25 abr. 2011

Miguel Hernández

The kind of musical effects the Joan Manuel Serrat uses to sing the poetry of Miguel Hernández, his voice and intonation, make me physically ill. The idea of singing this beautiful, delicate poetry as a kind of flashy pop music is a sacrilege. It probably does not matter what I think, though. In other words, my opinion has no sway over anyone else, or no claim. I know I am right, of course, but I have no argument that goes beyond my personal reaction. My only way of demonstrating my point would be to point to my own reaction: "this is how this makes Jonathan feel, can't you see that!"

But if you don't feel that, all that means is that are not Jonathan. I have no problem with Leonard Cohen's "Take This Waltz," based on a Lorca poem, or with Enrique Morente's translation into Spanish of Cohen's music for this song. Singing Spanish poetry to various kinds of music does not bother me in general, just in the specific instance.