|Ccori Canastitay Monophonic
Called "Hori Canastitai" on the disks from Romania that were recorded live in 1961. (trad. arr. Moisés Vivanco - 2:17)
Recorded in 1952
|Review and Analysis of Ccori Canastitay by Nicholas E. Limansky
From Yma Sumac - The Art Behind the Legend
used with permission - all rights reserved, © Nicholas E. Limansky
Read more on the Legacy of the Diva Web site!
|"Though flowers die and my golden basket has no value, my love will remain eternal." (Program notes, Carnegie Hall concert, 2/17/54)
This song was a favorite with both nightclub audiences and concert goers. Yma's version of this Peruvian folk song is another commercialized re-vamping of the original. In public performances the piece reverted to the more traditional, authentic version: as a trio with guitar and percussion accompaniment. It was also popular during the Russian tour and there it was also given an authentic, ethnic presentation.
In this involved, 1951 version, a male chorus underlines Yma's exclamations and the bouncy, cheerful song quickly turns into a remarkable extravaganza of florid ornamentation and intricate, brilliant staccati. Supported by a string orchestra and brass, Yma tosses off passages that stun the listener for the obvious relish with which she plays among high Ds and Es. Obviously done in one take, this song contains the only recorded example of Yma faltering. During one passage of high staccati - which split in two - Yma becomes audibly tired and her pitch sags for a measure. Within seconds, however, she completely regains her composure and goes on to deliver some of her most impressive, machine-gun staccati on disk.
An obvious Lament, the music certainly fits the title. The coloraful orchestration includes, piano, strings, woodwinds, bells, brass, xylophone and reverberating devices. Like other songs in Legend of the Sun Virgin, Yma duets with herself. Different from other pieces in the Sumacian repertoire, however, this song opens with a Gershwin-like piano flourish that shows some fascinating jazz influences. This and others throughout the song lend an unusual aura when juxtaposed with the operatic and exotica elements. (Although it should be said that there is also an odd resemblance to Walt Disney's Snow White in a few of Yma's warblings.)
Yma's singing is certainly first rate and spans quite a range - almost 3 and 1/2 octaves. At the bottom is a dusky contralto D while the top boasts some typically fine high staccati work in addition to a successfully sustained high F. Although the ending is predictable, the brilliant flashes of coloratura during the middle section have the sheen of classical opera. It is a lilting aria-like number and certainly more interesting than other songs chosen for inclusion in the original release of Legend of the Sun Virgin. Why "Inca Waltz" was never released remains a mystery since it is an excellent example of Sumacian exotica. Actually, it is too bad that this song did not replace "No Es Vida", which was always out of place on the album.