Saturday, October 29, 2005

Over the waves

In the weeper episodes of La esposa virgen just completed, the sainted Blanca asks her soon-to-be widower to have the orquesta play Sobre las olas (by Juventino Rosas) so that she can hear it and imagine Marisol, their daughter, and him waltzing to it downstairs at the fiesta quinceanera. This is played a lot at weddings, I think. As I thought I recollected, we do have an instrumental version of this, on a dollar cut-out of Latin music of the Belle Epoque released on a French label. In English, this tune has been used for the song with these lyrics: "Stars twinkle at night; it's the loveliest night of the year," and so on (Mario Lanza in a movie about Caruso). On line, via Amazon, I find a trumpet version by Rafael Mendez. I can't help thinking that we have a vocal version also. The rendition linked from here uses just the main melody but sounds as though it's done on a fancy player piano or band-organ, certainly in some way mechanical or partially synthesized for listening entertainment of a peculiar sort (in a way that's a reminder of those funny little electric organs with the various rhythms that could be set, often demonstrated at the hucksters' alley at fairs). This version has home-made bravura and all the themes. I think that years ago there was a recording by Adolf Hofner on the jukebox at Scholz's. La esposa virgen is yet another story by Caridad Bravo Adams, reworked for these times.


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