Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

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amade
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by amade » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:21 pm

The question is this: what facts help determine the minimum speed of the piece as notated by the composer? Tárrega did not intend this piece to be played at a tempo where the pulse is felt in six. The notation shows that the piece is clearly in three. And it moves at a walking pace (andante/andantino). That does not mean this is a waltz or that the beats with accents needs to be strongly accentuated. No one can say exactly what Tárrega intended the accent sign to mean. But he placed accent signs on those beats. He never wrote "gently," and what seems like an "obvious" interpretation to one is not obvious to someone else. But the accent signs surely reinforce the simple triple meter no matter how one performs them.

As I wrote earlier, romantic music is generally "phrased in one," as Benjamin Zander puts it. Tárrega titled this a "cantiga," which is a piece that suggests a vocal style. So the vocal-like line should have long and lyrical phrases.

Beyond that and the other specifics of the notation, it's in the performer's hands.
DJB

Juan del Bosque
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by Juan del Bosque » Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:09 am

amade wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:40 am
In the 1899 manuscript the title is "Improvisation / A Granada / Cantiga Arabe." Thus the piece is an Arabian [influenced or styled] song - a clear reference to a vocal style. Not a machine-gun delivery but a lyrical, exotic song.

In the later print where the title Recuerdos de la Alhambra appears for the first time, Tárrega has added accents over the second and third beats, clearly emphasizing three pulses in the measure.
"Machine gun delivery", :lol: memorable metaphor amade! By the way in my usage I use the word waltz for anything in three four--a hyper-generalization. RDLA is definitely not a waltz in the sense of Blue Danube for instance. I regularly play a few pieces by Chopin on piano and I'm pretty sure I know what you are referring about the romantic style. Indeed I sense Chopin's influence on some of Tarrega's composition.

Concerning the bass notes' accompaniment, I actually put a little bit of wrist into it. Not because I can't do it with a quiet wrist, but rather because I can inject more precious rhythm into it--and it's worth the departure from established method for me.

Eliseo
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by Eliseo » Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:50 pm

I have read many opinions and all of them seem interesting to me. And maybe this is why the more I read the more I learn.
We all know that on the one hand we have the instrument, and on the other hand, the musical theme.
I propose, in my humble opinion, to contemplate the musical part. I think it should be consider Recuerdos de la Alhambra as a tremolo study, Andante 3/4.
It is obvious that it is a very beautiful piece and it seems that the faster it is played, the better it sounds. But I insist, it's an Andante 3/4.
Who knows the so famous study in B minor of Fernando Sor, Andante and 3/4. And the Testament d'Àmelia, Andante and 3/4. Have you heard or interpreted any of these pieces? Well, with Recuerdos de la Alhambra included, the three pieces are Andante and 3/4. ... at what speed do you interpret them?
Let's not forget that the Andante 3/4 analysis is musical, not instrument.
I can not extend more, because the subject is too broad.
I want to finish this writing with the phrase with which I started: "... in my humble opinion"

Regards :bye:

Eliseo Fresquet-Serret

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:10 pm

Eliseo wrote:Who knows the so famous study in B minor of Fernando Sor, Andante and 3/4.
Actually Sor's very easy exercise in Bm is marked allegretto Eliseo.

Then what does andante really mean anyway ... always mean the same thing? If Sor writes it does it imply a similar tempo to when Llobet or Tárrega do so?

What's more - Tárrega's 1889 manuscript marks Recuerdos as andantino (as alluded to by Amade).

A "3/4 andante" theory might stand up in terms of how some performers interpret these works but is perhaps not such a good fit according to the ideas of the respective composers.

robert e
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by robert e » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:30 am

Fascinating discussion. While it probably hasn't been mentioned because it's so well-known, I thought someone should mention it at least for the record: One other clue we have of Tarrega's intent is his note at the end of the manuscript version dedicated to Sra. Da. Conchita G. de Jacoby:
Ya que no puedo ofrecer a V. ofrenda de mas valia en el dia de su Santo, acepte esta mi pobre nota poetica, impresion que sintió mi alma ante la grandiosa maravilla de la Alhambra de Granada que juntos amiramos. Fran.co tarrega
Translated by Stanley Yates as:
Since I cannot offer you a present of any worth on your birthday, accept this humble poetic impression, made on my soul by the grandiose marvel of the Alhambra of Granada we both admire.
As we all know, the Alhambra is a legendary palace, famed for its gardens and fountains. To me this indicates a pace of a stately or contemplative walk, with a sense of awe. Granted, even if they agree with this notion, different players will translate it into tempo in different ways. And of course they should. In my humble opinion, the bottom line is the feeling Tarrega wanted to express, and the musical nuances that best express that is going to vary some--era to era, culture to culture, interpreter to interpreter. To that end, I think the manuscript note is very helpful.

Anyway, to return to the OP, Tarrega's note suggest to me that I should be concerned with maximum speed as well as a minimum.

closet guitarist
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by closet guitarist » Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:04 pm

robert e wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:30 am
As we all know, the Alhambra is a legendary palace, famed for its gardens and fountains.
One of the things I remember was all the wild cats running around.

robert e
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by robert e » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:29 pm

closet guitarist wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:04 pm
robert e wrote:
Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:30 am
As we all know, the Alhambra is a legendary palace, famed for its gardens and fountains.
One of the things I remember was all the wild cats running around.
Was Tarrega trying to evoke the pitter-patter of little paws? I want to believe this!

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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by Eliseo » Thu Jul 18, 2019 3:57 pm

Mark,
I appreciate your comment. Without any discussion on my part. In 1960 I learned it as Andante 3/4. I give you the reason, because a comrade from Madrid already told me that said study in his time was an allegretto.
I am very happy to learn new things, really very happy. but I like to express my humble opinion. The three pieces that we are dealing with are of character sad and romantic. With the exception of Recuerdos de la Alhambra. In this piece, great guitarists have interpreted her teaching her great masters skills and have interpreted it with her virtuosity.
When we examine ourselves what the court asks for?
I want to put for example, and without pedantry on my part, that it would be from the study of Fernando Sor if it were interpreted in a faster time.
With all my sincerity and respect. :bye:

Eliseo Fresquet-Serret

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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by Eliseo » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:39 pm

Robert,
I admire your comment! Apparently you've had to learn things like me! Fascinating!!
From 1.960, in the private classes that I received from Professor Graciano Tarragó, there was never a lack of historical comments. When he began to teach me Recuerdos de la Alhambra, he explained something about Francisco Tárrega. He could not specify what piece was, but one of his compositions was dedicated to a lady and then he changed of mind and dedicatet it to a man. In those days we students had to use our memory, because there was no internet or other similar things.
You're right Robert, the Alhambra is a legendary palace. When I visited, I closed my eyes and hearing the sweet splash of water from their fountains I tried to listen to the music of Recuerdos de la Alhambra. For me it was impossible to hold back the tears of emotion.
With a big greeting I send you part of that emotion that I did feel. :bye: :bye:

Eliseo Fresquet-Serret
 

Eliseo
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by Eliseo » Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:54 pm

Closet, you're right, there are always cats. But I think we should discuss the work and remember it with that emotion and feeling that the great master Francisco Tárrega wrote "Recuerdos de la Alhambra"!

My regards from Lloret de Mar :bye: :bye:

Eliseo Fresquet-Serret

closet guitarist
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by closet guitarist » Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:01 pm

I was referring to the place not the music. I also the recall the arabesque detailing of the palace which reminded me of Celtic designs.

Cheers

Eliseo
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by Eliseo » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:18 pm

For my part you already know that the more I read the more I learn.
If I remember correctly, Recuerdos de la Alhambra was composed in Granada. Undoubtedly the inspiration that Francisco Tárrega received to compose this piece was the charm of gardens and palaces of the "Nazari" culture that for so many centuries resided in Andalucía.
And this is how I think that we can not separate the place from the music, both go completely in parallel.( In my humble opinion)

Rgards :bye:

Eliseo Fresquet-Serret
 

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:42 pm

Eliseo wrote:And this is how I think that we can not separate the place from the music, both go completely in parallel.
Agreed Eliseo - in seeking to interpret our music we should always ask at least these few questions:

Who? When? Where? Why?

Saitenfee
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by Saitenfee » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:30 pm

Hello,

to come back to guitarrista's results with the online tap metronome. I doubt that this measures are right.
It is very easy to meter the average speed. Only what you have to do is to measure the total time and then you can calculate it.

For example: the first part of RdlA consists of 20 bars / 3/4. Starting from the tempo for pami, you play it 6 times per bar. So, it is easy: 20 bars multiplied by 6 = 120. Consequently you play it with the speed of 120 bpm, if you need one minute for the first part of the piece.

For example, to calculate s.o. plays RdlA / first part in 40 seconds you have to use the rule of three: (anti proportional)

60 sec = 120 bpm
40 sec = ?

60 x 120 = 7200
7200 / devided by 40 = 180bpm

So, I did that to several players on yt and I come to other results than gutiarista. Perhaps, somebody plays it one time faster and one time slower - but in all cases I came to slower results. For instance Edson Lopez with 52 seconds for the first part = 138 bpm, or David Russell in 49 sec (first part) = 147 bpm.

By the way, I find that the measure in figures is not so important. Some players performe it relative slowly, but it touches my soul and it sounds beautifully! And some players who play it faster, are touching my soul too. (if you remember RdlA of "owl" it was so slow but so beautiful!) :D
And others, in spite of their tempo, can't convince me! :(
Much more important than speed in figures is the interpretation, and what the audience (and the performer ;)) are feeling. And, last but not least: if someone plays it slower, it has to be much more exactly tremolo, to create the right effect. A very fast tremolo conceals the impurities. You can easily try it out with a music editing programm.

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Mark Clifton-Gaultier
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Re: Minimum speed for Recuerdos de la Alhambra

Post by Mark Clifton-Gaultier » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:55 pm

Saitenfee wrote:Much more important than speed in figures is the interpretation, and what the audience (and the performer) are feeling ... slower, it has to be much more exactly tremolo, to create the right effect.
To misquote Hippocrates: Tremolo longa ... iudicium difficile. (Sorry - can't type Greek)

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