Text: Sara Arguijo
Photos: Adam Newby
Teatro de la Maestranza. November 21st, 2015
Parque de María Luisa. Guitar: Rafael Riqueni. Second guitar: Fity Carrillo. Violín: Burno Axel, Alan Andrews. Viola: Gonzalo Castelló. Cello: Gretchen Talbot. Flute/Sax: Gautama del Campo. Piano: Chiki Cienfuegos Bass: Manuel Calleja. Percussion: Luis Amador
The need to love
The Parque de María Luisa is the refuge. The green lungs that bring oxygen to an asthmatic city. The garden where Sevillians' sentimental memories inhabit: the Sunday stroll, the celebration of light, the breadcrumbs for the ducks, discovery, the awareness of how small we are, the fear of losing our way, the hand open to the world, the water that flows. A romantic landscape, somber, clear, mysterious, pacifying, decadent, majestic, baroque, classic, charlatan, solitary, dreamer, vane, timid, survivor…all of it is in Seville's past, even the past that doesn't exist any more. Like the guitar of Rafael Riqueni.
Without a doubt what the artist offered on Saturday was a smorgasbord. A concert that evoked what could well be the sound track of the shared landscape. The reconciliation with the Seville we all love.
The sixteen pieces of the first part of the recital, which gives the name to Riqueni's new record and show, were an invitation to stroll through life itself. With the delicacy and exquisiteness of his six strings, the composer not only made us accomplices to his memories and his universe, but invoked ours as well, taking us to drink at the 'fuente de la niña', to pick roses in a tremolo that triggered a huge ovation from the audience, and filling the theater with doves.
If any guitarist knows how to bring his five senses to the tips of his fingers, it's Riqueni. His guitar makes us taste, smell, feel, see and hear that which sometimes goes unnoticed, and points out, with humanity and an innocent gaze, that which really matters in life. The way children do when, without realizing it, they make us stop and admire the song of a bird for example.
And after this stroll, his ‘Vivencias’. The flamenco “I'll never forget because it's my roots”, he said, which caused someone to shout out “it's great to see you here Rafael”. Taranta, rondeña, tangos, fandangos, bulerías, a love song and a spectacular soleá that was deserving of a whole article unto itself. “How can a guitar say so much!” came a shout from the audience.
And so we saw the guitarist and creator who clutches his instrument as if placing his fingers for each note, he were also capturing his own existence. And the dialogue, orchestra director, virtuoso, accompanied, by the way, by magnificent musicians.
All in all, a guitar that speaks of nostalgia and absence, but also of hopes and dreams. And which, of course, lit up our need to love.