Maria Soliña


This is the title of the song which see the collaboration of Teresa Salgueiro to the project of Carlos Núñez entitled "Os Amores Libres".
For the ones who do not know, Carlos Núñez is a galician artist which spread the unique music of his land, becoming its herald in the mass musical market. The music we are talking about have celt's and iberian's influences and the result is extremely strange. I bought the album with a great curiosity for this song in which I would have found Teresa singing in a completely different context from the ones she is traditionally used to (though, I would like to remember that the singer of Madredeus is not new to these "explorations", as it has dueted with the famous jazz singer Maria João and having sung songs by Gershwin). I was curious to test the flexibility of this extraordinary singer. Let's come to the song.
Maria Soliña is a legendary character of Galicia. It is told that this woman, after having lost his husband in a pirates attack, remained widow and was accused of sorcery and then she was tortured and killed by the Inquisition. The booklet of the cd explain us that this story has become the "metaphor of the human being remained lonely against the flowing of History". I prefer to call it a tragedy, in the most true and simple meaning of this term. Facing the listening of this song, after having read this notes on its subject, we remain astonished by the evident dichotomy between what the song seems to narrate and what it actually narrates.
The atmosphere has the algid tone which is a characteristic of the celtic music. But it is artificially created by the peculiar instruments and not by the melody which is instead eminently pop and which reserves to celtic music a far and imperceptible influence. Nothing has the tone of tragedy in this song. No melodic or harmonic detail has the sufficient strength to make us perceive the intensity of the history and of the feeling we are talking about. None of the instruments which have been used seems to have the expressiveness to communicate us with the mere notes the pain of a destroyed life. Even the refrain, which tries to convey a titanic image, is awkward and badly done.
In this moment enters the voice of Teresa. If we found her sure and dominant in the music of Madredeus or in the collaboration with Chainho, here with Núñez appears lost in the question between the loyalty to music or the loyalty to the content. The result is a mid way, wise and measured as always. At the first listening the voice of Teresa appears stolid, sugary, loyal to the interpretative choice of Núñez. After many hearings we can "feel" the deepness of the interpretation of the lisboetan singer. The tragedy doesn't shows, but shines through, in the same way in which a bad news shines through the eyes of the one who tries to hide it to us. The suffering of Maria pervades the "hidden inflections" of the voice of Teresa, permeating its sighs, wrapping around its vibratos. It is an interpretative choice that few singers can choose, because few singers are able to sing on many levels, granting to a melodic line more than one meaning, more than one emotion, more than one voice.
It would have been easy to slip into the melodrama, but Teresa flees it singing a "quiet sorrow" that has so much in common with the saudade. If she save an emotionally poor song on one hand, on the other hand she destroys it completely. The presence of Teresa Salgueiro makes the song unstable, not homogeneous and steals from it the interpretative and sonorous equilibrium. We already said the the voice of Teresa is great, almost in a physical meaning. And listening to this song we have the clear impression that its harmonic structure is too light to bear the "weight" of Teresa's voice. It is as the song collapses on itself. Even when Teresa uses a light and sugary singing, the deepness of her timbre continues to be beyond the expressive capabilities of the song which remains always flat, a superficial phenomenon.

Destructive is the power of emotion on banality.


from the site Madredeus - O Porto -