SACD & Other Hi-Res Reviews

Surround Yourself With Paco Peña – Misa Flamenca and Flamenco Guitar Music of RAMON MONTOYA & NINO RICARDO


Published on May 10, 2005

Surround Yourself With Paco Peña – Misa Flamenca and Flamenco Guitar Music of RAMON MONTOYA & NINO RICARDO
Surround Yourself With Paco Peña – Misa Flamenca and Flamenco Guitar
Music of RAMON MONTOYA & NINO RICARDO – Paca Peña, guitar (in Misa
Flamenca:) Text & music adapted by Peña, Choir arrangments by
Stephen Dodgson, other guitarists: Tito Losada, Jose Losada, Diego
Losada; percussion: Jose Losada, Cesar Victoriano; singers: La Susi, El
Chaparro, Dieguito, Guadiana; with Academy of St.Martin in the Fields
Chorus/Laszlo Heltay – Nimbus DVD-A & DTS NI 9007, 96:00 ****:

Not exactly classical, but the flamenco mass brings this superb
collection of ethnic music closer to the category. Note first of all
the 96-minute length on the single DVD! This disc provides the UHJ
Ambisonic option of most of the Nimbus library, but it is only
identified by the small letters UHJ after the stereo PCM ID. Probably
because most purchasers are unlikely to have Ambisonic decoders at
hand. There is also a 4-channel DTS option, but no Dolby Digital. For
DVD-A playback there is an 88.2K-20bit option, also in four channels.

Spanish guitarist Paco Peña has been judged the Flamenco Guitarist of
the Year for five consecutive years in Guitar magazine. he is on the
cutting edge of expanding the traditional flamenco guitar style into
some new areas. He has also played with a diverse cross-section of
other guitarists and performers – including jazz, classical, blues,
country and Latin. The Misa Flamenca is a unique take on the effort to
bring the mass to the masses with music closer to them, of which the
jazz masses would also be examples. The notes say that the northern
European might question the strong cries of anguish in flamenco cantos
being appropriate for a service dedicated to God. But the Spanish mind
finds it perfectly fitting to set the sacred texts soaring in their own
gutteral voices. And with the special arrangements, choir, and multiple
guitars the effect can be spell-binding even for a listener not
conversant with either musical masses or flamenco music.

The solo guitar portion which opens the disc is devoted to six short
pieces by Montoya and seven by Ricardo. Both composers were masters of
the flamenco form, and developed the solo pieces from their
accompaniments to the Andalusian singers. The later Ricardo restored
some of the elements of the root music, but also gave the music renewed
vitality and the split-second rhythms which make it so exciting today.
Again, one wouldn’t expect the additional two channels to aid
reproduction of the solo guitar very much, but they do.

- John Sunier




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