Sunday, January 6, 2008

Piano 101: 3. Villanesca

Villanesca was probably my first exposure to the Spanish piano repertoire. My score has pencil markings from both Edith Orton and Jean-Paul Sevilla, suggesting that I worked on this piece toward the very end of my time with Mrs. Orton. That's when she was sending me occasionally to study with Jean-Paul and Douglas. Probably around 1984.

There's something so compelling about the mood of this piece to me. I always come back to it, and it always affects me. I think it's probably a combination of the stately, foreign sounds and my history with the piece.

I never studied much of the story of Enrique Granados. I know he was a Catalonian composer from around the turn of the century (19th to 20th). He's best known for his Goyescas suite, not the Spanish Dances suite from which Villanesca comes. I might get around to recording one of the Goyescas pieces eventually. We'll see.

Track 3: Villanesca (Enrique Granados)


  1. Kenneth,
    I like listening to this piece. It has a simplicity about it that is attractive and appealing. As you play the notes I find myself anticipating what will come next.

    Thanks for including a little information about the composer and about your original exposure to this particular piece of music.

    I keep coming back to listen to the three selections you have recorded so far and I look forward to hearing whatever you choose to do next.

  2. Boy, does that ever bring back memories. It is sounding better than ever.
    Love, Mom

  3. @Louise: I think your characterization is exactly right. It's funny, because the simplicity and geometry of the piece also make it very transparent, and that's its biggest challenge. Any unevenness in touch or rhythm is glaringly obvious.

    @BJ: Ha! I hoped it would spark your memory.

  4. Hey Kenneth


    I am in awe after listening to all three pieces.
    You have motivated me to learn how to play the piano now.