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Yma Sumac Discography Song Listing
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Review, Analysis and Recordings Containing
Chuncho
Chuncho Monophonic
Based on Birds from the Broadway musical Flahooley, this version was recorded live in Bucharest, Romania.  Note: playtime includes voice introduction.  (Moisés Vivanco - 6:51)
Recorded in 1961

Review and Analysis of Chuncho 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!
As one would expect, Chuncho! is the most impressive of the surviving selections.  Performed in a fascinatingly intricate, almost seven minute version, it is considerably longer than the Capitol Records version of 1953 (on Inca Taqui).  The performance on this recording shows tremendous artistic growth since the original version ("Birds") ten years earlier (1951).  By 1961, "Chuncho!" had evolved into a staggering display of vocal exotica.  Performed to Moisés' guitar accompaniment there is a stark fascination to this performance enhanced by echo devices and bizarre Sumacian vocalism.  All the effects from the Capitol recording are here -- cries, growls, wails, insect noises, grunts, wind and bird effects and more.  And to answer the question undoubtedly on reader's minds, yes she does indeed do the "triple-voice" trill although in this case it is pitched at high E rather than the A above that - as it is on the recording.  Even so, it is a remarkable effect and as Yma has admitted herself, it was one that did not always happen.  One can hear the stunned silence of the audience before they begin to applaud.  "Chuncho" became a prototype of a form of singing not further developed until the late 1970s, early 1980s and the experimentation of Yoko Ono.  Yoko's fascination with recording the widest spectrum of human sound was continued with various twists by such new-wave artists as Lene Lovich, Nina Hagen, and the un-classifiable Diamanda Galas.  All derive, however, from Yma’s original conception of Chuncho! There is a marked difference, however, between the ideas and music of Sumac and those of Lovich, Hagen and Galas.  In a manner of speaking, Yma represented the Romantic Period of this type of musical expression while Lovitch, Hagen and Galas represent more modern concepts.  All strive for the same result - the exploration of the possibilities of human sound and imitation.

This virtuostic performance from the Russian tour shows why international audiences were reverential in their attitude towards Yma.  It is frightening in its vocal brilliance and imagination.  Yma was anything but a static performer when it came to her Incan songs and her pre-occupation with impromptu singing led to the expansion and refinement of many pieces.  Also contributing to her success in Russia was the fact that these pieces had not been in use for years and so Yma was able to approach them with fresh inspiration.

Chuncho  is included on the following releases
catalog no: EDC 257
Unusual single of performance recorded live in Bucharest, Romania.  Side two is an instrumental by Moisés Vivanco, also recorded live during the same show as the opening overture.  As shown, paper sleeve is different on each side. 1961 Romania
catalog no: EDE 073
Only release of live Yma Sumac performance. It is interesting to note some differences between pressings that are not readily noticeable without playing it. Those with the label shown here usually - but not always - include voice intros in Romanian for each song. Some also have visible track breaks . . . 1961 Romania
catalog no: EDE 073
Only release of live Yma Sumac performance. It is interesting to note some differences between pressings that are not readily noticable without playing it.  Those with the label shown here do not generally include voice intros in Romanian for each song and have visible track breaks. Also importan . . . 1961 Romania
Vinyl 12" LP reissue of Yma Sumac's 1961 LP of the same title using masters from the 2006 CD reissue on the same label as part of their 50th anniversary series.  This latest release, as in the previous one, does not benefit from any mastering and simply uses the raw Electrecord tapes that were supp . . . 2013 United States
catalog no: Play Music - 0000
Bootleg release of the 1961 album, Recital, which was originally pressed in Bucharest, Romania and licensed exclusively for reissue through ESP-disk.  This Peruvian release was made without license or permission of the copyright holder. The booklet notes are both in Spanish and in English. 2011 United States
catalog no: CD-2116
Contrary to the title, this is a compact disc reissue of a concert that took place in Bucharest, Romania and not Russia. The original LP pressed in Romania on the Electrecord label was called Recital and used the same cover art although the colors were different and the photo was in black and white. . . . 1992 United States
catalog no: ESPDISK4029
Remastered CD reissue of Yma Sumac's 1961 concert in Bucharest, Romania contains all original 13 tracks and one additional track that was previously unreleased on the original LP. The tracks are in an all-new order in which they were likely performed. Unlike an earlier CD release, which came from ca . . . 2006 United States
catalog no: ESP 4029
Compact Disc reissue of Yma Sumac's 1961 LP of the same title using masters from the 2006 CD reissue on the same label as part of their 50th anniversary series.  This latest release, as in the previous one, does not benefit from any mastering and simply uses the raw Electrecord tapes that were supp . . . 2013 United States
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