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Under the Leaf: Antique Spanish Songs, 1931

by Federico Garcia Lorca & La Argentinita

subscriber exclusive


The writer Federico Garcia Lorca (b 1898 Fuente Vaqueros, Granadas) studied and compiled old Spanish folk songs throughout his life. His friendship with the composer Manuel de Falla influenced his work deeply. The two of them organized a Contest of Cante Jondo in 1922. Garcia Lorca performed on piano only privately until 1931 when he recorded 10 of his own arrangements of cancioneros for the HMV label with the dancer and singer La Argentinita. He is known to have performed piano publicly once, May 6, 1933 with La Argentinita at a conference organized by the poet Rafael Alberti (b. 1902; d. 1999) on the subject of Poetry in Popular Lyric Songs.

La Argentinita was born Encarnacion Lopez Julvez in 1895 in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Spanish parents. Following the death of two of her siblings from scarlet fever, the family returned to Spain in 1901, and she began performing as a child. She met Garcia Lorca in 1919 and had the role of The Butterfly in the 1920 production of his first play, The Butterfly's Evil Spell. Through a sporadic career in the 1920s, she became close to the intellectual, artistic, and literary circle of the anti-fascist avant-garde Generation of '27, which included musicians de Falla, Ravel, Albeniz, Turina, Granados as well as the matador Ignacio Sánchez Mejías with whom she was lovers until his death in 1934 as the result of having been gored.

In August 1936, Garcia Lorca was murdered by members of the fascist Nationalist militia. La Argentinia toured widely through the 30s and 40s and was among the first dancers to present flamenco in the U.S. She died of a tumor in the U.S. in 1945.


released July 20, 2022

La Argentinita - voice and castenets
Federico Garcia Lorca - piano and arrangements (except on tracks 11 & 12)


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Canary Records Baltimore, Maryland

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