EN­RIQUE GRANA­DOS Ded­i­ca­to­ria

In this nos­tal­gic, emo­tive piece the Span­ish com­poser evokes memories from his child­hood in a solo com­posed for pi­ano and trans­lated for clas­si­cal gui­tar

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS - by Brid­get Mer­mikides.

Brid­get Mer­mikides ar­ranges and tran­scribes a nos­tal­gic and emo­tive piece orig­i­nally writ­ten for pi­ano but per­fectly pitched here for gui­tar.

In this lat­est in­stal­ment of our clas­si­cal gui­tar se­ries we are look­ing at a work by the Span­ish com­poser and teacher En­rique Grana­dos (1867-1916). Grana­dos was an ac­com­plished pi­anist who wrote many pieces for the in­stru­ment (solo and with a cham­ber en­sem­ble) as well as or­ches­tral and op­er­atic works. He wrote in a ro­man­tic style of­ten im­bued with strong Span­ish na­tion­al­is­tic char­ac­ter­is­tics. It’s sur­pris­ing, then, that he never wrote for the gui­tar, but his mu­sic even­tu­ally (through the sup­port of such in­flu­en­tial gui­tarists as Tar­rega and Llo­bet) found a very nat­u­ral home with the in­stru­ment and his work has been an in­te­gral part of the clas­si­cal gui­tarist’s reper­toire for many years. Trag­i­cally, Grana­dos lost his life dur­ing the First World War. Af­ter be­ing in­vited to per­form a pi­ano recital for the then US pres­i­dent Woodrow Wil­son, Grana­dos and his wife had to take a ship to Eng­land. The ship was tor­pe­doed by a Ger­man U-boat and Grana­dos drowned at­tempt­ing to res­cue his wife. They left be­hind six chil­dren and a legacy of beau­ti­ful works, es­pe­cially for the pi­ano and in­di­rectly the gui­tar.

Here we look at his beau­ti­ful solo pi­ano piece Ded­i­ca­to­ria (‘ded­i­ca­tion’), the first from his col­lec­tion of pi­ano works, Cuen­tos de la Ju­ven­tud Op 1 (Sto­ries Of Child­hood). This con­trast­ing set of pi­ano pieces de­picts var­i­ous child­hood memories and scenes and there is some­thing dev­as­tat­ingly nos­tal­gic, sim­ple and ex­pres­sive about Ded­i­ca­to­ria. This short pi­ano piece has a sim­ple lyrical melody and ac­com­pa­ni­ment and – orig­i­nally in F ma­jor – trans­lates beau­ti­fully to the key of D (drop D) on the gui­tar, as the Cat­alo­nian gui­tar vir­tu­oso and ar­ranger Miguel Llo­bet did in the early 20th cen­tury. The piece is slow and bal­ladic and falls well on the gui­tar al­low­ing ex­pres­sive slides (in bars 2, 4 and 18), how­ever, it in­volves some quite de­mand­ing stretches so do take your time to get fa­mil­iar with the shapes and warm up be­fore at­tack­ing the piece at tempo. There are also some chal­lenges of po­si­tion shifts and fin­ger­ings, which are ad­dressed in the tab and cap­tions. They are all worth the ef­fort, as this short piece is a won­der­fully bit­ter­sweet ad­di­tion to any gui­tarist’s reper­toire.

THERE IS SOME­THING DEV­AS­TAT­INGLY NOS­TAL­GIC, SIM­PLE AND EX­PRES­SIVE ABOUT DED­I­CA­TO­RIA’S SHORT, LYRICAL MELODY

Grana­dos: sadly drowned while try­ing to save his wife

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