[Hidden Rarities #6] Alfredo Carriòn

Alfredo Carriòn, in his long career as a composer, boasts important works and many collaborations with Spanish and non-Spanish artists. After completing his studies at the Reall Conservatorio de Musica de Madrid, he began working as a conductor for various shows for the Teatro Musical. He was also director of the Coro Nacional de Espana in the Opera section, as well as a teacher in the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramatic de Madrid and Catedratico de Lectura Musicale of the Real Escuela Superior de Canto de Madrid. Today he is Subdirector General de Musica of the INAEM and of the Theater of the INAEM and Director of the Departamento Dramatico of the SGAE. In addition to the academic level, Carriòn worked as an arranger, achieving the greatest popularity in the mid-1970s, participating in the Spanish version of “Jesus Christ Superstar“. He also collaborated with Miguel Rios on “La Huerta Atòmica” and together with Los Canarios he composed their Progressive masterpiece “Ciclos“. He then decided to produce a personal work and in 1976, he recorded “Los Andares Del Alquimista” at the Kirios Studios in Madrid. The album has two different faces on the two sides, on the Face A three tracks that are a mix of Folk, Lyric and Prog music, with the participation of the soprano Maria Aragòn, Antonio Garcia Del Diego (Los Canarios, Triana) and a good number of classical musicians. Face B opens with a track that follows the musical paths of the first part, and then closes with a song of over 16 minutes, which is the title track of the album. It is the most complex and supporting piece of the entire work, the one that best expresses the musical ideas of Alfredo Carriòn, who participates on the album only in the drafting and composition but does not sing or play any instrument. Rich in orchestral references and Progressive cues, even the Folkloristic component is noticeable, especially in the first four tracks. A “find,” moreover, quite difficult to find, this album is this artist deserve to be part of this column. The mix of different musical genres succeeds, also thanks to the collaboration with high-level artists. An artist and an album that are hardly considered, but deserve more attention. It is not considered a masterpiece, but a good listening, a little different from the usual proposals, especially for the personal style of the compositions. Apart from the Prog parenthesis, this man is a top-level teacher, one of the greatest figures in the musical university field of Spain. Not everyone would assign the task of working on the Spanish version of the Rock Opera Jesus Christ Superstar. In an interview years later he said: “My concern on this album has been to address a majority but without cheap concessions. I have accepted in principle the rhetorical elements of “pop”, but I have tried to express myself through them with all sincerity. The dose of originality that may be in this album has not been sought in itself, but as the only means I have found to express myself with authenticity. In “pop” music is often a mere pretext to set or accompany the text, well, the songs on this album have been structured first musically, without any supporting text, once finished completely I have looked for who put them letters. These, which once selected and adapted have seemed very beautiful to me, have been a secondary concern. Another thing, my music is genuinely Spanish, for the harmony, for the cadences and for the melodic bias of most of its themes. Of course, it is not topical Spanish music, not even the best known. I have not wanted to make a cult or pedantic work with this album. Strictly I do not know fundamentally the scope of what has been done, I only know that I needed to do it. From his influence in the middle I hope to learn for a good company.


Los Andares Del Alquimista (1976)

Lineup and Musicians

Antonio de Diego / Vocal
María Aragón / Vocal
Angel Andrada / Guitar
Julian Llinasa / Flute, Keboards
Jose Maria “Chema” Gonzalez Maldonado / Drums
Celestino Charro / Bass
Francisco Martin / Violin
Marcial Moreirasa / Viola
Belen Aguirre / Cello, Viola
Manolo Figuero / Double Bass
Jose Luis Montolio / Piano
Antonio Cal / Flute, Saxophone
Vicente Gasca / Trumpet
Jimmy Kashisian / Trombone
Javier Benet / Percussions
Juan Iborra / Percussion

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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