Introduction by Paco Peña
When, in 1988, I was asked to write a religious work for the Wratislavia Cantans Festival, a mixture of feelings invaded me, from a sense of honour to delight and trepidation. Honour, because flamenco, the music I had learned from my personal roots and that had become my life blood, had been given the opportunity to link and share the platform with other, enormously prestigious musical works and groups in a completely different body of music within the classical mould. Trepidation because I have a great love and respect for the two cultures and would want to do nothing but justice to both.
I immediately fell in love with the idea. I have always thought that there is in the cry of the flamenco song a sincerity, a passion that sends piercing messages from the singer’s soul, supercharged with emotive content, and displaying very deep basic human feelings. The flamenco singer doesn’t sing a story; his song seemingly searches for his innermost sensitivities, retrieving and exposing them to no-one, or everyone; to Nature, or perhaps to God…
Thus, to me, flamenco seems like a spiritual experience, and I feel it is appropriate to choose it as a vehicle for reaching out to God in the context of a Christian Mass.
Fitting the Liturgy of the Mass to flamenco songs required making some changes to the actual written text. This I have done with the counsel of several friends, members of the Catholic Church in Córdoba: notably D. Veleriano Orden and D. Juan Moreno, Vicario General and Arcediano of the Córdoba Diocese, respectively.