maestro cordoba

Maestro Córdoba


Critical  Acclaim

Thursday, May 20, 1972

San Francisco Chronicle

The Traditionalist

Guitarist Cordoba



Words from Maestro Córdoba




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One of the things that has made San Francisco an epicenter of Flamenco guitar activity is the presence of a truly great teacher, Mariano Cordoba. And like most respected teachers, Cordoba is also a first-rate performer – a fact which was amply borne out in his 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, unlike most of today’s top performers, is neither innovator, developer of the style, nor technician. He is, rather, a traditionalist.

He is concerned with the things which have made Flamenco what it is – the popular songs of Spain, the dance rhythms of Spanish workers and miners, the regional styles, and, above all, the influence of the gypsies.

His Farruca seethes with the fiery, drumming rhythms that inspired Bizet’s “Carmen;” his Malaguenas variations are soft, sensuous and appealing; and his Tanguillo a breathtaking showpiece.

But Cordoba does not trade much on technical skill for its own sake. He has all he needs, of course, but primarily he is interested in the content and substance of the music, its purpose and its soul, its roots and sources, rather than how it can be polished up to dazzle an audience. He, like Serrano and Sabicas, is a performer from whom one can really learn something. And this, after all, is often the best kind of entertainment.

By Dean Wallace     

March 13, 1975, Page 7
San Jose State University

’s guitar captivates crowd


 By Carson Mouser         

  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 a 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 intently to each number then applauding loudly.
    Cordoba’s fingers danced along the strings and neck of the guitar as he played a Fandango, his fingers tapping the guitar body throughout the textured song.
    This dancing of his fingers characterized 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 origins and theme of each song.
    Highlighting the nine flamenco numbers was a non-flamenco song from Northern Spain usually performed by bagpipe and drum.
     Cordoba’s studied concentration transformed the sound of his guitar into bagpipe and drum.
    After Cordoba hit the last note the audience stood and applauded enthusiastically until it brought flamenco master Cordoba back for an encore.