"Asturias" (Leyenda) (Isaac Albeniz)

Isaac Albeniz originally wrote this work as the prelude of a three-movement piano suite entitled Chants d'Espagne. After his death a German publisher gave it the title Asturias and added the subtitle Leyenda ("legend") thinking this would add some exotic flavor to to piece, but the music itself has nothing to do with the province of Asturias on the north coast of Spain. Instead it is deeply connected to the fiery flamenco music of Andalusia in the south, mimicking on the piano the multi-layered fingering techniques of the flamenco guitar and the stamping feet of the dancers. Several transcriptions for guitar have made it one of the most popular works in the classical guitar repertoire, and this striking arrangement brings it to vivid life for string quartet. There are three main sections: a pulsing, energetic buleria, a slow, melancholy copia and a swaying malagueña. The buleria returns to round off the piece.

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