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Friday, August 11, 2017

Musical Interlude

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

Asturias, composed by Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual (1860-1909):

The above piece was originally written for piano, but the transcription for guitar is particularly beautiful and captures the spirit of Asturias, Spain, and has become one of the most important works of the classical guitar repertoire.

For whatever reason, I find this piece particularly-evocative listening on a summer's evening.

Bonus music/video below the fold:


  1. I needed that after the previous post and comments! Beautiful.

    1. Bunkerville,
      Exactly! And my intent for a respite.

  2. Ana Vidovi plays classical guitar exquisitely. The varied dynamic gradatiins she plucks from the instrument are astonishing –– deeply expressive and as natural as breathing. Rarely does one hear ANY instrurment played with such tender expression.

    I've not heard the piano version yet, but now fully intend to look it up. Even though the piecee was originally written for the piano, and Albaniz was a very great composer for that instrument, I can't imagine it being any more beauitful than this transcription.

    A lovely treat! Thanks so much, AOW.

  3. I've studied very little music from the Spanish repertoire, but I have had a special love for "The Maid and the Nightingale" by Enrique Granados played here in the definitive performance by the great English Dame Myra Hess:


    This recording inspired me to want to learn the piece, which I finally did in my early forties. The relationship I've had with Granados has been sublimely happy ever since. I only regret never having learned more of his Goyescas.

    My only other forays nto Spanish music include Ernesto Lecuona's Malaguena, which I learned at age ten, mostly to please my father. I remember performing it for the school assembly without ever having had a lesson on it. My teacher was not pleased when he learned of my audacity. In fact he was furious. Needless to say, I felt crushed.

    All I can tell you, though, was that i really DID play every note of it, and remember feeling very good about it.

    I also learned "The Ritual Fire Dance" by Manuel da Falla, which I also learned on my own at a tender age. I played both these flashy selections frequently whenever my parents wanted to show me off to their friends. (;-o

    Losing my innocence, and becoming more musically sophisticaated also meant losing a great deal of this youthful confidence. Too bad we can't seem to keep both at the same time! But, that's life.

    1. FT,
      As a Spanish major (the literature of Spain), I heard many of these pieces because they were used as background music at our parties. I fell in love with the sound!

      I never explored the pieces as piano repertoire, however.

    2. Most of the Spanish piano repertoire requires an advanced technique. It's very demanding –– on a level with large-scale works by Chopin, Schumann, Brahms, Liszt and Rachmaninoff. But the music well worth studying, even if one cannot fully master it.

  4. "If you must have politics..." always makes me feel like a hopeless heroin junkie !! :)

  5. FT, has expressed it well...a beautiful, evocative piece. As smooth and naturally played as breathing!



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