Starting a new series tonight; Past Daily Archeology. This one will be devoted to those 78s which fall into categories other than Pop or Jazz – they are all from the earliest period of recording to the last gasps of the 78 era. Old stuff – interesting stuff – rare stuff. Some of the discs are noisy – some are very clean. Sound quality, although a high priority, will occasionally get put on the back-burner in favor of drop-dead rarities. So bear with me.
To start the series; two sides of a 78 released in France by Le Chant du Monde of the legendary, but almost totally forgotten Spanish Guitarist Angel Iglesias. Iglesias, who also went by the name Angel Ferrera, was from a musical family and had a worldwide career as both performer and teacher, migrating to Denmark in 1943 and making several recordings between then and 1953, during the pre-lp era. He made no lps, and as far as anyone knows, he stopped making records with those last 1953 sessions.
He was widely admired and his concert performances were sold-out affairs. One reporter for the New York Times, after one of his Carnegie Hall appearances wrote: “Angel Iglesias can make his guitar do anything but climb trees”.
But what happened to Iglesias after 1953 became a mystery. Even more mysterious, was why the almost complete lack of acknowledgement of his immense contribution to the art and technique of Classical Guitar. His students went on to become legends in their own right; Vincent Gomez became an international figure in the 1950s. But as for Iglesias, he became an obscure figure, almost totally unknown except to historians. When he died in 1977 at age 60, he left behind a legacy which was only rediscovered in the 1990s.
As for this recording – I suspect it’s from the sessions in Denmark, licensed by Le Chant du Monde sometime in the late 1940s. From the information I have gathered, he did two groups of sessions; the first in Spain before his migration to Copenhagen and the second the Copenhagen sessions.
If you don’t know who Angel Iglesias was, you might want to give this one a listen and check out the 2 CDs reissued in 1997.
Amazing sometimes, the magic that often slips through our fingers. Enjoy.