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The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2010, 04:18:30 PM

Title: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 11, 2010, 04:18:30 PM
(http://music.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/9907_rodrigo/images/rodrigo_young_lg.jpg)

Joaquín Rodrigo was one of the most honored of twentieth century Spanish composers. Several of his compositions, in particular the Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, have attained worldwide fame.

Blind from the age of three due to diphtheria, Rodrigo undertook early musical studies under Francisco Antich in Valencia (1920-1923) and Paul Dukas at the École Normale de Musique in Paris (1927-1932). While in Paris, Rodrigo befriended many of the great composers of the time, and received particular encouragement from his fellow SpaniardManuel de Falla. In 1933 he married the Turkish pianist Victoria Kamhi; they remained inseparable companions until her death in 1997.

After returning to Spain in 1934, Rodrigo quickly won, with some help from Falla, the Conde de Cartagena scholarship that allowed him to return to Paris to study musicology -- withMaurice Emmanuel at the Paris Conservatoire and with André Pirro at the Sorbonne. Some of the most difficult years in Rodrigo's life were in the late 1930s during the Spanish Civil War: his scholarship was cancelled, and he and his wife lived in France and Germany, virtually penniless. They made a meager living giving Spanish and music lessons at the Institute for the Blind in Freiburg. But by 1939, they were able to return to Spain.

Rodrigo started composing in 1923, and won a National Prize in 1925 for his Cinco Piezas Infantiles for orchestra. (Due to his blindness, Rodrigo always composed in Braille, and later painstakingly dictated the music to a copyist.) But his real breakthrough as a composer was with the Concierto de Aranjuez (1940, for guitar and orchestra), which was acclaimed from its first performance in Barcelona. Rodrigo was quickly recognized as one of Spain's great composers, and the awards and commissions started to roll in. In 1947, the Manuel de FallaChair was created for him at the University of Madrid, where he taught music history for many years. He was much in demand as a pianist and lecturer, traveling to Europe, Central America, the U.S., Israel, and Japan. Many of the world's great instrumentalists commissioned concertos of him, and he eventually wrote works for, among others, guitaristAndrés Segovia, flutist James Galway, harpist Nicanor Zabaleta, and cellist Julian Lloyd Webber.

In 1953, he was awarded the Cross of Alfonso X the Wise by the Spanish government, and as part of the celebration of his ninetieth birthday in 1991, Rodrigo was raised to the nobility by King Juan Carlos I with the title "Marqués de los jardines de Aranjuez." He was ultimately given Spain's highest international honor, the Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts, in 1996. The government of France also recognized Rodrigo's importance, making him a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1960 and promoting him to Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 1998. By the end of his life, he had also received six honorary doctorates from universities worldwide. Rodrigo died in 1999; he and his wife are both buried at the cemetery at Aranjuez.
 
[Article taken from All Music Guide]
 
Not sure a thread exists, but I did a search and couldn't find one. Anyway...
 
I love Rodrigo. I have come to enjoy his very subtle way with music. He's not an innovator of any kind, but this doesn't mean that his music doesn't have merit or isn't creative, because it most certainly is. Most listeners became familiar with Rodrigo through his work "Concierto de Aranjuez," but for me it was hearing his "Concierto de estio" and "Concierto para piano" (aka "Concierto heroico"). It seems most people don't get past his music for guitar and orchestra, but while it should be noted that these are especially fine works, they are not his best works in my opinion. Rodrigo was quite a prolific composer despite being blind, compsing everything in brille, and having to transcribe all of his to music notation through someone else.
 
What are your thoughts on this wonderful composer? What is your favorite work(s)? Besides "Concierto de Aranjuez" what works do you enjoy and think should be more well known? All thoughts are welcomed here.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: kishnevi on July 11, 2010, 07:42:00 PM
Thank you for posting that. 
I was unaware of his blindness;  nor did I realize how recently he died, although I must have noticed the news at the time.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Sid on July 11, 2010, 07:43:15 PM
I haven't heard much by him apart from the Aranjuez. It's pretty memorable, but that's about it. I had a chance last year to see it live, but passed it up. I think it's just too conservative & cliched for my tastes. Give me Villa-Lobos or even Hovhaness' guitar concertos any day...
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Brian on July 11, 2010, 07:52:42 PM
I love Aranjuez ... in the transcription for harp. In fact, I am listening to it right now and discovered this thread about thirty seconds after hitting play. Is it the novelty of hearing the harp instead of the guitar? Maybe, but I've deluded myself into thinking it's because the harp just plain sounds better. It's got a richer, more lyrical sound and the harpist is given a very full part to play with more dynamic and emotional range than the guitar. I'm listening to Gwyneth Wentink on Naxos, whose playing is lovely (and matched by an equally lovely English horn soloist).
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 13, 2010, 10:50:43 AM
I haven't heard much by him apart from the Aranjuez. It's pretty memorable, but that's about it. I had a chance last year to see it live, but passed it up. I think it's just too conservative & cliched for my tastes. Give me Villa-Lobos or even Hovhaness' guitar concertos any day...

Rodrigo was certainly not an innovator, but this doesn't mean he didn't write meaningful music. You think his music is cliche? Give me a break. That is of course your opinion and you're entitled to it, but I disagree as I'm sure many others do as well. Anything that's popular like Aranjuez will always receive a fair amount of naysayers, but this is far from his best work. Have you heard his "Piano Concerto" or the "Violin Concerto"? These are two remarkable works that deserve more attention than Aranjuez.
 
I would be willing to wager that if you heard the slow movement to his "Piano Concerto" you would be singing a very different tune. To deny that kind of beauty would make me question whether you had a heart or not.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 13, 2010, 10:53:01 AM
I love Aranjuez ... in the transcription for harp. In fact, I am listening to it right now and discovered this thread about thirty seconds after hitting play. Is it the novelty of hearing the harp instead of the guitar? Maybe, but I've deluded myself into thinking it's because the harp just plain sounds better. It's got a richer, more lyrical sound and the harpist is given a very full part to play with more dynamic and emotional range than the guitar. I'm listening to Gwyneth Wentink on Naxos, whose playing is lovely (and matched by an equally lovely English horn soloist).

Yes, I enjoy Aranjuez better with the harp as well. I think it gives the work a more airy quality. I'm a guitarist myself, but I seldom listen to guitar music at all. That recording your listening to was apart of Naxos' ongoing Rodrigo orchestral survey. All 10 volumes are worth acquiring.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Sid on July 13, 2010, 06:08:08 PM
Well no, I haven't heard those works you mention. Nor am I an expert in this area. But I have been getting into the music of Granados, have a couple of his works, and went to a recital where they played his Piano Trio. Yes, maybe I would connect with some of Rodrigo's lesser-known works (basically everything other than Aranjuez). But these never get played live, and that's basically what I'm most interested in (I'm not a big collector, more of a concertgoer, & I seem to collect those pieces that are coming up in concerts). Anyway, I'll keep an ear out for those pieces on the radio schedules. I seem to remember hearing something by Rodrigo on air a while back, but can't remember.

& yes, I do have a heart, it is beating as we speak! :)
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 13, 2010, 06:14:03 PM
Well no, I haven't heard those works you mention. Nor am I an expert in this area. But I have been getting into the music of Granados, have a couple of his works, and went to a recital where they played his Piano Trio. Yes, maybe I would connect with some of Rodrigo's lesser-known works (basically everything other than Aranjuez). But these never get played live, and that's basically what I'm most interested in (I'm not a big collector, more of a concertgoer, & I seem to collect those pieces that are coming up in concerts). Anyway, I'll keep an ear out for those pieces on the radio schedules. I seem to remember hearing something by Rodrigo on air a while back, but can't remember.

& yes, I do have a heart, it is beating as we speak! :)

Don't you think you're closing yourself off to classical music by only going to concerts and listening to the radio? When is an orchestra going to perform Brian's Gothic Symphony? When is an orchestra going to perform Villa-Lobos' ballet Genesis? Chances are you will never hear these works performed live. My point is that while going to concerts is apart of classical music and there's nothing like hearing one of your favorite works performed live, I think a lot of classical time should also be spent at home listening and absorbing the music, especially the music you know you'll probably never be able to hear in concert or on the radio.
 
As far radio stations go, they hardly ever play the more obscure composers whose music deserve to be heard.
 
It doesn't matter if you're a collector or not, you're not going to be able to explore classical music in depth if you don't buy more recordings of works you know you'll never hear.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: springrite on July 13, 2010, 06:25:00 PM
Where is Rob Antecki, the composer who is the keeper of the official Joaquin Rodrigo website, when you need him?

Mirror Image is absolutely right. If you can get it, the EMI box that has all the concerti (and concertante works) can testify. I especially love the violin concerto and the piano concerto. The other works are wonderful as well.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Sid on July 13, 2010, 06:29:17 PM
I disagree with your thesis - sure you won't hear EVERY piece of music live, but you'll hear a good selection. Of the concerts I've attended this year, I have heard pieces by Schubert, Goossens, Bloch, Liszt, Arensky, Granados, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Brahms, Arvo Part, Eric Whitacre, Monteverdi, Schutz, Morten Lauridsen, Mozart, Schumann, Berlioz, Weber, Dvorak, Ravel, Barber, Crumb, Rojas, Golijov the list goes on and on. & that's not covering what I will hear in the next couple of months - things like Berg, Carter, Bruckner, Stravinsky, Kats-Chernin, Mills, etc. etc.

There's alot of variety in concert schedules here in Australia, all you have to do is look and find out about what gigs are on. The radio & internet are a good source for this info. There's something going on every week/weekend. For me, money is the only limitation.

I do have about 300 classical cd's (plus LP's & tapes), but I'm collecting less and less now, I want to spend that money on concerts.

As for Rodrigo, it's interesting how (from what I've read) he remained in the traditional idioms (& lived all his life in Spain?) whereas guys like de Falla & Carlos Surinach had to leave Spain because of Franco, who had a very conservative view of what music should be (more in line with Rodrigo than guys like the other two).
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 13, 2010, 06:30:22 PM
Where is Rob Antecki, the composer who is the keeper of the official Joaquin Rodrigo website, when you need him?

Mirror Image is absolutely right. If you can get it, the EMI box that has all the concerti (and concertante works) can testify. I especially love the violin concerto and the piano concerto. The other works are wonderful as well.

Sid is singing a very different tune already, but let's not forget the posts he has made above, which are both contradictory to each other. On one hand, he thinks Rodrigo is too conservative for his tastes, but yet, on the other hand, he hasn't heard hardly any of his music to make such an assertion. His logic really confuses the hell out of me.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 13, 2010, 06:34:42 PM
I disagree with your thesis - sure you won't hear EVERY piece of music live, but you'll hear a good selection. Of the concerts I've attended this year, I have heard pieces by Schubert, Goossens, Bloch, Liszt, Arensky, Granados, Mendelssohn, Haydn, Brahms, Arvo Part, Eric Whitacre, Monteverdi, Schutz, Morten Lauridsen, Mozart, Schumann, Berlioz, Weber, Dvorak, Ravel, Barber, Crumb, Rojas, Golijov the list goes on and on. & that's not covering what I will hear in the next couple of months - things like Berg, Carter, Bruckner, Stravinsky, Kats-Chernin, Mills, etc. etc.

There's alot of variety in concert schedules here in Australia, all you have to do is look and find out about what gigs are on. The radio & internet are a good source for this info. There's something going on every week/weekend. For me, money is the only limitation.

I do have about 300 classical cd's (plus LP's & tapes), but I'm collecting less and less now, I want to spend that money on concerts.

As for Rodrigo, it's interesting how (from what I've read) he remained in the traditional idioms (& lived all his life in Spain?) whereas guys like de Falla & Carlos Surinach had to leave Spain because of Franco, who had a very conservative view of what music should be (more in line with Rodrigo than guys like the other two).

It doesn't matter if you disagree with me or not, the bottomline is you will never gain any kind of knowledge about classical if you don't explore what's beyond the concert repertoire. I bet even though you have probably been to more concerts than I have that I have heard a lot more music than you have. You can make all the excuses you want to make, but the fact remains that I'm much more open to exploring this vast music than you are.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Sid on July 13, 2010, 06:54:05 PM
Well you can stick to "canned" music, I'll stick to "real" music.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 13, 2010, 06:58:18 PM
Well you can stick to "canned" music, I'll stick to "real" music.

:D Canned music? That's a good one! No problem. :D
 
With your logic, nobody would ever hear anything beyond the concert hall and all would be lost forever. Thank God my attitude about this music isn't as jaded as yours.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: oabmarcus on July 13, 2010, 07:03:41 PM
:D Canned music? That's a good one! No problem. :D
 
With your logic, nobody would ever hear anything beyond the concert hall and all would be lost forever. Thank God my attitude about this music isn't as jaded as yours.

by that logic movies can never be "real".
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 13, 2010, 07:16:44 PM
by that logic movies can never be "real".

Well I just find it interesting that somebody who claims to love this music, doesn't have any interest in hearing what's beyond the concert repertoire and on the radio. What about the more unknown and obscure works by the acknowledged master composers? What about those obscure composers you will not hear in the concert hall or on the radio? I mean it's just a bad attitude to have about music for anyone with any interest in this music to have.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: springrite on July 13, 2010, 07:17:16 PM
I have a good friend who is slowly going blind. I will be giving him some Rodrigo CDs to inspire him. 
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Sid on July 13, 2010, 07:19:49 PM
I was only being flippant regarding "canned" vs. "real" music.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 13, 2010, 07:22:08 PM
I was only being flippant regarding "canned" vs. "real" music.

It's okay, Sid. I understand your position much better now.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: karlhenning on July 14, 2010, 04:22:07 AM
Well you can stick to "canned" music, I'll stick to "real" music.

It's not either/or.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: 71 dB on July 14, 2010, 07:12:38 AM
Well you can stick to "canned" music, I'll stick to "real" music.
What is wrong with "canned" music?
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 14, 2010, 07:39:37 AM
Since our friend Sid enjoys Naxos recordings, I openly recommend the Rodrigo complete orchestral series to him. There are 10 volumes in all and have proven to be an excellent, inexpensive way to get familiar with this composer.
 
I own all of these volumes and I also own Enrique Batiz's 4-CD set on EMI, which is pretty good, but doesn't have the sonic clarity of the Naxos recordings. I also think the interpretations on the Naxos recordings are more in-tune with what Rodrigo was trying to say.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: springrite on July 14, 2010, 07:46:04 AM
What is wrong with "canned" music?

I prefer glass bottles.


I have not heard the NAXOS set, having only the 4 CDs set by Batiz, which I thought was just fine. Maybe one day I will obtain a few of the NAXOS to see if they are really better.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 14, 2010, 07:48:58 AM
I prefer glass bottles.[/img]

That's a good one! :D

I have not heard the NAXOS set, having only the 4 CDs set by Batiz, which I thought was just fine. Maybe one day I will obtain a few of the NAXOS to see if they are really better.

I'm not sure about better, but I enjoy the Naxos recordings more, but it all comes down to personal subjectivity.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 14, 2010, 08:03:13 AM
Well, just wanted to join this thread for comments and recommendations; my collection lacks much of this composer - only own the 2-CD bargain package below which I do enjoy.  The Naxos discs appear the way to go for a more complete & modern set of recordings - is there a box in the making?  ;) ;D

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51csI5Pd14L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Brian on July 14, 2010, 08:04:45 AM
The only Naxos/Rodrigo album I have a qualm about is the piano music disc with Artur Pizarro, which has sound quality I'd consider less than ideal - though great playing. I haven't heard any of the Batiz recordings, but based solely on my Naxosperiences, the violin, cello and piano concertos are all very much worth getting to know, with the piano concerto's slow movement maybe my favorite Rodrigo yet. As mentioned to Sarge in the listening thread, I didn't much like the light ballet (?) suite Soleriana, which was a bit too monotone bubbly-bouncy for me. I like really chipper ballets, of course, like Pineapple Poll or Gaite parisienne, but those have more varied action and great tunes.

SonicMan - even if there was, Naxos' box sets are almost never of the space-saver kind. Only their Haydn and Mahler boxes are, not counting the OOP "The White Box" series. Pity they prefer slipcovers. :(
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 14, 2010, 08:27:50 AM
The Naxos discs appear the way to go for a more complete & modern set of recordings - is there a box in the making?  ;) ;D

I bought all 10 volumes individually, but I think that I did read somewhere that they were going to do one, but I'm just not sure when.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: SonicMan46 on July 14, 2010, 12:07:35 PM
SonicMan - even if there was, Naxos' box sets are almost never of the space-saver kind. Only their Haydn and Mahler boxes are, not counting the OOP "The White Box" series. Pity they prefer slipcovers. :(

Hi Brian - yep, I own some Naxos' boxes that have gone either way; separate jewel boxes or sleeves; the last one I purchased was the Haydn Masses which included a good booklet + 8 CDs in sleeves, but the box was almost twice as wide as needed!  Dave  :D
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Brian on July 14, 2010, 12:11:15 PM
Hi Brian - yep, I own some Naxos' boxes that have gone either way; separate jewel boxes or sleeves; the last one I purchased was the Haydn Masses which included a good booklet + 8 CDs in sleeves, but the box was almost twice as wide as needed!  Dave  :D

Hey, I'm thinking about that Haydn Masses box; it's on sale for $40 at ArkivMusic. EDIT: Originally I asked if it included texts, but the whole booklet is on Naxos Music Library!
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: kishnevi on July 14, 2010, 08:02:52 PM
Hi Brian - yep, I own some Naxos' boxes that have gone either way; separate jewel boxes or sleeves; the last one I purchased was the Haydn Masses which included a good booklet + 8 CDs in sleeves, but the box was almost twice as wide as needed!  Dave  :D

I have the Masses and the Concerto sets.  The booklet for the Concertos also includes the Symphonies and String Quartets, so obviously Naxos used it for all three sets.   It makes a big booklet, but four fifths of it is totally irrelevant for my purposes.

Meanwhile, on Rodrigo,  this EMI double seems to have a bunch of the concerto performances mentioned in connection with the Brilliant box
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Lqw0iykaL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
Besides the concertos listed on the CD cover it also includes the Concerto in Modo Galante.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: 71 dB on July 15, 2010, 06:49:21 AM
Few years ago I was very interested of Rodrigo but somehow his music didn't turn out as intetesting as I thought. I bough 9 volumes of the orchestral music and one disc of piano works on Naxos.

Today, I started to listen to volume one. Five minutes into the first track my players starts skipping. I take the disc out for inspection. There are two huge scratches on the surface! What the heck?? I don't scratch my CDs!  :o Must have been like this when I bought it used.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: karlhenning on July 15, 2010, 08:40:53 AM
Went probing into the depths of Wikipedia, which says
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concierto_heroico (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concierto_heroico)
A modified version of the concerto, produced for Joaquín Achúcarro, was first performed in 1999; this removed two virtuosic cadenzas and balanced the relationship between the piano and orchestral parts.

The Batiz was recorded in December 1984; and therefore unless a friendly Gallifreyan was involved,  it's not the Achucarro version.

Here's a Wikipedia anomaly for us:
 
Quote

The Concierto heroico for piano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano) and orchestra was composed by Joaquín Rodrigo (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joaqu%C3%ADn_Rodrigo) for pianist Leopoldo Querol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopoldo_Querol) between 1935 and 1943.
 
Rodrigo began work on the concerto in 1935, and completed the first two movements before setting the work aside; having forgotten about it, he returned and completed it in 1945. The piece is called "heroic" because of the martial (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial) rhythms and fanfares (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanfare) of the first movement.

The first sentence claims that the final date of composition was 1943.
 
The next sentence claims that the piece was completed in 1945.
 
Where are these dates coming from and why do they not harmonize? (← rhetorical question)
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: 71 dB on July 15, 2010, 12:18:53 PM

Where are these dates coming from and why do they not harmonize?
Maybe the composition is too chromatic?
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 15, 2010, 02:20:21 PM
Quote from Wikipedia:

The Concierto heroico for piano and orchestra was composed by Joaquín Rodrigo for pianist Leopoldo Querol between 1935 and 1943.
 
Rodrigo began work on the concerto in 1935, and completed the first two movements before setting the work aside; having forgotten about it, he returned and completed it in 1945.

It is not the most encouraging state of affairs when the composer himself forgets about his own composition.  ;)
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 15, 2010, 02:29:30 PM
It is not the most encouraging state of affairs when the composer himself forgets about his own composition.  ;)

I'm glad he finished it, because it's one of the most gorgeous compositions he has written in my opinion.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Lethevich on July 15, 2010, 02:37:21 PM
It is not the most encouraging state of affairs when the composer himself forgets about his own composition.  ;)
Indeed. At least Schnittke had an excuse, with the degree of illness he suffered from later in life (that famous story about him regularly waking up and not recognising the music he had added to the manuscript from the day before) ;)
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: greg on July 15, 2010, 05:13:24 PM
Has anyone listened to this disc?

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21K0487YDWL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
It's quite Ravel-ish, and a very fine disc. I recommend it.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: listener on July 15, 2010, 08:24:17 PM
4wiw  a reference, at least  the cover of the 1986 release of the Batiz Concierto-Serenata/ Concierto en modo galante CD
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 22, 2010, 06:29:49 PM
It is not the most encouraging state of affairs when the composer himself forgets about his own composition.  ;)

It's amazing to think about that Villa-Lobos would compose two or three different compositions all at once. He would be writing a melody line to one piece, then turn around and write a rhythm to another. It's certainly astonishing that he got anything done!
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 23, 2010, 04:14:54 AM
It's amazing to think about that Villa-Lobos would compose two or three different compositions all at once. He would be writing a melody line to one piece, then turn around and write a rhythm to another. It's certainly astonishing that he got anything done!

How on earth one can write a melody line without writing a rhythm is beyond me, so your astonishment is understandable. As for Rodrigo, I have been baffled by this composer's reputation ever since I heard the Aranjuez. The slow movement is all right, but the outer movements sound like trite and commonplace attempts at local color, and that's been my experience with everything else of his I have heard. I have only two CDs of his, but there are passages I would have been ashamed to write if I thought of myself as a composer. He's not anywhere the equal of Falla at his best (Harpsichord Concerto, Nights in the Gardens), and after hearing the Soleriana the other night I can only agree with Brian, though he's more polite than I would have been.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Guido on July 23, 2010, 04:40:21 AM
The violin concerto "Concierto de estio" is really gorgeous, and the two cello concertos are very nice too - always the slow movements are the best, nostalgic, glowing, sentimental affairs, usually with beautiful scoring. It's not "deep" music, but it is deeply felt and it does what it does very well I think. The two famous guitar concertos are maybe my least favourite of his works.

I highly recommend this disc:
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.555840

Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 23, 2010, 05:07:20 AM
The violin concerto "Concierto de estio" is really gorgeous, and the two cello concertos are very nice too - always the slow movements are the best, nostalgic, glowing, sentimental affairs, usually with beautiful scoring. It's not "deep" music, but it is deeply felt and it does what it does very well I think. The two famous guitar concertos are maybe my least favourite of his works.

I highly recommend this disc:
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.555840

I'm sure I can find it used.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: karlhenning on July 23, 2010, 05:09:06 AM
I'm sure I can find it used.

Yes : )

I'm enjoying the 'new Rodrigo' I've fetched in all right; but it may prove to be all that I require.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 23, 2010, 05:43:57 AM
How on earth one can write a melody line without writing a rhythm is beyond me, so your astonishment is understandable. As for Rodrigo, I have been baffled by this composer's reputation ever since I heard the Aranjuez. The slow movement is all right, but the outer movements sound like trite and commonplace attempts at local color, and that's been my experience with everything else of his I have heard. I have only two CDs of his, but there are passages I would have been ashamed to write if I thought of myself as a composer. He's not anywhere the equal of Falla at his best (Harpsichord Concerto, Nights in the Gardens), and after hearing the Soleriana the other night I can only agree with Brian, though he's more polite than I would have been.

My favorite Rodrgio works are his Piano, Violin, and Cello Concertos. I haven't found anything else to be particularly memorable. He wasn't an innovator, but these three works should be considered.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 23, 2010, 05:56:45 AM

My favorite Rodrgio works are his Piano, Violin, and Cello Concertos. I haven't found anything else to be particularly memorable. He wasn't an innovator, but these three works should be considered.

I have the Piano on a tape somewhere that Rob Antecki sent me years ago. All I can remember is a thumping "heroic" theme repeated ad infinitum. But I'll try the string concertos, they're cheap enough. I remember Max Bragado from my student days at Oberlin; glad to see he's made some success.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Guido on July 23, 2010, 06:26:40 AM
I have the Piano on a tape somewhere that Rob Antecki sent me years ago. All I can remember is a thumping "heroic" theme repeated ad infinitum. But I'll try the string concertos, they're cheap enough. I remember Max Bragado from my student days at Oberlin; glad to see he's made some success.

Piano concerto is much as you remember I fear - repetitive with thematic material that is not strong enough to sustain it. Predictably the slow movement is the best, but I dont think its as good as the string concertos' slow movements. The violin concerto is Vivaldian in places, or at least clearly influenced by Vivaldi's concertos. The two cello concertos are more standard fair for Rodrigo - folsky in the outer movements, the first also influenced by Boccherini, but again its the slow movements that are the winners - the first one based on an old Castilian ballad, the second sounding like a folk melody suspended in a celestial web of harmonics and bells.

I'll stop going on now.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: karlhenning on July 23, 2010, 06:28:56 AM
Au contraire, glad you spoke up, Guido.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Popov on July 27, 2010, 06:17:17 PM
I don't like Rodrigo's music. Actually I do like his 1920s works, but personally I find the evolution of his style most disappointing, settling in a rather dull popular music-rooted style which says nothing for me. For the next two decades after Civil War, with finer composers such as Gerhard and R. Halffter (as I see it he was the true heir of de Falla rather than his brother E. or Rodrigo) in exile and political and esthetic views in tune with the Francoist regime he was the leader of Spanish music, so when in the 1960s the first generation of composers influenced by the avantgarde (C. Halffter, de Pablo, Guinjoan, Barce, Marco, Bernaola, de Olavide...) took over and he realized his music was widely discredited among his younger colleagues it was probably a shock. Subsequently he tried to modernize his style while remaining audience-friendly in works such A la busca del más allá (a tone poem comissioned by NASA!), but I'd say the result was pretty bland.

It's not like I think he was a bad composer or something, he was obviously a honest craftsman who deserves consideration and I think building a career as a composer being blind is definitely admirable. But IMHO there are much lesser known Valencian composers with a much stronger and interesting voice, such as Francisco Llácer Pla (1918-2002). I do understand Rodrigo's popularity here in Spain but I don't really get its prestige abroad.

http://www.youtube.com/v/kSIL__A_Lco
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 27, 2010, 06:27:33 PM
I don't like Rodrigo's music. Actually I do like his 1920s works, but personally I find the evolution of his style most disappointing, settling in a rather dull popular music-rooted style which says nothing for me.

It's not like I think he was a bad composer or something, he was obviously a honest craftsman who deserves consideration and I think building a career as a composer being blind is definitely admirable.

What's this obssession some people have with trying to degrade a composer because he wasn't apart of the avant-garde? So what? Who cares if Rodrigo wasn't apart of this group? Does this make his music any less appealing? Does this make his music greatly inferior, because he didn't experiment?
 
As I have stated (many times now), Rodrigo wasn't an innovator and had really no interest in doing so hence why his style changed very little. That said, he, like all good composers, wrote some excellent music.
 
I only like a few of his works (i. e. his cello, violin, and piano concerti). Other than that, his style doesn't do much for me.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Popov on July 27, 2010, 06:54:09 PM
Maybe I didn't express myself well (it's difficult for me to write in English) but it has nothing to do with that, I like the music of definitely conservative composers as J. Turina, E. Halffter, Remacha or Guridi. But I fail to find anything appealing in his trademark works, which sound depressingly withered to me, as opposed to his earlier exciting, fresh works. As usual I was talking about my personal taste there, and of course it's a letdown when such a promising drive just vanishes in later works. This is the Rodrigo I like (sorry for the terrible performance of mine):

http://www.youtube.com/v/NGPollRjM-Y
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on July 28, 2010, 02:52:45 AM

What's this obssession some people have with trying to degrade a composer because he wasn't apart of the avant-garde? So what? Who cares if Rodrigo wasn't apart of this group? Does this make his music any less appealing? Does this make his music greatly inferior, because he didn't experiment?
 
As I have stated (many times now), Rodrigo wasn't an innovator and had really no interest in doing so hence why his style changed very little. That said, he, like all good composers, wrote some excellent music.
 
I only like a few of his works (i. e. his cello, violin, and piano concerti). Other than that, his style doesn't do much for me.

Some are innovators, some are not. But at least from a strong composer I wish to hear a personal idiom, and some signs that the music is imaginative and compelling. Popov's illuminating comments (written in very good English, by the way) are more or less in line with my own thinking: a "rather dull popular music-rooted style." I think of most of the Rodrigo I've heard as local color pieces suitable for accompaniments for a travelogue film or piped-in music at the local Spanish restaurant. Honestly, that opening motif from the Aranjuez - endless repetitions of a single 6/8-3/4 pattern that was cliched and obvious the first time, let alone the 47th? You yourself defend only three works, and of them I have only the piano concerto at present and the other two on order as I'm willing to give them a chance. (I have the piano concerto on a tape but no cassette recorder at present, and all I can remember from years ago is a trite "heroic" theme repeated ad infinitum - an impression Guido confirmed). I'm not even particularly impressed with the piano piece Popov offers.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: karlhenning on July 28, 2010, 05:39:31 AM
The violin concerto "Concierto de estio" is really gorgeous, and the two cello concertos are very nice too - always the slow movements are the best, nostalgic, glowing, sentimental affairs, usually with beautiful scoring. It's not "deep" music, but it is deeply felt and it does what it does very well I think. The two famous guitar concertos are maybe my least favourite of his works.

I highly recommend this disc:
http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.555840 (http://www.naxos.com/catalogue/item.asp?item_code=8.555840)

The Concierto in modo galante is value added to the Rodrigo catalogue overall (the outer movements are rather over-redolent of the famous Aranjuez). As I've already got the Bátiz two-fer, the bulk of this Naxos disc would be duplicates . . . and I don't know how much I'd invest in the Naxos disc just for the Concierto como un divertimento and a four-minute Cancioneta.
 
I think my Rodrigo fix is now probably, well, fixed.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 28, 2010, 06:05:01 PM
You yourself defend only three works.

That is correct I only defend these three works. The rest of Rodrigo's output you can keep. As another poster mentioned, it is the slow movements that really make these particular works stand out to me. I agree that the outer movements in most of his music, especially Aranjuez are not particularly interesting and are in a word: cliche.
 
Rodrigo is hardly a composer I listen to that much, but I will continue to defend these three concerti that I enjoy, but other than these works I listed, he does little for me.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: RJR on February 13, 2011, 07:38:34 AM
To MirrorImage,
I am not familiar with many of Rodrigo's works, but I love very much his Para Gentilhombre.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 13, 2011, 07:52:01 AM
To MirrorImage,
I am not familiar with many of Rodrigo's works, but I love very much his Para Gentilhombre.

As I stated in my earlier comments, Rodrigos concerti for violin, cello, and piano are the only compositions of his that I thoroughly enjoy. He composed some beautiful music, but you can't have beauty, in my opinion, without tension from dissonance. Rodrigo avoided dissonance most of his career and, for me, that made his music just sound like a wash, instead of something to listen to that has a compelling story to follow.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: greg on February 14, 2011, 04:32:09 AM
As I stated in my earlier comments, Rodrigos concerti for violin, cello, and piano are the only compositions of his that I thoroughly enjoy. He composed some beautiful music, but you can't have beauty, in my opinion, without tension from dissonance. Rodrigo avoided dissonance most of his career and, for me, that made his music just sound like a wash, instead of something to listen to that has a compelling story to follow.
Have you heard his solo piano music? Very much Ravel-like and dissonant (although it's been years since I listened).
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Kontrapunctus on February 19, 2011, 11:03:19 AM
I like his recently discovered Toccata for solo guitar. It was ignored due to its overwhelming technical difficulty, so he arranged it as the first movement of his Violin Concerto. Here is a brave young woman having a go at it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyYdDvjOt2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyYdDvjOt2)
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 19, 2011, 08:30:12 PM
I like his recently discovered Toccata for solo guitar. It was ignored due to its overwhelming technical difficulty, so he arranged it as the first movement of his Violin Concerto. Here is a brave young woman having a go at it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyYdDvjOt2

I'm new here...how do I embed a video? I don't see a YT icon that many sites use.)

Welcome aboard. You will have to insert a hyperlink, which can be found to the left of the Amazon button. The icon is a little globe with a piece of paper in front of it. Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Kontrapunctus on February 19, 2011, 11:19:13 PM
Welcome aboard. You will have to insert a hyperlink, which can be found to the left of the Amazon button. The icon is a little globe with a piece of paper in front of it. Hope this helps.
Thanks. I did that, but it still didn't work.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Kontrapunctus on February 25, 2011, 02:06:15 PM

OK, I think I have it now! Here is the premiere...a little rough, but he didn't have a lot of time to prepare it:
http://www.youtube.com/v/Ja_GXzg8EhE

and another version:

http://www.youtube.com/v/DyYdDvjOt2Q
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: snyprrr on February 20, 2012, 09:22:33 PM
bump
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 20, 2012, 09:40:08 PM
bump

I forgot I started this thread! Thanks for bumping it! Anything you would like to add to the discussion?
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: snyprrr on February 21, 2012, 07:15:59 AM
I forgot I started this thread! Thanks for bumping it! Anything you would like to add to the discussion?

I was hoping to generate proxy interest in the new Brouwer Thread. :-[ ;D Not working!! ::)
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: canninator on February 21, 2012, 11:49:50 AM
As I stated in my earlier comments, Rodrigos concerti for violin, cello, and piano are the only compositions of his that I thoroughly enjoy. He composed some beautiful music, but you can't have beauty, in my opinion, without tension from dissonance. Rodrigo avoided dissonance most of his career and, for me, that made his music just sound like a wash, instead of something to listen to that has a compelling story to follow.

Hmm, I'm not sure that is entirely fair given that Rodrigo's signature style is wrong note harmonies. Admittedly they don't feature much in Aranjuez and Gentilhombre as these are both a homage to Classical styles. He does use wrong note harmonies to great effect (csharp against d) in Theme 1 of Españoleta y fanfarria de la caballería de Nápoles of Gentihombre. His other guitar music is rife with this piquant dissonance, check out Tonadillo for two guitars, it's jam packed with the dissonance you crave  ;)
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: Szykneij on May 05, 2012, 06:23:26 PM
I just got back from seeing Grisha Goryachev perform Concierto de Arajuez live. A super piece to hear in person and an outstanding performance by Goryachev!
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 06, 2012, 05:52:35 AM
Cool, Tony! I've heard the piece live, as well; agreed that (not surprisingly) its charms are richer still in person.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: kyjo on October 12, 2013, 03:53:59 PM
Time to revive this thread. What do you guys think of Rodrigo's Concierto Heroico? Much as I love Rodrigo's other concertos, the Concierto Heroico is my favorite work of his. It has the same feel as the Khachaturian, Bloch and Bliss PCs-sweeping, majestic, agitated and very symphonic in scope. The slow movement is chock full of Rodrigo's customary melancholy tenderness. It almost made it into my top 11 PCs of the 20th century, but it was edged out by de Falla's Nights in the Gardens of Spain in the end.
Title: Re: Joaquin Rodrigo (1901 - 1999)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on June 29, 2019, 03:01:34 PM
(https://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_500/MI0001/193/MI0001193443.jpg?partner=allrovi.com)

Just stumbled upon a lovely work of this composer from the disc above: Zarabanda lejana y Villancico. Rodrigo is often known by his achingly gorgeous slow movements, and whilst the aforementioned work is not one as such, it has the nobility and naivety of them. This is endearing music and memorable stuff.

I wish Rodrigo had composed a symphony. It's something I always regret of many composers.