Córdoba by Albeniz

(written while slightly – or extremely - inebriated)

Cordoba presents many problems to the player.  Of course, optimists say that problems are opportunities.  But optimists annoy me in general.  My version is a composite of a version I downloaded, then rearranged extensively, using Julian Bream's solo version as a model- which is brilliant. This is one case where Bream has it over Williams, in that Williams' solo version is far inferior to Bream's, IMHO.

One problem is the production of clear ringing bell like tones - at the bell like tones passages. It's played 3 times differently, the last with harmonics.

Or how about that tremolo vs. rasgueado passage. I use tremolo, personally, but either way, it has to be pulled off just right.

The D major section in the middle has the most beautiful, soaring, expansive phrases in the piece. You have to get that Spanish beat. Canarios has that sort of thing going on too.

It's an unsettled piece. It's a worried piece. Unlike placid Granada, where everything is as it should be and nothing is out of the ordinary, it's just a typical summer day, in Granada , dinner's at 3 the bullfight's at 7.  It’s so sleepy here.  Nothing at all to worry you about, here in Granada .  Just siesta away and live a dream.

Not so in Cordorba, the music seems more agitated and changeable. It's like we're walking down the main street in Cordoba , and keep encountering people we don't want to talk to. We know people like this when they've drunk or smoked too much. They want to do something different, but they're afraid to try. They do it anyway. There are unsettled people in Cordoba , and that makes it by far the more exciting city. Don't miss out on Cadiz , while we're on the subject, or Sevilla, most of all.  Each one stands for a different Spanish city. I've been to Barcelona where Granada is located, and didn't feel much at the moment. It has to be that after you live and grow up in a place it has a special feel to you - like Bob and Jean's candy store on the corner of 167th st and Union Tpke has (or had) for me.
I wouldn't expect a Spanish immigrant composer to be able to write music about Bob and Jean's candy store in the late 1950's into the 60's and do it with the right feel. It would take someone such as myself, who lived and felt what it was like. This would distinguish it from Buddies candy store, 2 blocks down Union Turnpike.  Completely different feel between the 2 pieces. Bob and Jeans would be more like Granada , while Buddies would be more like Cordoba .

It's just darker, more sadness, more sorrow, less uplifting.
And incredibly beautiful, musically.

Back To Ramblings