Thursday, December 06, 2007

Fave Music 6 - Asturias

I had planned to write up a new post on the dissertation topic, because I understand that everyone is dying to learn more about Finnish hockey. But it's after midnight now and I'm only sorta awake.

I discovered this piece of music when I was in my classical guitar phase. Within days of hearing it, I had located the sheet music and read it through front to back. It was far beyond my abilities at the time and is more so now, but I knew I had to learn to play it one day.

The music is by Isaac Albeniz and is part of the Suite Espagnole. It is called both Asturias and Leyenda. Albeniz originally wrote it for piano, but Andres Segovia adapted it for guitar a few decades ago and most people think of it as a guitar piece now. It is standard repetiore such that everyone getting a degree in guitar learns to play it, and you will see a lot of versions lying around YouTube. I think this version by John Williams is the best. He plays the whole thing so amazingly smoothly.

As you listen, you will hear a repeated appreggio type thing and a melody line going at the same time. It can sound so much like there are two guitars playing, but it's just the one, and is the genius of the arrangement. The melody line stays so clearly separate from the background. As the camera focuses on his left hand, you will see the thumb picking out the lower melody and the two fingers handling the background on the top two strings. Anyway, here you go:

If you would like to hear how it sounds on the piano, it's still pretty sweet there. Here's one version. By the way, the guy I linked to playing the piano version is a pretty impressive man. He's amed student in Australia and he's got videos of himself playing piano, acoustic guitar of songs he wrote, leading a band in a cover of Matchbox 20, as well as appearing in a Taekwondo tournament. What've I been doing the last 34 years?!

1 comment:

Church Lady said...

"What've I been doing the last 34 years

The paca is a serene, peace-loving animal who enjoys basking in the sun and grazing with other pacas. An occasional scratch behind the ears is highly satifying.
Pacas mainly enjoy food and mating season. They are a simple creature.

(btw-LOVED the guitar piece. I've never heard anything like it!)