Recuerdos de la Alhambra

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It’s the 2016 A to Z Blog Challenge, so I thought I’d focus on one of my favourite subjects: Guitars.  Care to join me?

Recuerdos de la Alhambra

This is the only song in my list this year.  I thought it might be nice to take a break from some of the technical posts and my salivating over guitar manufacturers and guitar players and go back to something that just makes me happy to know guitars exist.

“Recuerdos de la Alhambra” (“Memories of the Alhambra”) was written in 1896 by the Spanish composer, Francisco Tárrega.  Although this piece seems to share its title with a Washington Irving book (“Tales of the Alhambra”), I haven’t been able to find any connection between the two, except for the inspiration of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.

The piece itself is deceptively “easy.”  It is a solo composition, but with the counter melody in the lower strings, it sounds more like a duet.  The “trilling” in the upper strings is played by “rolling” the middle, ring and index fingers in rapid succession to achieve the distinctive tremolo that makes the “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” the beautiful piece that it is. I’ve tried it and it is a difficult thing to keep the sound that even for the duration of the piece.

The Tárrega has been performed by some of the finest guitarists ever to grace a concert stage.  John Williams, Andres Segovia, Sharon Isbin and Pepe Romero are among the guitarists who have performed and recorded this piece.  It has been revoiced for piano and harp, and even for the human voice.

Have a listen.  I think you’ll find it a gorgeous piece.

Ana Vidovic

Lágrima – Francisco Tárrega
(Just thought I’d throw in another beautiful Tárrega composition for your enjoyment)

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