Sunday, May 1, 2011

Video: Nin-Culmell--Muiñeira (Galicia)

Here's another piece I discovered on YouTube. I'm pretty sure it was served up as a "Suggestion" video to one of my own. Given the spotty information accompanying the video, it took a little hunting to find the music. The piece is Muiñeira (Galicia) by twentieth century German/Cuban/Spanish/American composer Joaquín Nin-Culmell. It's number 24 from Tonadas, a suite of 48 pieces in four volumes.

Nin-Culmell was born in Germany, the son of Cuban-Spanish parents and brother of famous author Anaïs Nin (whose full name was Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell). He was also a student of the great Spanish composer Manuel de Falla.

A muiñeira is a Spanish song typically played by a Galician gaita, which is a kind of Spanish bagpipe. The piece does sound bagpipey to me, especially the grace notes in the middle section. The lack of individual note attacks on bagpipes prevents you from playing the same note twice, so if you want to repeat a note you use a grace note to articulate it. This is exactly how Nin-Culmell uses grace notes in the middle section.

As far as I can tell, this piece was also what I call a "YouTube Bullseye"—a piece that has exactly one video on YouTube. Of course, now that I've recorded it, it's no longer a bullseye.

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