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Concierto de Aranjuez, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Rafael de Burgos & Pepe Romero (Live). Pepe Romero, guitar.
Concierto de Aranjuez By Joaquin Rodrigo Guitar: Pepe Romero, guitar.
Conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, the Danish National Symphony Orchestra/DR Symfoniorkestret
Sound producer: Bernhard Güttler TV director: Arne J Rasmussen
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The Concierto de Aranjuez is a musical composition for guitar and orchestra (cfr. concerto for guitar and orchestra ) by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo . Written in 1939, it is Joaquín Rodrigo’s best-known work, and its success establishes the composer’s reputation as one of the leading composers of post-war Spain. His adagio is uniquely popular, having been sung by multiple figures in opera and melodic song.
Written in early 1939 in Paris , far from the tense atmosphere of Spain in the last stages of the Civil War and close to the European turmoil before World War II .
This is the first work written by Rodrigo for guitar and orchestra . The orchestration is unique: rarely is the sound of the guitar confronted by an entire orchestra.
However, the guitar is never diluted, but the solo of the instrument stands out at all times. Its world premiere took place on November 9, 1940, at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona , with a program that included works by Dvorak , J. Rodrigo, JS Bach , Sor , J. Tárrega and A. Cassella .
The soloist was the guitarist Regino Sáinz de la Maza , accompanied by the Barcelona Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by César Mendoza Lasalle , being the first concert for guitar and orchestra in the history of 20th century Spanish music .
The work would not be premiered in Madrid until December 11, 1940 at the Teatro Español in Madrid under the direction of Jesús Arámbarri , with solo guitar by Regino Sainz de la Maza himself. Later it would be published by the Literary General Society of Authors of Spain in 1949.
A work premiered in Spain in 1940, on a Spanish theme, had to celebrate, or pretend to celebrate or allow the interpretation that it celebrated, the current political situation (the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco ) .
The celebration of a palace and gardens of a Habsburg king , from the 16th century, did not offer any possible ideological affront to the regime, to the monarchical background, and harmonized with the policy, then still being formed, of celebrating the Spanish past, especially the one before the Free Institution of Education.
The concerto is divided into three movements, Allegro con spirito , Adagio , and Allegro gentile .
The second movement, the best known of the three, is marked by its slow pace and reserved melody, introduced by the English horn , with soft accompaniment by guitar and strings. A feeling of reserved regret pervades the piece. The ornamentation is gradually added to the melody at the beginning.
An off-tonic trill on the guitar creates the first seeds of tension in the piece; they grow and take root, but periodically relax back to the tune. Eventual climactic beginning of an accumulation. This breaks back into the main melody, molto appassionato , voiced by strings with woodwind accompaniment.
The piece eventually resolves to a arpeggio quiet guitar , though it is the strings in the background rather than the final guitar note that resolve it.
The third movement is mixed, in the sense that it mixes 2/4 and 3/4 rhythms.
The Concierto de Aranjuez was written in Paris , to reflect the gardens of the Royal Palace of Aranjuez , the spring residence of King Felipe II in the second half of the 16th century , and later rebuilt in the mid-18th century by Ferdinand VI .
The work tries to transport the listener to the sounds of nature from another place and another time. The melancholic notes of the first and second movements make me remember, according to some writers and poets, the last time Boabdil saw his beloved Alhambra before going to Morocco . Other authors refer to the sad and beautiful notes as a reminder of the tragic events of the Spanish Civil War .
According to the composer, the first movement is ” enlivened by rhythmic spirit and vigor with neither theme…interrupting its relentless rhythm .” The 2nd movement « represents a dialogue between the guitar and the solo instruments » ( English horn , bassoon , oboe , horn ), while the last movement « recalls a formal dance in which the combination of a double and triple rhythm maintains a tense tempo close to the next bar ».
He describes the concert as capturing ” the fragrance of magnolias, the song of birds and the gush of fountains ” from the gardens of Aranjuez .
From what its author told, the origin of the work was as follows: he and his wife, the Turkish pianist Victoria Kamhi, married since 1933, spent their honeymoon in Aranjuez , hence the name of the concert. Some time later they went to Germany. There they hoped to have their first child. The child was stillborn and his wife was about to die.
In the second movement, Joaquín questions God for the spontaneous abortion his wife has had, losing his son and asking that his wife stay alive. This is expressed by the pulse of the guitar (at the beginning of the second movement), which represents a beating heart. The movement has sorrow, anger and hopelessness. At the end, at the climax of the guitar and orchestra, the author “hears God” and finally there is acceptance of the fact and the author’s peace.
Numerous musicians have reinterpreted the work, including Miles Davis legend jazz , accompanied by adapter Gil Evans . On the album Sketches of Spain , Davis testifies: ” That melody is so strong that the softer it’s played, the louder it gets, and the louder it’s played, the weaker it gets .”
Paco de Lucía performed the work in 1991 at the Bulevar Theater in Torrelodones together with the Cadaqués Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Edmon Colomer and the musical advice of José María Gallardo del Rey , with Maestro Rodrigo present, who said a few days before “I am really delighted that my concert is performed as many times as possible, and I think it is very good that it is approached on this occasion with a treatment so different from the classical as that of flamenco” .
The adagio of the Concierto de Aranjuez has been covered by the clarinetist and composer Jean-Christian Michel on the album Aranjuez ; which has known worldwide distribution with a circulation of 1,500,000 copies. Jean-Christian Michel considers this Concert to be one of the pinnacles of the second half of the 20th century and of contemporary music.
On June 9, 2018, in Madrid tour , during the Queen + Adam Lambert of Spain , the legendary guitarist Brian May plays a shortened version of the Concierto de Aranjuez, winking at his Madrid fans, also serving as an introduction to the song ” Love of my life “, one of the highlights of the concert.
The adagio is the most famous and most recognizable part of the work, and has been used in movies, reports television , and advertisements. Many listeners and musicians assume that this musical fragment is much older than it really is, which becomes a problem for Rodrigo, since the performers did not know that they had to pay him royalties because they assumed that it was out of copyright ( according to what happened with Davis/Evans Sketches of Spain from the Spanish version, for example).
An arrangement kind of chanson française of the second movement, with words by Guy Bontempelli and entitled “Aranjuez, Mon Amour” achieved enormous diffusion in the voice of Richard Anthony in 1967, and is in fact considered the singer’s greatest success. Later, Richard Anthony recorded a version with Spanish lyrics and a synth beat reminiscent of Jennifer Rush’s hit , “The Power of Love”.
Afetr Richard Anthony’s pop arrangement , there have been numerous melodic and opera singers who have interpreted (with different lyrics and languages) the adagio.
One can cite: Plácido Domingo , José Carreras , Montserrat Caballé , José Feliciano , Lola Flores (in the key of rumba , with the guitar of her husband El Pescaílla ), Nana Moskouri , Cusco , Paloma San Basilio , Dyango , Demis Roussos (” Follow Me”), Dalida (“Aranjuez La Tua Voce”), Massimo Ranieri , the « queen of fado » Amália Rodrigues , Dulce Pontes , Sarah Brightman , Andrea Bocelli and the opera-pop quartet Il Divo . This quartet made up of four male singers: the Swiss Urs Bühler , the Spanish Carlos Marín , the American David Miller and the French Sébastien Izambard , covered the song for four melodic voices, included on their album Ancora 2005 .
The Lebanese singer Fairuz gave know, around 1990, an unusual adaptation of the adage: “Li Beirut”, alluding to that city. The guitarist Carlos Santana has also played the adagio in the key of jazz .
According to a study published by the General Society of Authors and Publishers (SGAE) in July 2005, the Concierto de Aranjuez is the most popular piece of Spanish music in Japan.
Jazz pianist Chick Corea quotes this work before he begins playing his standard Spain jazz on Return to Forever’s album Light as a Feather.
Michelle Kwan won her fifth world figure skating championship by skating a performance of the Ikuko Kawai Concerto .
A version of the adage featured prominently in the film Touching the Wind 1997 , which starred Ewan McGregor . It is quoted in the film’s credits as Orange Juice from Rodrigo’s Concert , making a pun between Aranjuez and Orance Juice , whose English pronunciation is very similar.
In the movie School of Rock , hearing the students play the Concierto de Aranjuez , the main character Dewey Finn has the idea of forming a band with the children.
The theme for Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is based on the second movement of the concerto.
An adaptation of the adagio can be heard in the song Gadir, belonging to the album Ancestral Romance by the Spanish Power Metal band Dark Moor.
The versatile guitarist Buckethead performs “Sketches of Spain (For Miles)” on his album Electric Tears .
An excerpt from the adage can be heard in the episode ” Basil the rat ” Fawlty Towers .
The Guatemalan singer Ricardo Arjona mentions the Aranjuez Concert in his song Primera Vez in his album Animal Nocturno .
The Dominican merengue player Fernando Villalona (El Mayimbe) recorded in 1982 a version in merengue time, with the arrangements of Andrés de Jesús (Dominican saxophonist) where the sound of the guitar by the trumpet of Luis Corniel also Dominican. The theme which is contained in the production Feliz Cumbe!! it has the title Concierto de Aranjuez (Instrumental) recorded by Kabaney Record.
Some singers Jewish , specifically of the Sephardic tendency , have adopted the melody main of the adagio for the Kaddish , one of the most important parts of the liturgy Jewish . This can be seen especially in the Sephardic congregations of Latin America ( Mexico and Argentina ), as well as in Israel . The phrasing of the Kaddish verses corresponds almost perfectly to the phrasing of the adage, resulting in a religious effect and color tone surprising .
Japanese Ska super band Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra on their 2013 album Diamond In Your Heart perform a ska version titled Aranjuez .