RAFAEL RIQUENI on Solera Flamenca: Christmas which will go down in history

This week, on Solera Flamenca, we are bringing you one of our most special productions, a real dream come true: RAFAEL RIQUENI´s guitar. Riqueni is a true genius, a living legend of flamenco guitar. His creative skills are dazzling, and he has been -and will always be- an undisputable part of the history and evolution of flamenco guitar.

Please, bear in mind that, if you watch this video expecting to find a guitarist boasting of their technical skills: picados at the speed of light, rhythms with impossible off-beats… we regret to say this video is not for you. The music of such a genius as Rafael Riqueni uses its technique at the service of art, and not the other way round. However, we can really promise you, by watching this video, you will obtain a masterclass of harmony and composition, enriching and widening your knowledge of musical language, opening brand new horizons of creativity.

Rafael Riqueni was born on 16 August 1962, in Fabié Street, in Triana neighbourhood (Seville). Aged just 12, he performs as a flamenco guitar soloist. After only two years, he would be the winner of the two main guitar awards: Ramón Montoya Contest in VIII Contest in Córdoba, and VI National Contest in Jerez Nacional de Jerez, the latter being won again in 1981.

In 1986, Riqueni published what would be the first chapter in one of the most celebrated Spanish discographies ever: : “Juego de Niños”, where many harmonic and composition concepts would be introduced, commencing to define his personality and unmatched musical style with classical influences.

His second album, “Flamenco”, became a cult creation for the new generations to come. Rafael Riqueni surprises us with a work of solo guitar, under the look of pure flamenco, where he stands out as a virtuoso soloist. José Manuel Gamboa, well-known journalist, writer and musical producer specialized in flamenco, quoted “Villa Rosa” in “Flamenco” album, as the best Minera song ever recorded.

The ultimate confirmation took place in 1990 with “Mi Tiempo”, where Rafael Riqueni wrote new tunes which would confirm the crystal-clear evolving line of a new genius of the guitar.

Next album would be “Suite Sevilla”, in 1992, a conceptual work, inspired in flamenco and conceived under the classical trace of Spanish musical nationalism.

In 1994, Rafael Riqueni published “Maestros”, where he paid a tribute to Niño Ricardo, Esteban de Sanlúcar and Sabicas.

“Alcázar de Cristal” in 1996 would become his last album for the next 20 years. This retirement is explained by a personal tragedy, causing the worst consequences to him. From then on, his appearances would be exceptional, and accompanied by Enrique Morente. After the meeting with Paco Bech, it would be in a Flamenco Biennial in 2014 when a stage would witness the maestro´s appearance after such a long time. His performance, interpreting “Amarguras” with Paco Jarana and Manolo Franco would result in one of the most celebrated moments in the whole festival. Rafael Riqueni received the Giraldillo de Oro Award here, due to “his universal music, and profoundly from Seville at the same time, all of which puts him among the greatest in the guitar history”.

“Parque de María Luisa” is released in Maestranza Theatre in the late 2015, in a historically successful concert, being unanimously praised by the critics. Riqueni´s new album is published by Universal Music in June 2017, becoming a more than desired return of one of the greatest genius of flamenco in the history of Spanish music in general and flamenco in particular. What it is expected -and hoped- now is Riqueni´s next step in his musical evolution, his ever-existing reinvention. A work which unlocks impressionism, which may stem from flamenco, afterwards taking the path towards the breathtaking beauty of places and experiences which used to remain in the most intimate memory of the creator.

Rafael Riqueni´s music takes flamenco as its grounds, and its style would evolve with classical and contemporary music as influences. It is a process which could be foreseen in his album “Mi Tiempo”.​ According to Norberto Torres, Rafael Riqueni´s music has some similar features to the romantic aesthetics, such as: Contrast with preceding rules, complication and extension of the modulating processes, sentimentality, a new concept of harmony, rhythm, melody and design. Ramón Rodo Sellés speaks of natural-born musicality and a elaborate touch.

In today´s production we are offering a magnificent soleá, recently composed, where it can be noticed how astonishing his creative skills and musical wisdom can be. A video recorded with a guitar made by Miguel Rodríguez 1968, which accompanied the maestro for many years, and now reunited on Solera Flamenca after a long time separated ; a beautiful story of a reencounter, preceding this historical recording we are offering you now, which also serves our purpose of wishing all of you a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020, from the whole team of Solera Flamenca.