Work of the Week - Joaquín Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
While he was writing Concierto de Aranjuez in the late 1930's, Joaquín Rodrigo could not have predicted his guitar concerto would go on to become one of the most famous works in the guitar repertoire. Completed in 1939 and premiered one year later, its ear-catching melodies has made it a regular feature in classical concerts throughout the world. The piece is a loving portrait of the 13th century Royal Spanish summer residence in the south of Madrid - today a UNESCO World Heritage Site - which has helped it to become a true icon of Spanish music. The second movement in particular, an elegic and romantic Adagio, is among the most recognised works in classical music.
Rodrigo's guitar concerto was featured most recently in the blockbuster RoboCop to demonstrate the skills of a guitarist who has lost his hands. With his brand new artificial limbs of steel, the guitarist is able to play part of the slow movement of Concierto de Aranjuez - a touching moment that represents new hope for the one-time victim.
This week, the concerto will be performed in concert halls from Mill Valley, California to College Park, Maryland to Warwick, UK, among others. With around 240 performances per year, Rodrigo's masterpiece is likely to be performed in a concert hall near you very soon.
While he was writing Concierto de Aranjuez in the late 1930's, Joaquín Rodrigo could not have predicted his guitar concerto would go on to become one of the most famous works in the guitar repertoire. Completed ...
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