This is the result of a juxtraposition of the creations of two people who have not met in their lifetime. Both made Spain their home. Both originated in another country (culture). The occasion of this is the Holy Week that is now approaching its climax. I chose to focus on the zenith of the drama, the burial. The beginning of the trip to Hades.
El Greco: Domenikos Theotokopoulos, Painter.
Born in Crete, Greece, El Greco was trained as an icon painter.
It was as a painter who “felt the mystical inner construction” of life that El Greco was admired by Franz Marc and the members of the Blue Rider (Blaue Reiter) school: someone whose art stood as a rejection of the materialist culture of modern life.
El Lebrijano: Juan Peña Fernández. Lebrija (Seville), 1941. Singer.
García Marquez wrote: “When Lebrijano sings, water gets wet.”
(Please refer to FlamencoWorld for a biography and more).
The Burial of Count of Ortaz
The huge painting is in the Church of Santo Tome, in Toledo, the city that El Greco made his home in Spain.
Lagrimas de Cera (Tears of Wax)
“…The director of the company wanted to record right away and it occurred to me to say, almost as a joke, “I’m going to make a record about Holy Week.” When I was on the AVE to Seville I asked myself, “What did I say to this guy?” He called me up and said “How are you going to do it?” And I said to him, “What am I doing?” Then he said to me, “Come to Madrid because Hugo is here.”….As soon as we got there, in a recording studio on the Alameda de Hércules in Seville, we put together a multicolored musical ensemble: a Belgian producer with his French engineer, the Moroccan brothers that Juan has worked with for 10 years on strings and vocals, four Bulgarian singers, Antonio Moya de Utrera on guitar, Rosario Amador, niece of Raimundo also on vocals, and Sainkho from Southern Siberia. “It was like the U.N.,” jokes El Lebrijano.” (exerpt from an 1999 interview to Louis Clemente, published in Flamenco World)
This stunning music written for “Santa Semana” – the Holy Week – evokes the Universal aspect of Passion and Drama, universality that knows no boundaries or religions. The music unites the Christians and the Arabs with the itinerant Romas and the Jews in mourning for the Death and Burial of a Man, a God, our own.
The Video (Slide Show)
I have put together a slide show with photos of the painting, and one song from “LAgrimas de Cera” as audio background. Here it is.