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About this CD
Slobberer | Astoria, NY United States | 10/14/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Track Listing for this CD.
Pepe de la Matrona [Le Chant du Monde - Harmonia Mundi #LDX 274 829]
Pepe de la Matrona - His real name was Jose Nunez Melendez; Pepe being the diminutive of Jose, the rest of his stage-name came from his mother's profession "matrona" or mid-wife.
He was born in the Triana disctrict of Seville on the 4th of June 1887. His adolescence therefore coincided with the golden era of Flamenco at the beginning of the century. Thus, he was able to perfect his work on the "cante" in the company of the greatest: the legendary Manuel Torre, Tomas Pavon and his wife "La Nina de los Peines" and the greatest of them all, Antonio Chacon whose disciple Matrona declared himself to be. In the twenties he alternated with Chacon for certain performances at the latter's request. Matrona lived in Seville, Cordoba, Barcelona, but mostly in Madrid (from 1907 to 1936, and from the forties up until his death). He toured all across Europe and in North and South America. He recorded many records, one of which was and anthology of "Cante Flamenco" (entitled "Tesoro del Flamenco antiguo") for which he received the prize of the Chair of Flamencology. He has left us an important book of his memoirs "Recuerdos de un cantaor sevillano" (1975, pub. Demofilo- Madrid)
A master of the purest form of cante, a rigorous observer of the old style, never once giving in to commercial pressures, Pepe, at the end of his live, enjoyed the hightest esteem of his fellow countryment. He personified the jondo art. There was something "prehistoric" in his singing if we recall the words of Manuel de Falla: "Cante jondo . . . the rarest example of primitive song . . . where the words and the song could have sprung from a single source".
In the seventies he was invited several times to Paris to appear on French television. He was the perfect representation of the following definition: "to be able to sing jondo is the gift of the complete man". A voice of torrent cascading through the rocks, through the whirlpools, through the rapids, through the falls coming to rest in the stillness below. Up until his death at the age of 92 the power of his art was unflagging. When he recorded the titles 1, 2 and 12 of this record his customary glass of wine was still at the foot of his chair; he was 82 years old."