Madrid, .- The melody to the piano of “To my friends” that composed Alberto Cortez has sounded today in the ardent chapel of this legendary Argentine artist, who died at the age of 79 in Madrid, to which family and friends have been fired. expertise and his great humanity, “a great culture in Spanish”.
The headquarters of the General Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE) in Madrid, an entity of which he was a member since 1966 and where he had 438 registered works, has hosted this Friday the ardent chapel of Cortez on a hazy afternoon where hail and rain They have accompanied the family and friends who have come to his farewell.
The president of the SGAE, Pilar Jurado, friend of the deceased, has remembered the great humanity of Cortez, and has asked to be remembered as “a great”.
“He was an immense being with an immense generosity and capable of filling with illusion” the people, whom he made “dream of castles in the air”, he pointed out in reference to one of the most famous titles of his songs.
He has also highlighted his optimism because at 79 he was still singing. In fact, the artist had commitments in Puerto Rico, in the Dominican Republic and in Mexico, after concluding at the end of 2018 another tour, and preparing a new album with different themes than his last show, “Boleros”.
Jurado has expressed his sadness for saying goodbye to a friend but also his happiness because the SGAE, which was “the house” of Cortez, has welcomed his ardent chapel, to “a great one of the culture in Spanish”.
The president of the SGAE has used to call for Spain to “mime more its artists, those who have made dream and remember,” he stressed: “we must protect and give them love until the last moment.”
Next to the coffin installed in the Manuel de Falla room of the SGAE headquarters, surrounded by wreaths of flowers, including that of the singer Rafael and the one of the embassy of Argentina, a photograph and grand piano have served to pay tribute to this composer of mythical themes such as “When a friend leaves”, “Distance” or “A corner of the soul”.
The pianist Néstor Ballesteros, who accompanied Cortez years ago in his tours, has played three songs in homage to the singer-songwriter, the first of them composed last night to say goodbye to him, he told journalists.
Then he played “To my friends”, with lyrics and music by Cortez, and with which they used to start most of the recitals they shared. And finally, “Eran tres”, a song that the Argentinian dedicated to Pablo Picasso, Pau Casals and Pablo Neruda.
“It was an honor to work with him, besides being a huge artist, he was an absolutely endearing person”, recalled Ballesteros, who has emphasized his composing, his poetry and his “wonderful” voice.
“No wonder it captivated the audience in so many places,” said the pianist.
The SGAE has created a Facebook page for people who want to leave their messages of condolence in “Alberto Cortez, leave your last goodbye.”
Cortez, who was admitted to a hospital in Madrid on 27 March, died on Thursday as a result of gastric ulcers whose cure was complicated. Born on March 11, 1940 under the name of José Alberto García Gallo in Rancul, La Pampa, he had been living in Madrid for 40 years.
With a Grammy Award for artistic excellence in 2007, he was also awarded the Silver Medal at the New York Film Festival of the United States (1980), as “Most Popular Foreign Singer” in Cuba (1982) and with the Gold Medal to the Merit of the Fine Arts in Spain. (EFE)