Friday, April 06, 2007

The Man Of Sorrow

For Good Friday.

The saete, in flamencan music, is “the arrow of song.” One of the oldest religious types of music in Andalusia, it is usually sung without accompaniment during the Holy Week religious procession in Seville. It tells of the Passion of Christ and is usually addressed to the image of the crucified Christ that is carried in the march or to the Virgin Mary.

[ MP3 expired — so sorry ]

As described by Gilbert Chase, “The singer, usually a woman, stands on a balcony overlooking the procession, grasping the iron railing firmly in both hands (the grip tightens as the emotion grows). The procession stops so that the image which is being addressed remains stationary while the saeta is being sung. A fanfare of trumpets gives the signal for the procession to move on.”

(Quoted from Nat Hentoff’s liner notes for Sketches Of Spain)

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