The Carmel Music Society launched its new season yesterday at Carmel’s Sunset Center with an afternoon of Spanish and flamenco music. On hand to dazzle us with a program of mostly unfamiliar fare was Angel Romero, guitar, and his wife Nefretiri Romero, mezzo-soprano.
After arriving on the Monterey Peninsula from Hawaii, and feeling unwell, Nefretiri was unsure whether she would be able to participate in the afternoon’s program. Accordingly, Angel Romero prepared to play a solo recital, but as the day wore on, Nefretiri recovered enough to go ahead with her scheduled part of the program.
As mentioned, the major part of the program was devoted to two composers unfamiliar to most audiences, Lorenzo Palomo and Federico Garcia Lorca. The work by Palomo, selections from Mi jardin solitario (“My Secluded Garden”) is based on texts by Celedonio Romero, the patriarch of the renowned Romeros guitar quartet. Although translations of the songs were not supplied to members of the audience, there was no mistaking the rich sounds and rhythms of Andalucía and Cordova. Nefretiri, sounding a bit wobbly at first, gained confidence as the afternoon wore on and impressed us with her mastery of these colorful songs.
Angel Romero dazzled us with several important solos: Leyenda by Albeniz, a work frequently performed both on guitar and piano, and the Spanish Dance No. 5 in E Minor by Granados. Another crowd pleaser was Recuerdos de la Alhambra, by Francisco Tárrega. However, the greatest hits of the program came at the end of the concert, and these were both arrangements by his father Celedonio — Malaguenas and Fantasia Cubana. These two pieces elicited a storm of applause, and more than a few “Olé’s”
Mr. Romero was on hand with his charming wife to autograph CDs in the lobby after the concert.