Carlos Bonell - concert performer

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Topics archived from Public Space and its subforums after a long period of inactivity, or redundant for some other reason. This section is read-only.
Carlos Bonell

Carlos Bonell - concert performer

Post by Carlos Bonell » Mon May 02, 2011 5:50 pm

The album is called Magical Mystery Guitar Tour and features 15 Beatles songs I have arranged for solo guitar. Some of them, like Strawberry Fields Forever and Here Comes the Sun are really embellished and use the original music as a basis for development. My idea has been to arrange the songs as if they had been composed for guitar. I don't think I have ever worked so hard at arranging! I hope you like it. The album will be available from http://www.carlosbonell.com/ and is distributed in the U.K. and Europe via alto Distribution with the U.S. and Canadian distribution handled by E1.
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Brian Monaghan

Bonell's Beatles album released in June

Post by Brian Monaghan » Mon May 02, 2011 6:06 pm

I look foreword to hearing this. Congratulations!

Braden

Re: Bonell's Beatles album released in June

Post by Braden » Tue May 03, 2011 11:08 am

Sounds like it will be quite something to listen to. Congratulations in advance (even before hearing any of it)!

Carlos Bonell

Lorca and the Golden Polyphemus

Post by Carlos Bonell » Sun May 15, 2011 11:51 am

Poet, dramatist, painter, pianist...guitarist?

Few poets have written such striking images of the guitar - its sound, its emotional impact - as Federico García Lorca did. Through his life he loved it, for its ancient roots and flamenco expression, and wrote various poems about it. He congratulated his great friend and mentor Manuel de Falla on his one and only guitar composition – Tombeau – but admitted he could only play the first few bars. “My fingers get caught in the strings, and I make such an awful noise that my mother snatches the guitar away and hides it from me.”

As a teenager he showed remarkable gifts as a writer, musician and painter, and for a time was uncertain which path to pursue. Throughout his life he continued to play the piano. My uncle went to study in Granada in the early 1930’s and became a personal friend of Lorca. He told me that he was a great improviser: ask him to play a Haydn minuet in a ragtime style, or in any style, and he would. He would love to entertain his friends late into the night, and continue playing while everyone was falling asleep all around. At other times, the improvisations would turn into serenades and everyone else would creep out of the room when someone caught the poet’s eye. According to my uncle, Lorca would pick up the guitar from time to time and yes, he was able to play simple things on it, mostly in a flamenco style.

He was friends with two great guitar players: the Granada-born Angel Barrios and Regino Sáinz de la Maza. In the flamenco song competition of 1922, the brain-child of Falla, Lorca also rubbed shoulders with Andrés Segovia. But it was with Sáinz de la Maza that he shared the greatest friendship in an illuminating correspondence. Still in his early twenties Lorca wrote to him that he sometimes felt there was not one Lorca, but many Lorcas, neatly folded and stacked in the “warehouse of eternity” waiting to fly free. Twenty years later, after the poet’s death, Sáinz de la Maza would give the première of Joaquín Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra in Barcelona. These lines by Lorca seem to anticipate the theme of the slow movement:

The wail of the guitar begins,
it is useless to stop it,
it is impossible to stop it.

Lorca grew up in Granada, and had a love-hate relationship with it. As poet, dramatist and theatre director he achieved international recognition as few other Spanish artists have done. When he returned to Granada at the beginning of the Spanish Civil War – against the advice of all his friends - he was arrested and disappeared. His body has never been found.

In my Lorca tribute concerts I use Albéniz’s Granada as a musical symbol of his upbringing and tragic death. He loved the music of Albéniz, and wrote a sonnet to the composer. I also have turned to the dozen or so folk songs he arranged for voice and piano. His harmonisations are simple but very effective. I have taken them a step further and re-arranged them for solo guitar. In doing so I have also remembered Lorca’s feel for the guitar, his love of flamenco, and his dark imagery:

The guitar
causes dreams to weep.
The sobs of lost
souls
Escape through its round
mouth.

Yet there are two more images which I find amazing. The one is his description of the sound-hole as a spider’s web designed to “trap sighs” and the other is his comparison of the guitar to the Greek God Polyphemus in the poem Adivinanza de la guitarra dedicated to Sáinz de la Maza. Polyphemus was the god with one eye in the middle of his forehead. Better still, he was no ordinary Polyphemus, if there was such a thing, but a “Polyphemus made of gold”. Therein lies great poetry, and an inspiration for guitar-players to live up to.

España: Carlos Bonell plays Spanish music including Lorca 75th anniversary tribute: in his own words and music
Bolivar Hall, London, 20th May 2011 at 7.30pm
Tickets £10 on the door, or in advance in Store at:
http://www.carlosbonell.com

Photo of García Lorca and poem extracts by kind permission of La Fundación García Lorca
http://www.garcia-lorca.org

Read more at:
http://www.garcia-lorca.org

Poem Adivinanza de la guitarra in English translation:
http://spanishpoems.blogspot.com/2005/0 ... de-la.html

Selected poems with parallel Spanish text published by Oxford World’s Classics:
http://www.*** Commercial link removed ***

A biography of García Lorca by Ian Gibson:
Federico García Lorca: A Life
http://www.*** Commercial link removed ***

First published in my Blog in May 2011at:
http://www.carlosbonell.com
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altnaez
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Re: Lorca and the Golden Polyphemus

Post by altnaez » Sun May 15, 2011 12:06 pm

Thank you Carlos for a wonderful post on the great poet Lorca and the interesting links.
Saludos,
Albert

Sean

Re: Lorca and the Golden Polyphemus

Post by Sean » Sun May 15, 2011 12:08 pm

Wow! I wish I could be there! Thanks for the links - I've got to check those out.

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George Crocket
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Re: Lorca and the Golden Polyphemus

Post by George Crocket » Sun May 15, 2011 4:28 pm

That's a fascinating post. Many thanks for it.
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

Carlos Bonell

Re: Lorca and the Golden Polyphemus

Post by Carlos Bonell » Tue May 17, 2011 10:50 am

Just to add an important comment I have received from the guitarist, writer and historian Graham Wade about his relationship with Segovia:
" He was a very close friend of the Lorca family in Granada and when Lorca's first book of poems was due to be published (financed by Lorca's father). Segovia was asked for his opinion whether the outlay was worthwhile...Segovia agreed that it was, and thus Lorca's poetry first saw the light of day".
You can read more about this in Ian Gibson's biography of Lorca. I am really grateful to Graham for his comments. Carlos

Sean

Re: Lorca and the Golden Polyphemus

Post by Sean » Wed May 18, 2011 7:51 pm

Quite interesting, Carlos. I'll have to read that book. Lorca was an important contributor to the Generation of '27, and was a close friend of several composers that chose to write for Sainz de la Maza.

Scot Tremblay
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Re: Lorca and the Golden Polyphemus

Post by Scot Tremblay » Wed May 18, 2011 8:06 pm

Thank you for posting this, Carlos. Federico Garcia Lorca is my all time favorite poet. I've performed his Canciones Espanolas Antiguas a number of times and am always struck by the simple, profound beauty of his accompaniments. He must have been an amazing human being to know.
Scot Tremblay Guitars

"One picture is worth a thousand words. So, for me, one good note put where it should be put, will say what it will take some people many notes to say. ~B.B. King, 1986

Carlos Bonell

My album of Beatles' music for solo guitar

Post by Carlos Bonell » Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:37 pm

MAGICAL MYSTERY GUITAR TOUR
My album of arrangements of music by the Beatles:

on line at http://www.carlosbonell.com

and on itunes http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/magica ... d445981851

Listen to interview with BBC about the album at http://www.carlosbonell.com

15 tracks include Here Comes the Sun, Michelle, Strawberry Fields, Penny Lane, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Yesterday, Blackbird, Something, Eleanor Rigby, Because, The Fool On The Hill, Long and Winding Road, Here There and Everywhere, Maxwell's Silver Hammer, With a Little Help From My Friends

Recorded at Mike Moran Music in the UK in 2010
Producer: David Young
Bonell/Young Productions DYCD2

Mickmac

Re: My album of Beatles' music for solo guitar

Post by Mickmac » Thu Jul 28, 2011 3:23 pm

Hi Carlos,
I look forward to listening to your new album. Will you be publishing your arrangements at any point?

Mick

Carlos Bonell

Re: My album of Beatles' music for solo guitar

Post by Carlos Bonell » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:57 am

I am looking at various options for publishing the music. Which of the pieces would you be particularly interested in? Best wishes, Carlos

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slidika
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Re: My album of Beatles' music for solo guitar

Post by slidika » Sat Aug 06, 2011 11:00 pm

Michelle and The Long and Winding Road interest me especially . . .
Whenever I am not ready for my music lesson, I call it 'facing the music'.

Carlos Bonell

Re: My album of Beatles' music for solo guitar

Post by Carlos Bonell » Mon Aug 08, 2011 9:25 pm

Thank you, I appreciate you telling me. Carlos

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