ENRIQUE GRANADOS - La Guitarra Poética

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ENRIQUE GRANADOS - La Guitarra Poética - Stephen Marchionda (Guitar) - Hybrid Super Audio CD - 760623200965 - Released: August 2017 - MDG 9032009-6

Danzas Espanolas, Op. 37
La Maja de Goya
El Mirar de la Maja
Ochos valses poéticos

What makes the music of Spanish composer Enrique Granados (1867-1916) so genuine and authentically indigenous to his native country, is its thoroughly engaging duality, which is made all the more obvious in these fine transcriptions for guitar by Stephen Marchionda. By this I mean to say that the instrument takes on the double duty of both singer and accompanist which, as the title suggests, lends the music its 'poetic' charm, and allows the listeners to imagine for themselves what love story or adventure the folk singer may be recounting. After all, as a young man growing up in Barcelona, and to help support the family, Granados would play the piano for hours every day in various establishments and cafés and improvise in the style of many well known composers and by doing so, most likely became quite the spontaneous raconteur himself, which added a natural narrative flow and dénouement to his music. And nowhere is that more telling than in the Villanesca, Andaluza, and Danza Triste from the Danzas Espanolas, Op. 37. In fact the guitar takes on an almost orchestral quality in the Rondalla aragonesa from the same suite. Marchionda's expressive playing further enhances these qualities by emphasizing the melodic line and lending it a pronounced lyrical character, and by doing so, like all great musicians, effaces himself from the picture, leaving behind only the guitar. The quality of the recording captures the sound and character of the guitar so well that, if you close your eyes, you'll find yourself basking in the sunlight of a highly aromatic Spanish flower garden.

The instrument used in this recording is a 2008 Antonio Marin Montero, with Savarez Blue Corum strings, for those of you who appreciate such details.

Jean-Yves Duperron - September 2017