Video: Les Luthiers Perform Johann Sebastian Mastropiero
The renowned Argentine musical-comedy troupe Les Luthiers have been entertaining audiences throughout Latin America and Spain for over four decades. The video below is an fine example of their sophisticated (yet accessible) brand of humor.
I’ll let ensemble member Carlos Mundstock introduce the skit in his inimitable way. Here’s a transcript, translated from the Spanish.
The Concerto Grosso alla Rustica by Mastropiero* takes its inspiration from a poem by the celebrated Torquato Gemini**, written while in exile in the Humahuaca Valley [in Northern Argentina]. The title does not correspond, as one might assume, to its musical structure, rather it arises from the person to whom it’s dedicated—an opulent lady of Tilcara***.
It says, “With romantic feeling towards a large and rustic lady.”
As an example, I’ll read the first strophe of Gemini’s poem that inspired Mastropiero, which goes thus, “Oh, my beauty! Oh, my darling! I laugh for you and cry for you, from the Fortress of Tilcara at the sound of my charango†.”
Let’s listen to Johann Sebastian Mastropiero, unscheduled, Concerto Grosso alla Rustica for chamber orchestra, two narrarators, and concertino Puneño†† with quena†††, charango, and drum.
(*Fictional composer; **Fictional poet; ***Town in Northern Argentina; †Small, traditional South American string instrument supposedly related to the lute; ††From Puno, Peru; †††Traditional Andean flute)
(photo: Courtesy of the Artists)