'As always, it was sheer pleasure to observe Robin Hill's remarkable fluent technique: everything looks easy when he plays it.' Colin Cooper- Classical Guitar Magazine ----- 'Wonderful for their (Hill & Wiltschinsky) precision, touch and clarity of sound... refined virtuosity, the achievement of a long interpretive process.' Il Giornale D'Italia (Rome) ----- 'I loved your CD and thought your technique and performance were fabulous...' Rick Wakeman

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Asturias - Isaac Albeniz (1860 - 1909)

'Asturias' is a very special piece of music to Robin, as it was one of the first pieces he heard played on the classical guitar, and, one of his main motivations to learn the instrument.
This occurred whilst listening to the radio, when about 14 years old, and John Peel played The Doors, 'Spanish Caravan'.
Peel then explained that the song starts with the theme from Asturias, and went on to play Segovia performing the piece, which was Robin's inspiration.

Isaac Albeniz was a Spanish pianist and composer who started as a child prodigy.
He gave his first performance at 4 and rumour has it that he was accepted into the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 7, but he broke a window with a ball he was playing with, so was denied admission.

It was Felipe Pedrell who inspired Albeniz to write Spanish music, such as, Suite Espanola, Op.47. of which Asturias (Leyenda) is the 5th movement. Despite originally being composed for piano, it is a very guitaristic piece, and was transcribed for guitar by Tarrega, along with many other pieces.
Albeniz is known to have preferred many of his pieces played on the guitar and Asturias is probably one if the most famous which now has an important position in the classical guitar repertoire.

This is one of my favourite versions of Asturias. The atmospheric build up to the triplets in the first section is incredible, and the dramatic punctuation by the powerful chords really heightens the tension before the calm of the more reflective middle section. The first section is then repeated with a beautiful coda section to complete the movement.

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