11 Songs arranged for Viola and Piano by Monisa Angell and Melissa Rose. Includes CD of complete performance by Monisa Angell and Melissa Rose.
These songs are originally for voice and piano, but work beautifully for the viola and piano (with one song that includes English Horn). They are appropriate for intermediate to professional players. These 11 songs are great for developing a lyrical style of playing or including on a recital program in various groupings as short pieces. The busy streets and colorful costumes of Madrid come to life in the Tonadillas (11songs) by Enrique Grandos (1876-1916). Based on texts by Granados' friend, Fernando Periquet (1873-1940), the songs detail the romantic relationships of the majos and majas, the flamboyant working class people featured in the paintings of Goya, the great 19th-century Spanish painter. Granados wrote the set of 12 songs in 1912-1913, not long before he tragically died on a ship torpedoed in the English Channel in World War I. The eleven songs transcribed here for viola and piano are originally for solo voice- the other tonadilla is a duet. One of the eleven, "La Maja Dolorosa", also includes English horn, an unusual combination of instruments in the song literature. In the solo songs, the piano part is evocative of the plucked guitar, the traditional Spanish instrument, and it supports the wonderful, plaintive melodies of the viola. In the song with English horn, the accompaniment becomes more orchestral, providing the foundation for both solo instruments. Each song is a musical description of the text- it might describe the honorable, discreet majo (El Majo Discreto), or chide the timid majo (El Majo Timido), or portray the passionate, piercing gaze of the maja (El Mirar de la Maja). It is with this set of songs that Granados established a new tradition for Spanish song, incorporating traditional Spanish culture and elevating its tradition to the level of the 19th century German lied. The sparseness of the guitar-like accompaniment contributes to the musical tension between the two instruments, with the rubato of the melodic line based on the language inflections of the Spanish text.--notes by Melissa Rose