Rare, early Paco de Lucia - a must have
Manuel Gomez Maqueo | Mexico City, DF Mexico | 03/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wonder why it takes record companies so long to issue CD editions of such rare gems as this. Paco masterfully plays Garcia Lorca's beautiful songs, achieving a very high peak in his career at a very early stage. Classical flamenco guitar as good as it gets."
Not flamenco, but good -- or vice versa
Paul Magnussen | Campbell, CA USA | 05/04/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This recording dates from 1965, when Paco de Lucía was 16. It is not Flamenco; rather, it is arrangements of Andalusian folk tunes, which is not the same thing.
Lucía at that point had been recognised as a child prodigy (which is why he had a recording contract), but he was not yet what he was to become later; this was eight years before the hit "Entre Dos Aguas" whose massive success was the pivotal point in his career.
So what he recorded then was dictated by the record company, with the predictable results: albums ranging from tedious pot-boilers to minor masterpieces. Several of them consisted of duets with the guitarist Ricardo Modrego -- which is probably the latter's major claim to fame as far as the world outside Spain is concerned. The best of the bunch of Paco's early recordings for my money is "Canciones Andaluzas para dos guitarras" with his brother Ramón de Algeciras, which did (I believe) appear briefly on CD and then sank without trace.
The present album is somewhere in the higher end of the spectrum; the tunes, rescued from obscurity in the 1930's by Spain's best-known poet, are familiar to every Andalusian, and close to the guitarists' native idiom.
Lorca was of course a pianist. The arrangements for two guitars are imaginative and good, aided by possibly the best stereo separation I've heard.
Perhaps surprisingly, and certainly unfortunately, however, on this album Modrego appears the better player. The reason is that Lucía plays a guitar with a rattle on the first string that varies from merely annoying in the lower reaches of the fingerboard to excruciating at the 15th fret (which is used more often than you might think, e.g. on El Vito).
Still, an interesting disc and well worth a listen. The playing time is just under 38 minutes."