The Hispanic Orthography Files, continued

Plus a zarzuela/politics RFI.

Trebots @ Saturday April 9th 2011 20:16

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Teatro Apolo in Barcelona, ca 1910, advertising the zarzuela Bohemios by Amadeu Vives. CC from Wikimedia. More pics.

In English the protagonist of the French song, Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre, is quite sensibly transcribed as Marlbrook, but the Spanish Mambrú se fue a la guerra seems pretty unfair to me. Discovered via the 1945 zarzuela of that name by Vila, Romero and Fernández Shaw, which probably doesn't owe anything to the Delibes-Bizet-Jonas-Legouix collaboration in 1867, the latter having disappeared.

If you're interested in zarzuela, then I'd recommend for starters the Catalan Wikipedia entry, Christopher Webber's site, and the generous selection of audio over at RTVE.

One of the omissions from the materials I've read so far has been discussion of the relationship between zarzuela and left-ish/republican-ish politics. Pío Baroja wrote the libretto for one, Adiós a la bohemia, for which his friend, Pablo Sorozábal, provided the music (it's not on RTVE, but Sorozábal is), and I believe the important zarzuela composer Ruperto Chapí was a socialist, with perhaps similar views to his fellow-Valencian, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. Any more?

In regional terms, I read somewhere that the target audience of Madrid zarzuela was more popular than in Barcelona, which I guess also might be due to slower adoption of the cheaper, chico genre in the latter city--my impression from Christopher Webber's list of works is that Barcelona only came to compete with Madrid in terms of zarzuela in the 20th century, so maybe Barcelona was simply conservative in these terms at least. The current situation--as a result of nationalist paranoia--is that zarzuela is starved in Barcelona (where theatre generally deals with themes of interest to few, and audiences are correspondingly small) while funds were found for Albert Boadella's excellent Amadeu in Madrid.

I guess more reading is required, unless one of you happens to be an expert.

  • Barcelona (896)
  • Battle of Malplaquet (1) The Battle of Malplaquet, fought on 11 September 1709, was one of the main battles of the War of the Spanish Succession, which opposed the Bourbons of France and Spain against an alliance whose major members were the Habsburg Monarchy, Great Britain, the United Provinces and the Kingdom of Prussia.
  • Duke of Marlborough (1) John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, Prince of Mindelheim, Prince of Mellenburg, KG, PC, was an English soldier and statesman whose career spanned the reigns of five monarchs. Rising from a lowly page at the court of the House of Stuart, he served James, Duke of York, through the 1670s and early 1680s, earning military and political advancement through his courage and diplomatic skill. Churchill's role in defeating the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685 helped secure James on the throne, yet just three years later he abandoned his Catholic patron for the Protestant Dutchman, William of Orange. Honoured for his services at William's coronation with the earldom of Marlborough, he served with further distinction in the early years of the Nine Years' War, but persistent charges of Jacobitism brought about his fall from office and temporary imprisonment in the Tower. It was not until the accession of Queen Anne in 1702 that Marlborough reached the zenith of his powers and secured his fame and fortune.
  • English language (291)
  • French language (19) French is a Romance language, belonging to the Indo-European family. It descended from the spoken Latin language of the Roman Empire, as did languages such as Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian, Catalan and others. French has evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone.
  • Madrid (153)
  • Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre (1) Marlbrough s'en va-t-en guerre or Malbrook s'en va-t-en guerre is one of the most popular folk songs in French. The burlesque lament on the death of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough was written on a false rumour of that event after the Battle of Malplaquet in 1709. It tells how Marlborough's wife, awaiting his return from battle, is given the news of her husband's death. It also tells that he was buried and that a nightingale sang over his grave.
  • Operetta (1)
  • Orthography (3)
  • Pío Baroja (18) Pío Baroja y Nessi was a Spanish writer, one of the key novelists of the Generation of '98. He was a member of an illustrious family, his brother Ricardo was a painter, writer and engraver, and his nephew Julio Caro Baroja, son of his younger sister Carmen, was a well-known anthropologist.
  • Picar (1)
  • Republicanism (2)
  • Socialism (8)
  • Spanish language (334)
  • Valencia (15)
  • Vicente Blasco Ibáñez (11) Vicente Blasco Ibáñez was a journalist, politician and best-selling Spanish novelist in various genres whose most widespread and lasting fame in the English-speaking world is from Hollywood films adapted from his works.
  • Zarzuela (1)
Categories: Liberals & locals, Music, Poets, Theatre, War

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  1. A Nun
    April 17th 2011 20:30

    Martín Sánchez Seres míticos says that Burguete Herrero says in some obscure periodical that it is actually a Cathar marching song ridiculing the bishop of Lodeve, who later became the count of Montbrún, and that the French adopted it. So he's mad.

  2. Trebots
    April 17th 2011 20:42

    That would be the Cathars who landed in a spaceship.

  3. boynamedsue
    April 25th 2011 01:17

    Hey mambrú, mambrú italianu
    Hey mambrú, mambrú italianu

    Hey cathar, I love-a how you dance rumba (catalana)...

  4. Trebots
    April 25th 2011 09:26

    I quite liked this:


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