Y despues is a song by composer Louis Andriessen, on lyrics by Garcia Lorca. I usually perform it with the Dutch ensemble Orkest De Volharding (literally ‘the resistance’), a sort of big band specializing in contemporary repertoire founded by Andriessen himself in the Sixties. I decided to open the record with the performance of this song in its original version for piano and voice.
This is the first time that I take up the challenge of recording my performance of classical repertoire and I favoured material of popular origin, as in traditional but also as in “pop”. While I was gradually reaching this decision my meeting with the pianist Andrea Rebaudengo played a major role. Ravel, De Falla and Berio: all the selections recall folk atmospheres that allow the voice to search for specific accents and nuances, without being totally tied in stylistics of “bel canto”.
The Beatles Songs are a fanciful tribute by Louis Andriessen to the wife (at that time) of his composition teacher, Luciano Berio. It was the Sixties, Louis was a talented young Dutch composer (as well as an accomplished pianist) who was going through a formative experience in Milan. Cathy already was the famous Berberian, a terrific and flamboyant singer who put her talent to the service of the most innovative avant-garde. Louis, probably inhibited by Cathy Berberian's personality, never had the nerve to explain to her that those arrangements were not designed for an “operatic” interpretation. Not even if the only operatic element was her approach and she succeeded in turning the four songs into exhilarating comic plays. The close friendship with Andriessen allowed me an authorized revival of those funny scores, but only under the condition that I would cleanly and respectfully perform them according to his original intentions.
The “anglophonic digression” is completed with Songs my mother taught me, wonderful extract from the songs by Charles Ives that I like to sing as if it were a jazz standard.
Tin-tin opens a new section of the record: a change of pianist (Stefano De Bonis, with whom I've been working for many years now) and a swerve to more familiar sonorities. Tin-tin is an original composition to which I adapted a text by Borges.
Tonada de luna llena (a song that I came across to thanks to a record by Caetano Veloso) was revised by Stefano and I.
Lastly, Communication... is a divertissement sprung out of an improvisation during a concert. In that occasion, it was my own toilsome attempt to introduce the following song, Lush Life. From then onwards, we decided to keep it as official introduction to the only legitimate standard that we have in our program.