Flamenco Guitarist Esaú Galván Remembers the Alhambra

By Christie Seely

Recently I heard talented flamenco guitarist Esaú Galván of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle perfecting his presentation of the intricate music of Recuerdos de la Alhambra, by Spanish composer and guitarist Francisco Tárrega.  Galván plans to include this difficult piece in the new CD he is producing this summer along with other beautiful interpretations of Spanish classics and original works.  A recent visit to Spain, enhancing his skills as master flamenco guitarist, seems to linger in his mind and is aching to be expressed in this new project.

Recuerdos de la Alhambra is a complicated piece, implementing the tremolo technique which is only attempted by accomplished flamenco guitarists.  The technique requires a constant plucking of a single melody note with the ring, middle and index fingers throughout while at the same time the thumb plays an arpeggio-pattern accompaniment giving the impression of hearing two guitars instead of one. Esaú has spent many hours perfecting this challenging technique.

The Alhambra is located in Granada, Spain.  It is a palace and fortress built on a hill over early Roman remains by Moorish emirates in the 13th century. The expansive compound is a romantic oasis overlooking the beautiful city of Granada and the historical Caves of Sacromonte where the gypsies (roma people) have lived and played music for centuries.  Recuerdos de la Alhambra portrays the site exquisitely. The tremolo echoes the underlying beauty of the luxurious architecture made up of gracefully connecting courtyards, grand halls and impressive chambers.  The music derives a mystical feeling as if emerging from the ancient stone.

For those of you who have visited the Alhambra, this extraordinary musical piece so elegantly executed by Esaú Galván will bring powerful memories: the impressively serene Court of the Lions, the softness of the filigreed Moorish arches, the fragrant gardens of olives, oranges and pomegranates and the scent of earth and of the past. Through his hard work Esaú will bring those images to us right here in Puerto Vallarta.

You can hear Esaú play regularly at Da Simone Restaurant Tuesday evenings, Daiquiri Dick’s on Friday evenings, Saturday mornings at Cuates y Cuetes starting at 10:30, and with his group Tatewari Wednesday evenings at Cuates y Cuetes, 8:00.  Read more about him on his website www.esaugalvan.com.

To hear Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Esaú: