Who knows that Joaquín Rodrigo, creator of the world-famous Concierto de Aranjuez, was also a writer of distinction?
The blind Spanish composer wrote articles and music criticism throughout his life, and these essays reveal Rodrigo’s insights, humour and eloquence in subjects ranging from Bach to Stravinsky, and from Sephardic songs to the history of Spanish guitar. There are also illuminating commentaries by Rodrigo on many of his own works.
The book makes available in English for the first time some of Rodrigo’s most important writings on music. The book has a foreword by Sir Neville Marriner, and includes several iconic photographs and images.
A double CD of twenty of the articles, read by actor Gabriel Woolf, is available seperately.
“This is a great work…. brilliantly accomplished.” Pepe Romero.
On Mozart ‘Italy! Whoever says ‘Italy’ explains half of Mozart! After all, isn’t Mozart the greatest Italian composer of the 18th century?’
On Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony ‘Beethoven will return to Heiligenstadt, but he will not hear birdsong any more, neither in his ears nor in his heart. That does not matter. We will go on hearing it, for ever.’
On the Spanish guitar ‘That simple instrument… at times approached the doors of grand rooms on tiptoe, and stayed there as though transfixed and dumbstruck, listening to its fortunate aristocratic sister, the vihuela, played by the skilled, refined hands of the musician, Luis de Milan.’
The authors Raymond Calcraft and Elizabeth Matthews were both university lecturers in Spanish. The latter’s study of Jorge Guillen, Jaoquin Rodrigo’s contemporary, contains the first translations in to English of many of Guillen’s large-scale poems. Raymond Calcraft’s publications range from Cervantes to the painter Jaoquin Sorolla, and from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Manuel de Falla. As a conductor, specialising in the music of Spain from the Renaissance to the 20th century, he was Director of the Joaquin Rodrigo Festival (London 1986), and has recorded numerous works by the composer, including EMI Classics CD with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. He is the dedicatee of Rodrigo’s last major work, the Cántico de San Francisco de Asís.
“This is a document that will be revered for years to come.” Sir Neville Marriner.
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