Manuel Barrueco's Transcription of Granada by AlbÃniz: A Guitar Masterpiece
Granada is one of the most popular pieces by the Spanish composer Isaac AlbÃniz (1860-1909), who wrote it for piano as part of his Suite EspaÃola, Op. 47. The suite consists of eight pieces that portray different regions and musical styles of Spain, such as CataluÃa, Sevilla, Cuba and Asturias. Granada is a serenade that evokes the Andalusian city of the same name, with its Moorish influences and rich musical heritage.
Granada has been transcribed for guitar by many performers, but one of the most outstanding versions is by the Cuban-born guitarist Manuel Barrueco (b. 1952), who recorded it in 1979 and published it in 1981 by Belwin-Mills. Barrueco is widely regarded as one of the finest classical guitarists of our time, with a brilliant technique, a refined musicality and a vast repertoire that spans from the Renaissance to contemporary music.
Barrueco's transcription of Granada is faithful to the original piano score, but also adapts it to the idiomatic possibilities of the guitar. He preserves the melodic lines, the harmonic richness and the rhythmic vitality of AlbÃniz's music, while also adding some embellishments, ornaments and variations that enhance the expressive character of the piece. He also transposes the piece from F major to E major, a more guitar-friendly key that allows for more resonance and easier fingering.
Barrueco's transcription of Granada is not only a beautiful rendition of AlbÃniz's music, but also a challenging and rewarding piece for guitarists who want to explore the Spanish repertoire. It requires a high level of technical skill, musical sensitivity and stylistic awareness, as well as a good knowledge of the guitar's resources and limitations. It is a piece that demands attention to detail, dynamics, articulation and tone color, as well as a sense of phrasing, structure and contrast.
Granada is one of the gems of Barrueco's publications, which include other transcriptions of AlbÃniz's works, such as Sevilla, CataluÃa and Cuba, as well as pieces by Falla, Granados, Malats, Iradier, Cervantes, Bach and Scarlatti. Barrueco's publications are available from his website https://barrueco.com/pages/publications/, where you can also find his recordings, videos and concert schedule.
If you are interested in learning more about Barrueco's transcription of Granada, you can also read this article by Steve Marsh from Classical Guitar Magazine: https://classicalguitarmagazine.com/manuel-barruecos-masterful-albeniz-transcriptions-have-been-in-the-making-for-40-years/
And if you want to listen to Barrueco's performance of Granada, you can watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=Z6zqQj2uOjA aa16f39245