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Album Review

Parra, Violeta – “Las Ultimas Composiciones De Violeta Parra” – [A.R.C.I. Music Chile]

mickeyslim   9/30/2020   CD, International

If, like me, you’ve never heard of Violeta Parra before, you, my friend, are in for a real treat.

Violeta Parra was a Chilean singer-songwriter, folklorist, and ethnomusicologist. She traveled across Chile, collecting over 3,000 traditional folk songs of her country which she was able to share with the world. Her enthusiasm for her country’s folk music evolved into her pioneering a roots revival they called “New Chilean Song,” effectively traditional chilean folk music with strong political themes of the time.

She traveled through Europe between 1955 and 1957, sharing some of the music she collected as well as her own songs. She later lived around Europe from 1963-1965, this time with two of her children and her granddaughter. for a few years with her children in the 1960s. During this time she became the first Latin American artist to independently exhibit their artwork at the Louvre.

Surprisingly, since she is basically a household name in Chile, this is the first Violeta Parra release for KFJC. 

Although these songs were the last she recorded, they are among her most well-known, “Gracias a la Vida” being the absolute gem here. The songs are very much in the Chilean folks music vein, with strong percussion and use of multiple types of guitars, including the charango, a tiny-bodied, 10-stringed guitar. Parra’s vocals are absolutely stunning. Her voice is hauntingly full, echoic, and strong, yet sweet and smooth. This was recorded and released in late 1966, a few short month before Parra committed suicide in 1967.

Unquestionably unparalleled. Do not miss this.

you heard it 10 times on kfjc! most recently:
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