A full week has passed now – my first week of blogging! At first the thing that worried me was simply the idea of blogging and that worry was soon superseded by the reminder of the effect that flamenco has on me. I know that I am not the only one; that when it grips people they really become deeply involved.
During the week as I started writing about a particular recording or book, I was soon remembering something else connected to that which also excited me and so I found myself leaping, half-finished, from one thing to another, and feeling totally frustrated because I could not follow the threads of all these connections within one blog – not even when I was sitting up until 3.30am trying to follow these threads, which I feel desperate to share with my blog readers.
When I first discovered flamenco, many years ago now, there were literally just a handful of books available in English about flamenco, such as those written by Donn Pohren, and there weren’t such a great number written in Spanish either. Donn Pohren’s books were fantastic because of his first-hand research from travelling around to small villages meeting with musicians. His first book, The Art of Flamenco was published in 1962. Later he published Lives and Legends of Flamenco, which is still one of my favourite resource books.
Donn Pohren with his wife, the flamenco dancer Luisa Maravilla
Now there are so many books published about flamenco and many dedicated to the work of a particular flamenco artist, which are always so inspiring. The level of scholarship is always admirable as the books are so excellently researched. Books about flamenco are continuing to be published at an impressive rate, many by Spanish publishers who are building rich catalogues of books on flamenco. Do you think that that is a valid excuse for my flamenco fever being ever more fired up these days than ever before?
As well as the wonderful books, there are the recordings which are being released of artists both from here and now, and from the past; these can be an even more exciting discovery as some date back to the beginning of the twentieth century. I don’t have to try to imagine what Ramón Montoya used to play like: I can buy a copy of his historic recordings from 1923–1936!
© 2010 Thérèse Wassily Saba
Morgan Smith said:
Is either Luisa Maravilla or Donn Pohren atill alive and, if so, do you know how I could reach them? I was a friend of her father, Luis Maravilla. Thanks, Morgan Smith
Donn passed away in 2007. I believe his wife is still with us.
International Classical Guitar said:
Dear Steve, sadly, Louisa died in May 2014. Like Donn, she was a wonderful person to be with! Best wishes Thérèse