We Bring to Light the Preludio al atardecer by Joaquín Rodrigo

In Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Composer’s Death

A few days ago, news broke out about the recent recording of the unpublished work, Preludio al atardecer by Joaquín Rodrigo, performed by the guitarist Juan Manuel Cañizares.
Written in 1926, its existence is likely due to the rumors of a prospective convention on García Lorca that was going to be taking place that same year, with flamenco as a central theme. As such, it’s one of his early works. It was kept stowed away by the composer and his wife, and later on, in the archives of the Victoria and Joaquín Rodrigo Foundation. The family was aware of its existence, but never published it, as the author himself didn’t choose do so in life.
Preludio al atardecer was written the same year as the Zarabanda lejana, which was originally composed for solo guitar, later on adapted for solo piano, and finally also orchestrated by the composer in 1930. In its version for guitar, it is published in a set together with the Pastoral and the Fandango del ventorrillo; in its version for piano, it is published under the title Dos piezas para piano along with the work Air de ballet sur le nom d’une jeune fille; and in its version for string orchestra, it is published along with the Villancico. The Zarabanda lejana represents the path which Rodrigo ultimately opted to follow, when he was still seeking to define his compositional style.
The musicologist Javier Suárez Pajares, an expert on the Valencian composer’s works, has been conducting research at the Victoria and Joaquín Rodrigo Foundation for many years, studying the countless documents preserved there. Upon analyzing the copyist’s manuscript of the Preludio al atardecer, he discussed his conclusions with the family who then agreed to bring the Preludio to light, precisely in this commemorative year, considering it of general interest to offer greater insight into the paths and stylistic sketches the young composer experimented with before traveling to Paris.
Given that this work is highly affiliated with flamenco and is of great technical difficulty, Cecilia Rodrigo, only-daughter of the composer and President of the Foundation, personally handed the music to Juan Manuel Cañizares, being the ideal artist in this case to make this first recording.

We share another interesting fact about the PRELUDIO AL ATARDECER

As we mentioned in our previous post on this work, Joaquín Rodrigo chose not to publish the Preludio al atardecer in its original version for solo guitar. He did however use it as a source of inspiration when he composed the PRELUDIO PARA UN POEMA A LA ALHAMBRA in 1928 - an orchestral work which is quite personal in nature.

In this case, the composer did decide to disclose the work. It is published and has been recorded by the Real Filharmonía de Galicia, conducted by Antoni Ros Marbá.

We invite you all to listen to it!


Zarabana jejana     Preludio al atardecer guitarra 1    Preludio al atardecer guitarra 2

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