Angel Barja Songs
This recording has selected almost all of the piano-voice songs by Ángel Barja, based on ancient Galician folklore, where the melody tames a very accomplished popular style, slenderised in a subtle and coloristic piano accompaniment that scrupulously observes the conventions of popular roots voice writing. Barja preserves the syllabic nature of the melodies and insists on maintaining the accentuations against the verse. He alternates in them the strophic song, with turns and repetitions, with the simplicity of the popular tune, in many cases with medieval roots, as happens in the Cantiga “Those who know how to love” («Cuantas savedes amar») with a 13th century melody. Another bloc groups exuberant Christmas songs and, last, a third group, very eclectic, assembles songs of different styles and subjects. The poetic anthology used by Barja in his songs is very successful regarding the rhythm and musicality of these verses. It is no coincidence that, despite the apparent aesthetical and geographical remoteness of Galicia and Granada, our composer chose Federico García Lorca to compose five of his songs. José María Pemán was the poet chosen by the composer to set two of his most beautiful and brilliant songs: “Lemons carries the river” («Limones van por el río»), title of this CD production. This sample of the best of his legacy clearly pretends to showcase his music, his talent as melody composer and his mastery to combine sonorities and tradition.