A scintillating meeting between classical and flamenco, East and West, in Accademia del Piacere’s new program. Old romances (ballads) are heard through the voices of Tunisian singer Ghalia Benali and Spanish soprano Marivi Blasco. When the last “moriscos”* were expelled from the Alpujarra mountains near Granada, it did by no means spell the disappearance of Islamic civilization from Spanish society. Throughout the centuries their musical culture has influenced Andalusian folklore, which in turn has fed flamenco. The elegant oriental vocal arabesques have been deeply embedded in the dna of the “cante jondo”, the old flamenco singing style. Accademia del Piacere’s sparkling performance makes clear what a musical breeding ground Andalusia once was, a veritable melting pot of Arabic, Christian and (after the discoveries of 1492) South-American music.
*Moriscos (from “moro”, Moor) was the name given to the Muslims in al-Ándalus (Andalusia) who had been baptized Christians following their forced conversion as decreed by the Catholic kings on 14 February, 1502.