Gerardo, a singer, is celebrating his new single (written by Angelo), so I asked if I could find it online. Yes, he said one can download it on iTunes, but one can also listen to it on YouTube: Gerardo sings "Como vivir." (Listen to more of Angelo's songs, at least one other of which features Gerardo.)
As the Mad Fisher and I were leaving, Gerardo suggested I learn "La Malagueña" so we can sing it next time. He really wants to sing a duet with me, but I never have any repertoire we can do together on the spot. I looked up "La Malagueña" and I don't think I can sing it, but I am very impressed with a recording I found: Joselito and Antonio Aguilar sing "Malagueña salerosa." The latter is a Mexican singer/actor, the former a Spanish child star singer/actor from the '50s who is particularly impressive. I love (and am envious of) how both float the voice effortlessly into head tones and sing so expressively.
A good friend is getting married in June to a lovely Peruvian lady, and I am toying with the idea of maybe surprising them by singing a Peruvian song at the reception. So I did some research online tonight and found some absolute gems. I don't know if I'll be able to sing any of them, but the least I could do is share.
The first songwriter I explored was María Isabel Granda Larco, better known as Chabuca Granda. She worked in a style known as Criollo waltz. Her best known song (and unofficial anthem of Lima) is "La flor de la canela," here performed by Los Chamas. Another great, evocative song is "María Landó," which launched Susana Baca's career.
The last song I want to share is by Felipe Pinglo Alva, father of Peruvian Musica criolla/vals criollo and Bohemian poet. His most famous song, covered by a plethora of singers, is "El Plebeyo." Not only is the music beautiful, but the lyrics could stand on their own as one of the great Spanish poems of the last century. I chose to share this version by Olimpo Cárdenas because of the wonderful guitar work and this version by Pedro Infante because of the wonderful way he phrases the poem.
I hope you've enjoyed these clips. There is such talent and artistry on display here, it's a shame these songs and performers are not better known.