A Flamenco Master Is His Own Ensemble


"The breathtaking moments in Paco de Lucía’s sold-out concert on Saturday night came early and often. Presented by Carnegie Hall in conjunction with the World Music Institute and and the yearly Flamenco Festival, the evening showcased Mr. de Lucía, the flamenco guitar legend, with as many as six other musicians in various formations. But first there was an expanse of stage and, seated at the center of it, just the headliner, intense, unsmiling and alone.

Forgoing both fanfare and strict tempo, Mr. de Lucía opened with a calmly sorrowful rondeña. His fingers flickered over his instrument’s nylon strings, in a spidery movement. He was eliciting a spectrum of singing tonalities from his guitar, while bringing space and silence into the equation. As an interaction with the instrument — and only implicitly the spellbound audience — it was a masterful, gemlike performance."

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