Thursday, July 13, 2006

Simple Comments

While I was deeply immersed in my practice a few days back, a friend J walked in and sat there quietly. I was going through Albeniz's Granada from his Suite Espanola. After listening to a full run of it, J, in a state of reverie, remarked simply "I love the middle section.". He didn't bother to go on justifying his comments by translating what he felt from the music into words, not because he wasn't musically trained, but simply because he knew he didn't have to.

No, I'm not a pianist, but since this score is originally written for the piano, I guess I'll use the original piano score. The guitar transcription is transcribed a semitone lower, from the key of F to the key of E. I still sincerely believe that this work is written with the sounds of the spanish guitar in mind, for it truly sounds better on the guitar compared to the original instrument for which it is written for.

This is the start of his "middle section", the modulation into the key of F min. This dreamy section of the work momentarily transports the listener to the most tranquil and serene streets of Granada in the evening. Maybe it wouldn't be right to classify bars 41 to 44 (the first 4 bars above) as the middle section, as they form the transition bars from the opening section in F maj to the middle section in F min. The first section describes of the hustle and bustle of the streets during the day (for once, crowds are actually so lovely with the hills and mountains of Sierra Nevadas as the background) and as the night falls (as shown the the first 4 bars above), the intrinsic charm of the province reveals itself...

The F min chord in the lower registers progressed in such a lovely, misty manner into the G dim chord in the higher registers of the instrument in the first 4 bars here shown here. Nope, the noise from the day hasn't completely disappeared, but the crowds are either starting to go back home for dinner or head to the nearest taverns for a drink. And then from bar 45 time stops. Alright, that's not much of a description, but I thought that pretty much sums it up. Doesn't that how one feel when one behold the most alluring sight like the Alhambra? The repetition of the motive from bars 48 to bars 50 in various forms throughout the middle section. Somehow the composer is trying to recapture the very honest emotions which struck him when he was walking along the streets of Granada, beholding the picturesque surroundings of this most simple province in Andalusia.

Somehow, J captured the entire mood of this middle section upon the first listening when he opened himself up to the music. That remark was made with such honesty. Somehow, as a performer, it's truly satisfying to be able to touch the hearts of people and move them with my music.

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