We’ve spent the past couple of months focusing on Spanish composers for composer study. A list of five famous Spanish composers with short biographies of each is here. This website, 52 Composers, also has some very helpful information.
We concentrated on the compositions below and compared arrangements in which the guitar was the main instrument with other versions.
Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega- lovely!
Knowing that Joaquin Rodrigo was blind from the age of three after a diphtheria infection gave us a great respect for his talent and what he achieved in his lifetime. We can tend to see people and their achievements in isolation but knowing some of their struggles and handicaps enhances our appreciation of their accomplishments.The two pieces below are his most well-known compositions.
A short extract of the above played on the harp:
Isaac Albeniz was a composer and virtuoso pianist who had a huge influence on Spanish music. The first video below is guitar only and the second is an orchestral version.
Orchestral Version: – a good motivational theme to have going in the background when you’re doing serious house cleaning. I go up a gear when I hear this.
I almost passed by Manuel de Falla but I had a quick look to see what I could find and came across this piece which I recognised.
I include this cello version for Moozle because that is the instrument she plays.
The Piano Society has some free recordings of piano compositions written by another famous Spanish composer, Enrique Granados as well as a short biography.
Update: a couple of favourite pieces by Granados. The picture isn’t the best on the second video but the only other choice was worse.
Intermezzo from the “Goyescas,” Granados’ piano suite based on the artist Goya’s paintings; played on cello with guitar accompaniment:
This is exquisite – violin and piano: