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Chants d’Espagne is a suite of pieces for the piano by Isaac Albéniz, (given the opus number op. 232) originally published in 1892. The two pieces Córdoba and Seguidillas were added in the 1898 edition.
The Prelude is also known under the titles Asturias and Leyenda, titles given to it when it was incorporated into an extended version of Albéniz’s Suite española, (two years after the composer’s death). It is probably more famous today in one of its guitar arrangements. Many have attributed the first transcription for guitar to Francisco Tarrega who put it in its most recognizable key, E minor; it was subsequently made popular by Andrés Segovia. The theme, or versions of it, is often used in film music and popular music.
Albéniz’s biographer, Walter Aaron Clark, describes the piece as “pure Andalusian flamenco” with a main theme that mimics the guitar technique of alternating the thumb and fingers of the right hand, playing a pedal-note open string with the index finger and a bass melody with the thumb. The theme itself suggests the rhythm of the buleria— a song from the flamenco repertoire. The ‘marcato’/'staccato’ markings suggest both guitar sounds and the footwork of a flamenco dancer. The piece sounds as though it is written in the Phrygian mode which is typical of bulerias. The second section is a reminiscent of a copla — a sung verse following a specific form. Clark states that it is written in typical Albéniz form as it is “presented monophonically but doubled at the fifteenth for more fullness of sound. The music alters between a solo and accompaniment that is typical of flamenco. The short middle section of the piece is written in the style of a malagueña— another flamenco style piece. The malaguena borrows two motives from the previous copla and builds on them. The piece returns to its first theme until a slow “hymn-like” passage ends the piece.
This is one of the first excuisite ( Extremely beautiful and, typically, delicate ) selection of music that Yasmara is interpreting and producing.
I hope that you enjoy the song as much as I enjoyed practising and playing this song.
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