I just ordered a new CD release by the Huelgas Ensemble entitled "The Art of the Cigar" or "El Embrujo del Cigarro." Its subtitle is "Songs, ballads, and hymns in honour of the cigar from the fiteenth to the twentieth century." It is on the Deutsche Harmonia Mundi label, and the conductor is Paul Van Nevel. It is available at Amazon among other places.
Here's what is published about the contents:The contents show a tremendous diversity:
This new programme unveils the dreamy melancholy, subtle irony, and often humorous nature of the true cigar smoker.
This is a programme which leaves the confines of rigid concert repertoire, and focuses firmly on music and poetry. It is a journey that takes the listener from the exotic cigar district of Cuba to the English Victorian cigar salons, from the artistic cafes of Berlin and Seville to the nineteenth century "fumoirs" of Paris.
Both literature and music have often used the vibrant character of a salon as the inspiration for (and creation of) works.
Here one is seduced by the intoxicating aroma of the "Joie de vivre," contemplative calm and melancholic wisdom so often associated with the ever dreamy, oft-quixotic purveyor of the cigar.
The texts on offer here come from the pens of both well-known writers (Kipling, Byron, Lope de Vega, Perrault) and lesser-known poets, with the music supplied in the most part by "unknown masters." They do have one thing in common, however: they were all great enthusiasts of the cigars and smoking of them - exactly like Hemingway, Churchill, Brahms, Liszt, Verne, Tolstoi and so many other composers, poets, painters, philosophers and politicians.
One particular element of the evening will be the employment of the so-called "contrafact method", whereby familiar musical sequences shall be used to bring some of the poetry to melodic life.
The melange of the music and the exotic imagery of the cigar smoke will be sure to carry the listener off to a new plateau! It was indeed Liszt who once said: "A good Cuban cigar closes the door to the vulgarities of the world."
The texts and music of the programme all come from Paul Van Nevels's private cigar library.
|Tobacco is a dirty weed||The Bristol tune book (1876)||02'22|
|Como el humo del cigarro||Juan Blas de Castri (ca.1561-1631)||03'06|
|O Metaphysicla tobacco||Michael East (ca.1580-1648)||02'51|
|Louange de la Havane||Carl Ludwig Friedrich Hetsch (1808-1872)||02'20|
|De Vuelta Abajo o de Oriente||José Peyro (1702-1768)||03'26|
|My last cigar||Charles Wesley (1793-1859)||03'36|
|La guajirita de Vuelta Abajo||Pedro Riquet (17th century)||03'38|
|Das Zigarrenlied||Augustus Edmonds Tozer (1857-1910)||03'22|
|So I have my cigar!||W. Augustus Barrat (1864-1928)||04'44|
|Eloge du tabac||H. Lazerges (1817-1887)||04'16|
|To a segar||Paul Lebrun (1863-1920)||03'08|
|Fumeux fume par fumée||Solage (floruit ca.1400) from codex Chantilly||05'01|
|Open the old cigar-box||Daniel Towner (1850-1919)||05'38|
|Tobacco, tobacco, sing sweetly for tobacco||Tobias hume (ca.1569-1645)||03'17|
|I like cigars beneath the stars||E.C. Walker (1820-1894)||02'47|
|Elogio||Anonymous (Spain ca.1520)||02'33|