& Evolution of
of the things that has made San
Francisco an epicenter of Flamenco guitar
the presence of a truly great teacher, Mariano Cordoba. And like most
is also a first-rate performer – a fact which was amply borne out in
recital Tuesday night at the Marines’ Memorial Theater.
And one of
the things that distinguishes
Cordoba as a teacher also sets him apart among performers. Cordoba,
of today’s top performers, is neither innovator, developer of the style,
technician. He is, rather, a traditionalist.
concerned with the things which have made
Flamenco what it is – the popular songs of Spain, the dance rhythms of
workers and miners, the regional styles, and, above all, the influence
Farruca seethes with the fiery, drumming
rhythms that inspired Bizet’s “Carmen;” his Malaguenas variations are
sensuous and appealing; and his Tanguillo a breathtaking showpiece.
does not trade much on technical skill for its own sake. He has all he
of course, but primarily he is interested in the content and substance
music, its purpose and its soul, its roots and sources, rather than how
be polished up to dazzle an audience. He, like Serrano and Sabicas, is
performer from whom one can really learn something. And this, after
often the best kind of entertainment.
By Dean Wallace
March 13, 1975, Page 7San Jose State University
Mariano Cordoba amazed and enthralled a
large mid-day audience Wednesday in the S.U. Ballroom.
Dressed in black save for his white shirt, Cordoba performed
variety of flamenco styles with dramatic
and deceptively complex fingering.
His hour long concert seemed to be only half
as long as the rapt audience of about 450 persons watched and listened
to each number then applauding loudly.
fingers danced along the strings and neck of the guitar as he played a
Fandango, his fingers tapping the guitar body throughout the textured
This dancing of his
the fluid rythmatic trip through the flamenco traditions from South
America to Cuba to
the Malaguenas province in Spain.
Between each song he explained the
and theme of each song.
Highlighting the nine
flamenco numbers was a
non-flamenco song from Northern Spain
performed by bagpipe and drum.
studied concentration transformed the sound of his guitar into bagpipe
hit the last note the audience stood and applauded enthusiastically
brought flamenco master Cordoba
back for an encore.