Joan Manuel Serrat bids farewell to Catalonia

“Thank you for coming to this party. So I can thank them one by one for having accompanied me for so many years. But put aside the nostalgia, because if you think about it, now we only have the future, words spoken by Joan Manuel Serrat last night en route to the Castell de Peralada Festival, the first stage in Catalonia of the marathon tour the vice of singing, started in April in New York. Farewell stage tour that will culminate at the end of the year in the singer-songwriter’s native Barcelona. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s absolutely leaving the forum, since when he announced his farewell to adornment, he didn’t rule out continuing to make songs and record them.

Time will tell if muses (and desire) will continue to smile on Serrat in the near future. As it is often said, nothing is more important than the here and now; and nothing is more relevant at this time than the warm ovation with which the public gathered in the Alt Empordà (full capacity, 1,350 spectators) received our protagonist this Saturday evening.

Singer-songwriter’s farewell tour won’t stop Serrat from continuing to make more songs from now on

Serrat, 78, had started his concert with Temps era temps, a famous song with an undeniable generational bias (“temps d’estraperlo i tramvies / flourites per sopar”), although this is not the only interesting hook of the piece in question . And it is that being the reflection of an era and a country (or rather countries), Serrat’s proposal goes beyond the mark of time. In his case, the classic, more than a practical label, corresponds to an inescapable reality: that of finding oneself in front of the best singer-songwriter of his time in the Spanish-speaking world.


Joan Manuel Serrat at the Castell de Peralada Festival

Ariadna Research / ACN

It should be added that last night’s concert was doubly special, since Serrat is the artist who has performed most often at this festival in its 35-year history, sometimes in formats as striking as with the Orfeón Donostiarra, or also in team with his friend Joaquín Sabina. Yesterday he appeared accompanied by an exceptional group of seven elements, among which stood out long-time partners and friends such as Josep Mas Kitflus (keyboard) and Ricard Miralles (piano).

Going back to the sixties, Joan Manuel Serrat and his band immediately tackle Cançó de bressol, to then jump on the first song in Spanish of the night, El carrusel del Furo. Moment when the singer-songwriter once again addressed the audience: “I have to thank you. Without you, I wouldn’t be here tonight. But I also have to thank the characters in my songs, which are neither true nor false. These are fantasies with a few drops of reality, or maybe the other way around”, he revealed before tackling a dynamic Señora, followed by Seria fantastic and the graceful Me’n vaig a peu.

great classics

At the time of writing this column, the Israeli singer Noa, a surprise gala guest, had not yet taken the stage and was to accompany her on chance is capricious. The forecast also indicated that Serrat traveled through several decades of his songbook offering a vision of his work in which, naturally, classics such as Mediterráneo and passages through the poetry of Miguel Hernández (Nanas de la onion, Para la libertad) and Antonio Machado (Songs).

All this, as well as early testimonials such as morning song or this ecological song before the letter which was Cropand wonders of the caliber of I only think about you, today can be a great day oh those little things, to name just a few examples of Serrat’s populous repertoire on such a special evening. Yes Words of love, of course, as the last encore of a recital of about 150 minutes.

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