This week we are traveling to Spain, a country that, musically speaking, has done much to develop and enlarge music for the guitar. Many composers who write music for other instruments have been inspired by and incorporated elements of the guitar in their music. The first clip is of a modern day guitarist playing a very famous Spanish folk piece called Malaguena. There are many pieces entitled “Malaguena” and in general when used it refers to a Flamenco dance style from Malaga, a region in the southeast part of Spain.
Domenico Scarlatti was a Baroque Italian composer who lived from 1685-1757. I am including his music in our tour of Spain because he spent most of his adult life working in Spain in the court of Maria Barbara for whom he wrote many of his 555 keyboard sonatas. Listen in the example below for the guitar-style elements with the repeated notes and arpeggiated figures.
This next clip is of the piece called Asturias, which is part of a larger work called Suite Espanola written by Isaac Albeniz, a Spanish composer who lived from 1860-1909. He was a virtuoso pianist and a composer who incorporated many Spanish folk idioms into his music, similar to what Grieg did which Norwegian folk music that we listened to a few weeks ago.