijote.

According to the sleeve notes which come with the CD this is the first of a Siesta trilogy about Spanish characteristics and attributes and quixotic individuals who, like Don Quixote, are in the in the grip of misguided idealism, are celebrated here.

"The head was not a complete helmet but just a simple steel cap, he was ingenious enough however to overcome this problem, constructing out of cardboard something resembling a visor and face-guard which once inserted into the helmet gave the appearance of a full helmet. Its true that, to test its strength and find out whether it could be safely exposed to attack, he drew his sword and with two deft blows destroyed in a second what had taken him a week to create."

The CD contains a collection of tracks of a varied nature, written as though it is intended to be the soundtrack to a film. Spoken extracts speckle the CD as if to further enhance this illusion. A typical Spanish guitar sets location for the film whilst the time frame for the imagined film is slightly harder to define. In parts of the CD the vocals and keyboard parts hark back to the 70s whereas in at other places there is a distinctly medieval feel to the music. The music is littered by cellos, violins, as well as the strong use of wordless vocal harmonies act which additional musical instruments on many tracks an upbeat Latin American beat trit trots like horses hooves across the CD.

"It’s up to brave hearts, sir, to be patient when things are going badly, as well as being happy when they’re going well-and I know that from my own experience, because when I was a governor I was happy and now that I’m a squire on foot I’m not sad..."

The songs veer from the happy optimism of the a naive Don Quixote as he sallies forth on his first mission to the melancholy, reflections of the knight losing his first battle. The CD contains music to chaperon the knight errant as he meanders through a dry hot landscape, slightly disorientated, confused by reality and fiction. It is a well deserved tribute to a much loved fictional character.

"‘One of the things’ Don Quixote put in, ‘that must give the greatest happiness to virtuous and a eminent man is to find himself with a good name on everybody’s lips....’"

Rachel Queen

 

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