Chimo, between Music and Fiesta.
- Ontinyent, 27 August 1964. The night of the Alardos, the preliminary to the Fiesta. The Kábilas group is having dinner in the courtyard of the former “Hostal El Sol”.
A group of musicians enters, led by José María Ferrero. Following a few words addressed to Joaquín Sanz Aura, the music begins.
The other participants, who were dining, unaware of what was happening, raised their heads and listened. After just a few chords, the entire assembly had formed up around the courtyard, with Chimo Sanz in masterly form as platoon corporal. A myth was born.
Joaquín Sanz was a emblematic figure in the Fiesta. Born in Alcoy, he had lived in Ontinyent since 1918, with the Marrakesch in Alcoy genuine like fila and in Ontinyent he belonged to the Kábilas.
For the fiesta, for the work, for the human relation, Joaquín was a genius. José María felt true admiration for him.
The commission for the march was the idea of two young Kábilas, friends of the Maestro, Carlos Cerdá and Paco Martínez, to commemorate Joaquín Sanz’s golden jubilee as celebrant.
They visited José María 11 days before the night of the Alardos and gave him the commission, for a moorish march. José María never accepted commissions but Joaquín was a special case. He was bound to.
From that night when Chimo was born, the march has spread day by day until it has become the piece most played of all festival music.
It is the march par excellence, the march identifying the entire geography of the Moors and Christians, and particularly
- the city where Maestro Ferrero was born, Ontinyent.
The introduction to this moorish march, in the tubas accompanied just by cymbals, is not just an unusual resource, but confers an air of some mystery. The brilliant passages in the brass, with a central section where trumpets and trombones dialogue, are interspersed with simple melodies in the winds, not technically particularly difficult for the players, but easily recalled and sung or hummed by the listener, making Chimo extremely attractive for the celebrant parading it.
In August 1987, the year when José María Ferrero died, following the entrance of the Ontinyent music bands, they played the moorish march Chimo together as homage to Maestro, directed by his son Daniel J. Ferrero Silvage. After a gap of a year, in 1989, it was performed again to commemorate its twenty-fifth anniversary and was consolidated as an official act in the Ontinyent fiestas, in part to recall the composer’s figure but above all as recognition of festival music and the music bands.
Chimo is Ferrero’s finest work, not because of its technical quality but for something more important, as the march which most faithfully and in a masterly way reflects the entire ambience and the world of the Moors and Christians, so that not just his name but more significantly his work has acquired dimensions which may it indispensable as part of the music for the fiesta.
Chimo’s popularity has taken it beyond all limits. When people call for Chimo, they are calling for “Fiesta”.
D. Joaquin Sanz (CHIMO) in the center of the image