Categoría: the bulls in English

Taurine Music

One evening, a full moon shone brightly over the bay at Cullera. It was in the spring of 1989 and on a platform outside the restaurant the local brass band sat waiting. In a few days Antonio Ruiz ‘Soro II’ would be promoted to full matador and tonight, after a gala dinner,  they were to perform a pasodoble written in his honor. Among the musicians, ready to play his part, sat his brother Vicente Ruiz ‘El Soro’, the popular Valencian matador and, surprisingly, a gifted trumpet player. Some years later I was invited to a music festival in the village of Buñol, not far from where maestro Manuel Penella wrote his very taurine opera ‘El Gato Montés’. At a concert in the local theater the magnificent philharmonic orchestra ‘La Artística de Buñol’ performed the pasodoble Vicente Barrera. However the highlight of the evening was the world premiere of ‘¡Oreja! ¡Escucha!’ a piece of taurine music by the Dutch composer Jan Bus and dedicated to me.  All these musical events took place in the Spanish province of Valencia which has a long and outstanding tradition and it is universally acknowledged that the best Spanish musicians (especially those on woodwinds) come from around these parts. Joaquín Rodrigo, the composer of the well known ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’, was born in the village of Sagunto, only 18 miles to the north of the...

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New taurine book in German

Some days ago, and to my surprise I received an envelope that on opening, contained the  book Schönheit und Schrecken, Vom Sinn der Corrida (Beauty and horror, The meaning of the corrida), an almost scientific approach to the corrida in the German language written by the eminent Martin Jurgens from Berlin.  I know the author, albeit vaguely. I think he was one of the initiators of the taurine website In the past he bought one of my books and I remember meeting him and his family once in La Malagueta (I think) during an August feria in Malaga. According to the information in his new book the author was born in 1944 in Berlin and after a doctorate on the late work of Robert Walser and an art-sociological habilitation (‘Modern and Mimesis. Proposal for a theory of modern art’) dr. Jurgens worked as a university lecturer until 2002. After that he had teaching assignments, at the (among others) University of the Arts in Berlin in the course ‘scenic writing’. He has worked for the theater since 1981 mainly as a director of more than 30 stage productions. Martin Jurgens saw his first corrida in Nimes in September 1963. An event with a legendary line-up of Diego Puerta, Santiago Martin El Viti and the newly promoted Portuguese matador Amadeo dos Anjos (who took over from an injured Paco Camino). The bulls came from the renowned ganadero Felipe...

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Victor Manuel Blázquez, 30 years a matador de toros

At 5.30 pm on a rainy afternoon on Tuesday October 9, 1990 Vicente Ruiz El Soro presented the 20-year-old Victor Manuel Blázquez with the ceremonial sword and muleta as a token of his alternativa. Three days earlier, the Feria de la Comunidad Valenciana had started with a novillada in which Vázquez novillos had been replaced by those from the ganaderia of el Conde de Mayalde. Novillero Miguel Martinez cut the only ear of the evening. The following day started grey and dismal and with cattle from Molero for a Venozolano, a Colombiano and the local Soro II on the...

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July 1990-July 2020 ,Thirty years Poncismo

July 1990-July 2020 Thirty years Poncismo On Saturday July 28, after a lunch with the medical staff of the bullring I went back to Tinto y Oro for my daily siesta. Although it began sunny, the day had become overcast and now it looked like rain and a thunderstorm threatened to burst. But the weather wasn’t the least of our worries. Some evenings earlier, during the traditional ‘desencajonada’, one of the animals from the Galache ranch, after being released from his travelling crate, had gone berserk, killed one of his brothers and injured two other. Upon learning that three Galache bulls had been taken out by the vets (well one was dead wasn’t it?) the empresa got four animals from Martin Berrocal’s El Toril. And because they had left it so late, he could only get them four five year-olds. When told about the change, first matador Roberto Dominguez  bluntly refused to face them arguing that he was medically unfit and hadn’t been able to get up in the morning and that his ‘Santander knee’ had locked. A medical certificate was promptly produced and presented. Second on the bill was Vicente Ruiz El Soro who apparently had done the same thing. He also argued that his bad leg had gotten worse and hastily required the necessary document from his personal physician in Madrid who sent it to Valencia by...

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Alternativa de El Soro II

Alternativa de El Soro II The six good looking bulls came from the grazing fields of the Antonio Arribas ranch and were probably handpicked. His brother Vicente agreed to be his sponsor, the other, Jaime, would be his picador. José Miguel Arroyo Joselito replaced the young Litri (an old injury made it impossible for him to attend) and Federíco Navalón El Jaro, one of the best silver toreros at the time, took care of the banderillas on the ceremonial bull. This alternativa should have taken place four months earlier – it was suspended due to five days of uninterrupted...

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