Photos Remedios Málvarez
Rafael Riqueni, concert guitar. Joselito Acedo, second guitar. Series: Jueves Flamencos de Cajasol de Sevilla. Thursday, May 7th. Full to capacity.
Riqueni, with springtime in his hands
It’s possible springtime breathes in the hands of Rafael Riqueni, or perhaps the guitarist takes refuge in its light and aromas to find relief. Whatever the reason, the tremendous success of the Triana guitarist’s performance of his outstanding work, an adaptation of “Amarguras” by Font de Ana, he resurfaced in the series Jueves Flamencos de Cajasol, and suddenly it was spring in all its spendor throughout the theater.
It’s hard to explain, but it had been a hard day. Those who entered the Sala Chicarreros to fill it to the rafters, inevitably spoke of the near 90-degree heat in the shade, the unpleasant afternoon wind and how pollen was stirring up allergies. Each person had something to complain about that evening, because springtime is just that unruly in the capital of Andalusia. Like the popular song says, you either feel the south, or you don’t. Or the saying, “spring stirs up the blood”.
Then Riqueni appeared with his soothing guitar, and gave us reasons to come to terms with this month of May. His luminous detailed music takes time to notice the beauty of a flower, the sound of the birds, the water of a fountain, a ray of sunlight, and the audience has no choice but to surrender to the joyful stroll through the senses which the guitarist invites us to take.
Thus, in the first part of the recital, we felt the tranquility of the taranta Alcázar de Cristal, the deep warm glow of the soleá A Canales, we were pricked by the rose-thorns in the alegrías Cogiendo Rosas, and we seek out peace in the rondeña Benamargosa. To continue enrapturing the mood, the guitarist took us to the Parque de María Luisa (the title of his latest record), and we fed the pigeons along with him, aware that only in this place do they seem beautiful. Then, the ecstasy of Amarguras, and a second part with bulerías, fandangos and rumbas in which he evoked the memory of Niño Miguel and Lole y Manuel, accompanied by Joselito Acedo.
By this point, we were already smitten as is only fitting for this season, and we had lived through a passionate encounter. Without a doubt this Riqueni takes us on a round-trip to madness, and gives us the necessary antihistamine to sleep soundly. How fortunate to be able to capture the precise essence of things.