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Classical guitar in Spanish music

Torroba, Rodrigo, Falla and Turina, among others, were Spanish music composers for classical guitar in the 20th century.

The 20th century can be identified as the golden age of classical guitar. And there are many circumstances that confirm this classification, including the important work generated during this century, especially Spanish music about the musical nationalism, where a great amount of melodies, harmonies and rhythms were used in compositions that the Spanish audience was able to recognise easily.

The classical guitar has attracted many Spanish music composers, its ability to be a small orchestra, but with its own personality, technical possibilities and multiple aspects in its sound, has been a claim for composers.

It is said that Torres with the evolution of the instrument and Tárrega with the music, were decisive in order to give it recognition so people stopped identifying it with only folk music. But we must have into account Andrés Segovia’s great work in the 20th century who made the contemporary composers dedicate their creativity to the six orders instrument. Their contribution enshrined the classical guitar internationally as a concert instrument.

Spanish composers such as Federico Moreno Torroba, Joaquín Rodrigo, Manuel de Falla or Joaquín Turina, we should also add others like the Italian Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco or the Mexican Manuel Ponce. Being "Concerto en Re" and "Concierto del Sur" respectively, two major works composed to be accompanied by the orchestra.

Moreno Torroba was known for his compositions for zarzuelas and operas, but also for an extensive work composed for classical guitar. Turina was a prolific composer who created Spanish music of several genres, and although they were not many, his compositions for solo guitar are very important in the guitar world.

Best known by the public in general are Falla and Rodrigo. The "Three-Cornered Hat" and "El Amor Brujo" are some of the many compositions by which Falla is recognised, in the case of classical guitar, his only work for this instrument was "Homenaje pour le Tombeau de Claude Debussy " but the essence of the instrument of six orders was present in many of his musical work.

The case of Maestro Rodrigo is possibly the most striking worldwide. The Concierto de Aranjuez is known throughout the world and there have been made a great amount of adaptations of this work. A work that, moreover, should not make us forget the important musical contribution of Rodrigo by works like "Fantasy for a gentleman", "Invocation and Dance", the "Three Spanish pieces" in addition to his many compositions for orchestra or instrumentals.

Concerning the Spanish music and played by this instrument, we must also mention the importance of transcriptions made for this instrument, in addition to the adaptations by Bach, Weis, Paganini and many others, it might be interesting to highlight those composed from the work by Isaac Albéniz or Enrique Granados, by the latter in particular, we can highlight the Spanish Dances, which seem to have been composed for classical guitar. Musical beauties that are played worldwide.

* Source photo used


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