Bicentennial of Felix Maximo Lopez (1742-1821)
"The Nonsense Or The Work Of The Crazy Ones"
by Alberto Cobo
Opera in three acts (www.superopera.com)
Duration: three and a half hours
"The greatest discovery in the history of Spanish music". As I titled it more than 20 years ago and spread it all over the world ...
Symphony Act I - The Crazy Ones - 1815 - Félix Máximo López (1742-1821)
In a painting that lived more than 20 years ago in the "Casón del Buen Retiro" (Madrid), a portrait, located in the room dedicated to the painter Vicente López and right in front of the most famous canvas of the countenance of Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, a gentleman Major, D. Félix Máximo López (1742-1821), dressed in official court clothing and leaning with one arm on a table fortepiano (possibly by the Spanish builder, Francisco Fernández) and the other hand holding a score written to copyist's hand and picking up with my arm and between one leg a wooden cane with a bronze hilt, I set my gaze to realize that his face and eyes / brittle gaze wanted to express a feeling of dissatisfaction with what in his hand he presented as a work test. Said Portrait was commissioned by his son Ambrosio, also a musician who would replace his father as the first organist, the best painter / portraitist of the Court (and possibly one of the best in the world) in 1810, when the portrayed, the already first organist of the Royal Chapel (Royal Palace of Madrid) was already about 69 years old. On the front of the fortepiano, the following dedication reads: “To Don Félix Máximo López, first organist of the Royal Chapel of S.M.C. and in praise of his high merit and noble profession, filial love ”. No one better than his to appreciate how much he owed to his father and at the same time qualify him both for his professional height and for what this work (musician, composer, instrumentalist, writer and historian dedicated entirely to culture) means for the world, clarifying that it is something noble (many other professions are not so).
Today it is exhibited in one of the main rooms of the Prado Museum, the change occurred years after my discovery (1st. Edition and world recordings) operatic spread internationally through the Internet and many experts found it incredible news . The objective was and continues to be, to bring to light one of the greatest masterpieces of universal and Spanish literature of classical music and opera, since in addition, text and music belong to the author (some numbers serve to allow subsisting in time a collection of old Spanish dances of which for the first time a written expression was had and may also compile many popular sayings, proverbs or sayings that have never been known, even now, after more than two centuries , or maybe many more of its existence).
Manuscript of the Zarzuela / Opera by Félix Máximo López
The National Library of Spain has published the manuscript of the Zarzuela / Opera by Félix Máximo López (1742-1821), "El Disparate O La Obra De Los Locos", which I commissioned from them more than 20 years ago and paid out of pocket. the one that was microfilmed.
It is very nice to show off things, but for ethics, the managers or attorneys of them should be mentioned. In addition, it also looks good to exhibit works that were not known at all 20 years ago and are now on everyone's lips thanks to me and nothing more than me, for my personal work and of my own initiative, discovery, study, editing, recording. and non-stop dissemination of this work.
According to my research, the opera by Félix Máximo López, not only covers a large part of the Prado Museum, but also museums in Europe and the United States, due to the number of characters that intervene and to whom allusion is made, mythological, biblical, aristocratic, religious, legendary, artistic, religious, etc. It may be that in part his son Ambrosio gave the painting to the Prado Museum for this reason.
It seems that my first article that I exhibited here on my website was not enough:
To manifest the importance of this work. They have spent more than 20 years maintaining it and with millions of visits and readings, with references from many scholars in a diversity of writings and works referring to the Spanish Opera, having brought / given a copy of this printed work to different public institutions, which continue to cover up eyes and ears, blind science but secretly "copying" and manipulating at will and interests and undermining the artistic height of the composer to the maximum to justify 2 centuries of almost no presence in the musical world, of mediocre composer / artist or of little value.
About the text. If the sayings cannot be located within a literary genre, they belong to a form of old expressiveness that has not known how to re-name itself over time, and on the other hand, they have characteristics that separate them from literature, locating them Within Folklore, in the case of FML it would be necessary to think about creating a separate chapter because its style in this Work or Opera is designed with a new modality, the creation of phrases with the appearance of sayings that contain a hidden message, sometimes they seem like a kind of conjectures about a historical point unknown to the world, a wisdom that requires studying to unravel it, since they cannot be pigeonholed among the "moral", or "philosophical", or "psychosociological", but many would be in the section of "Historical-cultural notes of famous facts or characters, and that nobody knows" and / or sometimes only cultural ones related to literary books or pictures or mythological themes related to the Art, sometimes religious / theological in nature, Biblical or Genesis matters. At the same time they contain traits of sarcasm, a teasing and somewhat daring point. These phrases could also almost be included within the term riddles - a riddle is a type of riddle with a statement, usually in the form of a rhyme. They are simple riddles in which something is indirectly described for someone to guess. The statement includes clues for their solution-, sometimes these enigmas are not so simple but are covered up as paradoxical puzzles, or puzzles with a challenge of propositional logic -almost always of a historical nature-, they challenge the viewer to obtain the answer , the correct enigmatic sense from a set of sentences (which may or may not be theoretically true, but which is intuited that when chosen to be included in an opera or work with masterful connotations, they could all be true. They could also be included sometimes within the type of logic riddles "knights and knaves" –in the form of sentences that expose, ask, and answer- although providing some 'period' element that today needs to be investigated to arrive at some kind of understanding, which clarifies something, which for a researcher actually assumes it this way since it is necessary to search and investigate a lot to find the meaning, or possible if gnified, or what it might refer to.
Or -to bring together a collection of old Spanish dances in the music of this work-, I would also like to compile songs and adages, sayings and jotas, disused proverbial sayings and phrases, or that could be some or all of their own gestation.
The scenic tonadilla was a genre of musical theater that triumphed in Madrid theaters from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century. It is a brief, satirical and funny theater piece where Spanish customs are reproduced. FML composed, let it be known, five stage songs prior to this great work (which I dated in 1815 following a criterion of proximity, although Barbieri differentiated two parts written at different times):
• The lawyer and the resalada, Tonadilla a duo
• From the bees, Tonadilla a tres (1761) [with violins and horns]
• From the hideout, Tonadilla a cuatro (1761) [with violins and horns]
• From the conversation, Tonadilla a solo (1761)
• The Andalusians, Scenic Tonadilla (1761)
The influence of this genre is evident in “El Disparate or La Obra de Los Locos”, the satirical and funny aspect is still present, although not the short one, since the duration is of a great opera of more than two hours in total.
His countryman, Lope de Vega Carpio (Madrid, November 25, 1562 - Madrid, August 27, 1635), one of the most important poets and playwrights of the Spanish Golden Age and, due to the extent of his work, one of the most prolific authors of world literature, he was perhaps the forerunner of the Disparate subgenre in Spanish Theater.
[Those phrases, words or even actions obviously lacking in logic and that, for comic purposes, constitute, so to speak, the flesh and blood of both the old popular poems called precisely "couplets of nonsense" and of the theatrical works belonging to the aurisecular subgenre. of the burlesque comedy (also known by his contemporaries as a joke or nonsense comedy).
On this old poetic genre, the "couplets of nonsense", which goes back at least to the Nonsense of Juan del Encina (at the end of the 15th century) and the most frequent structures of verbal nonsense, see Chevallier and Jammes, 1962, and Periñán, 1979.
Initially the most frequent function of some loose nonsense is to introduce a humorous saying of the figure of grace or to make the public laugh at the expense of some grotesque and unconsciously ridiculous character.
The ridicule of a grotesque character by exploiting his credulity in the face of incoherent statements and then attributing even more absurd interpretations to him can be exemplified in "They are not all nightingales," a carnival and festive background comedy. Incoherent and anachronistic mixture of real and pretended or mythological characters, which is as we know one of the characteristics of the old "ballads of nonsense." Another example of anachronism in the following statement by a boastful brave man: «About Rome with Bourbon / I found myself on that occasion, / and in Santangel with the Pope, / about removing Godofre de Bullón from his cloak» (El ruffián Castrucho) .
Another feature is that the will to make the public laugh at the expense of the simple, who believes everything, and who later repeats even the same absurd story is very clear, adding to it funny mistakes and linguistic prevarications.
With certain frequency in the work referred to by Lope, another type of nonsense this time and more directly connected, although in very different proportions, with the comedy itself. These are those that Lope puts on the lips of his crazy characters or, more frequently, who for circumstantial reasons pretend to be crazy. That of madness would surely be a very helpful theme for Lope: on the one hand, it allowed him to amuse the public with clashes and funny things, and, on the other hand, attributing to his characters a feigned madness provided him with remarkable facilities for the elaboration and complication of the tangle.
Within this general section on the nonsense of madness, a particular case is that of the characters that could be called "sane-crazy" —in the line, for example, of Licenciado Vidriera Cervantino—, those who with incoherent words at first sight .
The carnival atmosphere of San Juan —a party on the occasion of which not a few burlesque comedies were premiered at the court of Felipe IV— carried a long tradition of verbal freedom and nonsense.
This genre of musical nonsense could be a preamble to high comedy and humorous theater by Jacinto Benavente (Madrid, 1866-1954), or later by Enrique Jardiel Poncela (1901-1952), who uses grotesque, ridiculous or implausible situations. This is achieved through ironies, lively dialogues, misunderstandings, surprises or by mixing the sublime and the vulgar. But under the trick of nonsense or the most absurd situation hides a harsh and bitter criticism of society.
An illustrative example is the character of Perote in El falcón de Federico, already designated as "crazy" in the cast of the comedy, significantly announced by the annotation "Sale Perote, crazy, with long colored dress", but which immediately shows his obvious common sense, then another character commented: "How well they say that crazy people / always tell the truth!" His comments on the sources of insanity, poetry, etc., though paradoxical in his way, are also very sensible. Called "sane-mad" in the same work, he even goes so far as to formulate a prophecy (that Federico will win Celia's love "with a hawk", which will be confirmed at the end of the play, although at the time it seems pure nonsense. All his phrases and his advice in comedy are thus much more acute than truly absurd. Where nonsense does appear totally devoid of logic and meaning is on the lips of the real madmen, or also the feigned madmen, but in the latter case only when the characters try to convince their interlocutors, for reasons of vital convenience, of the reality of their madness. Examples of this type abound in many comedies. Let us see some. In The madman by force, a real madman says: " Surrender, Luzbel, that I am / the angel Saint Nicholas "; another:" Well, I am Pontius Pilate, / no more than halfway up; / that from the middle below I am / the rocín of Saint Martin. "In La locura por la honor , a character who has gone mad with rage for not being able to take revenge on his rival - since he is the king's son - manifests his madness, underlined by the words of the other characters ("Flee, Melanto, the madman is letting go!" many feathers on the head ", id.), in the fact that he takes himself for the eagle of Jupiter (" The eagle of Jupiter in Gavia, / a celestial bird do you think little? [...] Oh, Flordelís, if you would see me flying here, / with these soft and soft wings; «Do you know that I am the eagle that waits / carries errands to high Jupiter?». In El sane loco, a feigned madman tries to demonstrate the reality of his madness by saying: «Today the devil has let loose / the children are naked. / Listen, Mr. Don Gaiferos, / what as a friend I speak to you: / that the gifts of the friend / are the healthiest advice [...] Outside, outside, Rodrigo! ». And so we could continue to cite not a few more fragments, being for example very frequent, as is already deduced from the title, in the comedy Los locos de Valencia. The crazy people attributing themselves and attributing crazy identities to others, randomly shuffling historical eras and names of legendary characters, but their verbal inconsistencies, however frequent, do not really influence the entanglement or the general tonality of the comedy, to the extent that they are no more than distinctive signs enclosed within the narrow limits of what we might call "normal" madness. Another more ambiguous and fruitful treatment of the nonsense of the madmen —especially the pretended ones— is found in some comedies where said characters pronounce phrases or commit apparently foolish actions but in which the audience can see clear metaphorical allusions to the unjust situation of the protagonists or the injury they are suffering. Their nonsense are thus at the same time comic factors and more or less concealed allegations in favor of the personal cause that these protagonists defend through their madness. We will adduce two reliable examples in this regard. In The Crazy Sane, the nonsense that the prince says, by pretending to be crazy, often have a double meaning. Apparently based on incoherent allusions to heroes from mythology or antiquity, in reality they almost always refer, in a code understandable to the viewer, to the character's own situation. A certain hidden coherence can also be found in a sonnet in which the character addresses God as if he were Abel who complains about Cain (the prince is also the victim of a traitor and fears dying because of him). It is true that on some occasions, when to defend himself against a danger he has to convince others of the reality of his madness, his statements seem more clearly absurd, but almost always one can continue to trace more or less direct allusions to his personal situation.
Two examples of this type are given when he addresses an interlocutor - actually an accomplice of the traitors - calling him "Brother Longinos", or when he alludes to his plans to regain power by saying: But how am I so happy having the god Neptune , so harsh and importunate thrown out of my element? Well, Venus was born in the sea, that's why she gives him her help; but while I am in doubt I want an army to form. Let out four hundred candles that watch over my care well, with forty thousand soldiers against deception and caution ... Through these double-meaning statements, the protagonist, despite his follies, does not truly lose for the public his status as a noble and main character, and the nonsense thus takes on a new function as a sign of complicity with the viewer, and even as an announcement of the final rehabilitation of the character unjustly forced to feign his madness. The same thing happens, although with different nuances, in the interesting comedy Belardo el furioso (which, as is well known, is quite clearly a magnificent anticipated counterpoint to La Dorotea's autobiographical structure). The central character, Belardo, in whom Lope projects his failed love affairs with Elena Osorio and expresses his illusory desire for the recovery of his beloved, goes crazy at the sudden heartbreak of his shepherd, and the author effectively leads him very far down the road. of incoherence and nonsense, for example when he makes him write five lines of defiance on the ground, with his staff, and then pretend that his friend will take the "paper" to his fortunate rival. The desire to show his madness also appears in annotations such as "Belardo comes out gracefully armed with a cane for a spear": as a result of this burlesque staging, another character intervenes ("Siralbo also comes out gracefully armed, pretending to be Nemoroso and with a cane by spear ", and finally" Here they fight, and Siralbo is defeated and falls to the ground. "But on other occasions his nonsense is not so exclusively comic. For example, he once affirms that his chest is open, materially open, and He asks a friend to look inside him. The friend plays along: "You are made ashes of burning. / You have neither gall, nor roast, / nor does it resemble more than the spine; / the heart is a coal." , and the "madman" continues: "Try / take a better look at the liver and spleen ..." This nonsense, in reality, is nothing more than the materialization of the metaphorical fire that consumes his body and heart. meaning: when his shepherdess disappears —voluntarily— Without realizing it, he imagines that, like Eurydice, he has been bitten by a snake, and decides to go like Orpheus to look for her in hell, taking his imagined claim to very incoherent extremes, but also demonstrating in this way the admirable firmness of his love. The nonsense of the character certainly contributes to his burlesque degradation, but it is a very relative degradation, insofar as his state is due to an unjust love betrayal. Furthermore, almost all his follies could be classified as poetic follies, and even in a certain way heroic, since they derive from the violence of his love and tend towards the final recovery of his beloved, which Lope was thus able to achieve in a dramatic creation already not in real life. The ambiguity of the protagonist is revealed by the characters around him: "Oh, crazy, I laugh at you!", Says one, but also "Forgive that crazy man," almost always oscillating between compassion and laughter: "Such I am, that at one point I cry and laugh ». In this case, too, the use of nonsense goes beyond its simple function of comedy. Another field very close to that of madness, and also very conducive to the appearance of verbal and behavioral nonsense, is that of the disturbance of the mental faculties then designated as melancholy. The aurisecular theorists considered melancholy as a mental illness almost always caused, without any responsibility in the patient, by a serious emotional frustration or disappointment. It is easy to understand how much play he could give Lope, for the construction of his entanglements, the immersion of his characters in a melancholy that depending on the case could be real or feigned, provisional or definitive. As a disease caused by love pains, it occurs, for example, in Federico's Falcon or The wedding between two husbands.
Illness, but in its effects very close to madness, and with it it is often confused by characters less prone to wise therapeutic disquisitions. Furthermore, the outbursts of rage suffered by melancholic people are identical to those of madmen, and their nonsense is not distinguished by any particular originality either. One of them, however, seems somewhat more unique to melancholy, and that is that affected individuals believe they are dead, which occurs both in the dramatic fictions of the Phoenix and in real life of the fifteenth century. Murillo and Velarde: Those who [melancholic] are judged to be dead, and do not want to eat or drink, saying that the dead do not eat or drink, and with this delusion they die or they take their own lives.
This peculiar nonsense is exploited particularly in The Wedding Between Two Husbands, where its use has a double aspect. On the one hand, the "death" of the melancholic Phoebus can move compassion, insofar as it serves to metaphorize the pains of an unbearable situation: he dies, he says, as it is not permissible for him to reveal his secret (he is in love with his fiancée). best friend). An example of the expressiveness of his complaints: «Don't you see that I am dead and cold, / and that the earth is calling me? / Then take me to bury; / that having is bewilderment / in bed a dead body / of suffering and being silent ». But the character's crazy assertion that his death is real, and not just metaphorical, immediately gives rise to a long, highly contrasted scene of undoubted comedy, in which Phoebus insists that his servant, a funny man, also die with him. naturally he is not very willing to obey him.
The same self-allusion to the protagonist's "death" —both crazy and melancholic, since, as Lope has said, does not always differentiate the two pathological states— is found in several comedies of the Phoenix, for example El loco por Fuerza or La locura por honor her. But it also appears in a very special comedy, whose title already announces the central role that melancholy is going to play in it - and therefore the nonsense that accompanies it - and which for this reason deserves in our search for possible antecedents in Lope. burlesque comedy a particular analysis. We are talking about The Brooding Prince. Our long-suffering readers will not have failed to notice that the various nonsense evoked up to now, although they are of the same nature as those that later will come to nourish the future subgenre of burlesque comedy, never reach the density and degree of systematization that they have previously found. The mid-fifteenth century will define the latter. In The melancholic prince, however, connoisseurs can point out at first glance an infrequent accumulation of characteristics apparently very typical of this subgenre. Let us now go on to evoke some significant fragments. The most notable are probably not, despite their abundance, the nonsense that the central character, the "melancholic prince," does or says. This protagonist, in love with his younger brother's lady, the Infant, pretends to be sick with melancholy to get his father the king to grant him the hand of his beloved, and to prove his fiction, he speaks, for example, with fire, conjuring it to Let him burn the whole palace "which you are burning me", he insists that he has two heads, he gives, as a good melancholic, to say that he is dead, and repeatedly utters a thousand disconnected nonsense, of the kind illustrated in the quote next: I struggle with my thinking to keep the intent, which has raging waves. He is already entering the sea, and that he is a whale he will say, sole or salmon, perhaps, if you are not going to stop him. I am thoughts and smoke, and a woman, who is far less, and my breasts are full of the evil in which I consume myself. I am an insufferable thought, I am pain that does not end and I am a wild beast, hard and incomprehensible. I am the sea, I am vain air and I am the heavy earth. I am the peace of your war and, finally, your brother.
It could already be a bit strange that a crown prince, representative of the royal power, is during almost the entire comedy shooting in such a way and at the same time constantly reminding the public, in very revealing parts of his duplicity, that his is a disease totally faked mental. In addition, his melancholy, despite originating from his love frustration, is very little heroic, and in any case it does not allow him at the end of the play to marry the intended lady (an outcome that in the other melancholic comedies absolved them in a certain way of all the above nonsense). On the contrary, this degradation of a real character would be very normal in a burlesque comedy, which by its very essence did not have to respect even kings. But, well, one could still think that said prince, more than a true antecedent of his burlesque successors, is simply one of many frustrated lovers, whose melancholy has been carried this time by Lope to the last and most incoherent consequences of him. .
Indeed, the true common, basic —generic— characteristic of the works that the fifteenth century publishers described as burlesque, that is, of those belonging to the subgenre that they themselves were — at least by example — defining, is not a specific quantity or percentage of nonsense - this is not but the consequence of the initial approach - but the denial, from the beginning, of any type of mental, class, moral and argumentative logic or coherence.
In hypothesis, the true cradle of burlesque was not "The melancholic prince" —although later it was nurtured, in a parodic key, with many of its constituent elements—, but some festive circle of joyous wit used to contests and compositions. poetics "suddenly", possibly meeting at the beginning of the 15th century in the Court of Spain or perhaps in one of the Spanish Courts of Italy, in which one day the idea arose of bringing to the three days of a comedy the incoherent but tasty Verbal pleasures of the old nonsense couplets, as well as the jocular, free and crazy spirit of the palatial mojiganga.]
SHOOT AND COMEDI A BURLESC A IN LOP E - Frédéric Serralta - LEMSO - FRAMESPA University of Toulouse-Le Mirail