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FastNotes

  • The ethos of a bygone Spain as captured in the paintings of Francisco Goya captivated Enrique Granados and inspired his crowning achievement, Goyescas (Los majos enamorados) (Majos in Love), a suite for piano.
  • The first of two selections on this program is El fandango de candil (Fandango by Candlelight). In the score Granados writes “Escena cantada y bailada lentamente y con ritmo” – an important instruction to the pianist, a scene to be sung and danced slowly and rhythmically.

  • This is followed by the immortal Quejas, o La Maja y el ruiseñor (Complaints, or the Maiden and the Nightingale). A broken-hearted girl shares her sorrows with the nightingale whose song of trills and arpeggios drifts away into the night.


Selections:

  • El fandango de candil
  • Quejas, o La Maja y el ruiseñor

The ethos of a bygone Spain as captured in the paintings of Francisco Goya (1746-1828) captivated Enrique Granados and inspired his crowning achievement, Goyescas (Los majos enamorados) (Majos in Love), a suite for piano in two books. Majos and majas were the idealized and romanticized lower classes of Spain, often depicted in exaggerated traditional attire. Granados’ portrayals of their amorous adventures, begun in 1910, are not necessarily based on specific paintings by Goya, but seek to capture the spirit of the artist’s work.

The first of two selections on this program is El fandango de candil (Fandango by Candlelight). In the score Granados writes “Escena cantada y bailada lentamente y con ritmo” – an important instruction to the pianist, a scene to be sung and danced slowly and rhythmically. This is followed by the immortal Quejas, o La Maja y el ruiseñor (Complaints, or the Maiden and the Nightingale). A broken-hearted girl shares her sorrows with the nightingale whose song of trills and arpeggios drifts away into the night. The distinguished English critic Ernest Newman said it best when he compared this music to “the voluptuous sense of passing the fingers through masses of richly colored jewels.”

– Grant Hiroshima