Carlos Guastavino: Abismo de sed

Written by Steven Blier

Artistic Director, NYFOS

In category: Song of the Day

Published June 15, 2018

Today is the day—Song of the Day turns 3!  Here’s a look back at our first week of songs  from NYFOS’s artistic director Steven Blier. 

I have three summer concerts to give, and I’ve just started to think about the last of them: NYFOS@North Fork, Latin Lovers (August 22 and 23). This will be a labor of love for me since South American and Cuban canción might be my greatest musical passion. I’ve just gotten done casting this project after jumping over a few hurdles (I’ll announce the singers in a few days) and am already burning to play my favorite repertoire in one of my favorite venues. To whet everyone’s appetite, here’s a Guastavino song, one that finds this self-effacing Argentinean master in an uncharacteristically tough, confrontational mood. I love Carlos Guastavino when he’s sweet and gentle, but that only makes me appreciate his butch side even more. Have a listen to “Abismo de sed,” sung by Teresa Berganza with true cojones. The poem is by Alma García—and this is what it says:

The native drums cry out to me
a message of solitude,
my sadness begs for wine
to burst into song.

Scattered with shadow
that spurs on the nightfall,
your mournful dreams travel
through an abyss of thirst.

I am from Tucumán,
I am a singer,
I come seeking wine
in eyes that are warm with love;
within my guitar
grow the vineyards of song.

My inner being will flower
with the burning embrace of your kiss,
red wine of the samba
to erase your sorrow.

The happy skin of the grapes
brings me a song of sunlight;
for the night and the samba,
the light of the wine is better. (Translated by S. Blier)

author: Steven Blier

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Called “the coolest dude in town” by Opera News, master collaborative pianist and coach Steven Blier is the co-founder and artistic director of New York Festival of Song. Here on No Song is Safe From Us, Steven blogs about the NYFOS Emerging Artist residencies, writes the engaging and erudite program notes for our Mainstage concerts, and contributes frequently to Song of the Day.


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