zaterdag 11 augustus 2012

Concierto de Aranjuez pt 2 ("Adagio") 1940/1947


The Concierto de Aranjuez is a composition for classical guitar and orchestra by the Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo. It is probably Rodrigo's best-known work, its success establishing his reputation as one of the foremost post-war Spanish composers.

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According to the composer, the first movement is "animated by a rhythmic spirit and vigour without either of the two themes interrupting its relentless pace", The second movement ("Adagio") represents a dialogue between guitar and solo instruments (cor anglais, bassoon, oboe, horn etc.)", and the last movement "recalls a courtly dance in which the combination of duple and triple time maintains a taut tempo right to the closing bar". He described the concerto itself as capturing "the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds and the gushing of fountains" in the gardens of Aranjuez. Some say that the second movement (" Adagio" ) was inspired by the bombing of Guernica which happened in 1937. In her autobiography, the composer's wife Victoria maintains that it was an evocation of the happy days of their honeymoon, and a response to Rodrigo's devastation at the miscarriage of their first baby. Rodrigo, having been blind since age three, was a pianist and did not play the guitar, yet he still captured the spirit of diversity of the guitar in Spain. (Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

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This concerto was composed in 1938, a time of considerable upheaval in Spain. It was premiered in Barcelona in 1940,
Concierto de Aranjuez
Premiere Date 9 November 1940
Guitarist Regino Sainz de la Maza
Orchestra Orquesta Filarmónica de Barcelona
Conductor César Mendoza Lasalle
Venue Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona

On 11 December 1940 the concerto received its first performance in Madrid, at the Teatro Español de Madrid conducted by Jesús Arámbarri, with the same soloist, de la Maza. But "Concierto de Aranjuez" was not recorded until 1947 or 1948 (the exact date is not clear). It is this premiere recording originally issued by Columbia on three 78s in Spain in the late 1940s that has been re-mastered for CD. (SEE PIC ABOVE)
Regino Sainz de la Maza plays the guitar with the Orchestra Nacional de España, conducted by Ataulfo Argenta.
Label: Columbia (3 RECORDS SET)
Catalogue number: RG 16066, RG 16067 & RG 16068

Here is a scan of the first 78:

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The ORIGINAL version is also contained on the next CD: Regino Sainz de la Maza is on the right.

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On December 16, 1947 a very young guitar-player, Narciso Yepes, made his Madrid début, performing Joaquín Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez with Ataúlfo Argenta conducting the Spanish National Orchestra. The overwhelming success of this performance brought him renown from critics and public alike. Soon afterwards, he began to tour with Argenta, visiting Switzerland, Italy, Germany and France. During this time he was largely responsible for the growing popularity of the Concierto de Aranjuez. The composer Rodrigo said this in an interview What can I say about Narciso Yepes? What can I say about the guitarist to whom we owe the international success of the Concerto de Aranjuez? Yes, it was in Paris in 1947 where Ataulfo Argenta, Yepes and the Spanish National Orchestra met to illuminate my unique opus at a time when no one knew its true future. From then on, the Concierto de Aranjuez took on a new nature, and it is for this same reason that I am grateful to Narciso Yepes for the fruit of an intense collaboration After an honorable but lackluster start with guitarist Regino Sainz de la Maza, this concerto was not played between 1940 and 1947. Then, Ataulfo Argenta introduced 19-year-old Narciso to Rodrigo who handed over the score, saying: "Take this, chiquito (young man), take this concerto. With this, you will go around the world" After hearing the fruit of three weeks of labour by the guitarist, Rodrigo embraced him, saying: "This will make us both famous"

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Narciso Yepes made two early recordings, both with Argenta one in mono with the Madrid Chamber Orchestra (released between 1953 and 1955 on DECCA), and the second in stereo with the Orquesta Nacional de España (recorded in 1957 and released in 1958 on COLUMBIA). That last one is pictured above and can be heard on de next soundfile






The Concierto de Aranjuez was inspired by and written for the gardens at Palacio Real de Aranjuez, the spring resort (or palace) and gardens originally built by Philip II in the last half of the 16th century, and later rebuilt in the middle of the 18th century by Ferdinand VI. The work attempts to transport the listener to the sounds of nature in both another place and time.

Aranjuez foto's
Picture of Madrid Province Gardens close to the Palacio Real de Aranjuez (Royal Summer Palace).

Gentleness becomes longing in the Adagio. The guitar strums quietly while the English horn plays a plaintive melody inspired by the saeta, an Andalusian lament sung during Holy Week. This lament was sung by a few women as a religious statue was carried through the streets, and their cry would be picked up by the crowd. In this case, the guitar and English horn pass the theme back and forth, and eventually the entire orchestra takes it up, mimicking the keening of the crowds. The lamenting theme has a heartfelt quality inspired, according to a friend of Rodrigo's, not only by the saeta but in response to the death of the composer's infant son. Although an extended cadenza by the guitar leads the orchestra to a passionate climax, the movement ends quietly and reflectively.

Coverversions:
Quite a number of musicians have reinterpreted the work, usually the second movement, perhaps most famously jazz legend Miles Davis in the company of arranger Gil Evans. On the album Sketches of Spain (1960), Davis says: "That melody is so strong that the softer you play it, the stronger it gets, and the stronger you play it, the weaker it gets.

http://www.discogs.com/Miles-Davis-Sketches-Of-Spain/release/404001

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The legendary jazz pianist Chick Corea used the beginning of the second movement in 1972 as an introduction to his hit composition "Spain" (Album "Light as a Feather") After the intro, the song switches to a fast, steady samba-like rhythm, in which the main theme and an improvisation part are repeated.

http://www.discogs.com/Chick-Corea-Return-To-Forever-Light-As-A-Feather/release/1490904

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Al Jarreau used the same intro in 1980 in his arrangement of "Spain (I can recall)" as a vocalese on the album "This Time"

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In 1967, the French singer Richard Anthony brought out a single named "Aranjuez Mon Amour", with lyrics by Guy Bontempelli. It was a Top 10 hit in France in the summer of 1967. Anthony's version generated a stream of different versions of Rodrigo' s " Adagio" (all in 1967)

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In 1971 a version of the Adagio was released as a single entitled "Rodrigo's Guitar Concerto" by Geoff Love, (under the name of Manuel & his Music of the Mountains). This reached No. 3 in the British singles chart in 1976.

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The "Adagio" is likely the most famous, and most recognizable part of the "Concierto de Aranjuez", and used in numerous movies, television shows, and commercials. Consequently many people will have heard it without knowing its title or composer. Many listeners and musicians assume that the piece is much older than it is, which became a problem for Rodrigo, since performers frequently failed to pay him royalties because they assumed the piece was out of copyright.

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