Clavier Companion - July/August 2017 - 50
Enrique Granados's musical postcards
unfortunate that many of his works are unknown
and his music is not performed more frequently.
Granados's piano pieces are grouped into three
distinct stylistic periods: Romantic, Nationalistic,
and Goya or Goyescas. All are melodically
expressive and rhythmically appealing, but these
compositions stand out to me for their soulful
and endearing qualities.
"Zapateado" from Six Pieces on Spanish
Folk Songs (Nationalistic style period)
The most popular piece in this collection, "Zapateado"
conveys the rhythmic footwork of Spanish dancers.
It combines the virtuosity of an exciting dance with
the emotional expressiveness of a cantabile melody
depicting the contrasting moods of the Spanish
Excerpt 3: "Zapateado" from Six Pieces on Spanish Folk
Songs, by Enrique Granados, mm. 1-3.
Twelve Spanish Dances, Op. 5
(Nationalistic style period)
The pieces in this collection were published
individually in the early 1890s. This is a cycle of
keyboard vignettes depicting Spanish life, and
was the first work for which Granados received
"Oriental," Op. 5, No. 2
The many civilizations that inhabited Spain
produced great artistic benefits. "Oriental"
communicates the exotic cultures of the Moors
and Gypsies who lived in Spain's southern region
for centuries. The listener is transported back in
time with its Middle-Eastern ambience.
Allegro de Concierto, Op. 46 (Romantic
A concerto for solo piano, Allegro de Concierto follows concerto-sonata form with a double exposition,
and a cadenza that appears non-traditionally before
the recapitulation. It epitomizes a highly emotional
rhapsodic and improvisatory style.
Excerpt 4: Allegro de Concierto, Op. 46, by Enrique
Granados, mm. 3-4
Excerpt 1: "Oriental," Op. 5, No. 2, by Enrique Granados,
"Andaluza," Op. 5, No. 5
The title refers to the southern region of Spain
called Andalucía. This work is popular with both
pianists and classical guitarists. In a Gypsy cante
flamenco style, the grace notes suggest both
the plucking sounds of the guitar and the finger
snapping (pitos) of the dancers.
Excerpt 2: "Andaluza," Op, 5, No. 5, by Enrique Granados,
"Lament" or "The Maiden and the
Nightingale" from Goyescas Part I, Op. 11
(Goyescas style period)
In this work, Granados combines his two stylistic
periods, Nationalistic and Romantic, to arrive by
a fusion of the two to his third period-Goyescas.
Granados admired the tapestries and paintings of
Francisco Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828). As one
of Spain's notable painters, Goya portrayed the
picaresque spirit of everyday life in Madrid during the
late eighteenth century. The nightingale (included
in the title) was a popular symbol of romantic love.
According to Alicia de Larrocha, the main theme
was based on a folksong Granados heard a young
girl sing in Valencia. Utilizing variation form, this
piece is the most poetic and popular piece of