Francisco Tárrega: Guitar Music

Francisco Tárrega: Guitar Music

by Mats BergströmMats Bergström


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The music of Francisco Tárrega, mostly consisting of short pieces composed for his own use, has never quite gotten the respect accorded to other Spanish guitar composers from around the turn of the last century. But, well played, his works transcend their salon context, and no one could claim he didn't have a way with a tune. Sample the "Gran Vals," track 27, and wait until the statement of the first theme is ending; you'll hear something extremely familiar and may wonder whether Tárrega's heirs have ever realized any money on the deal. There are various recordings of the "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" (track 22) and of a few other pieces as well. This one, by Swedish guitarist Mats Bergström, uses a copy of an instrument (it seems to have modern strings, however) owned by Tárrega himself. It's lovely in the "Recuerdos de la Alhambra" and in the short, limpid polkas, waltzes, and other dances that are sprinkled through the program. The chief interest here may be the set of 16 preludes Bergström presents complete. That works well in itself, for the preludes are quite a varied showcase for the techniques that made Tárrega a hit in concert. The "Prelude No. 9 in B minor" is an arrangement of part of Mendelssohn's "Fingal's Cave" overture, and the "Prelude No. 10 in D minor, Oremus," is based on a Schumann piano piece. These works, and some of the longer Spanish-flavored pieces like the "Capricho arabe" (Serenata), don't quite have the dynamic oomph you may hope for. Perhaps this is due to the characteristics of the semi-historical guitar Bergström uses. It is, in any event, clean and agile in the more circumspect music, and the album is beautifully recorded in a Swedish studio. As a whole, it captures the qualities that made Tárrega a popular and charismatic figure.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/17/2009
Label: Naxos
UPC: 0747313236572
catalogNumber: 8572365
Rank: 113610


  1. Etude for guitar No. 20, Estudio brillante de Alard
  2. Pavane for guitar
  3. Vals for guitar in D major
  4. Isabel, vals for guitar
  5. Alborada for guitar
  6. Grand valse, for guitar
  7. Paquito, waltz for guitar in C major
  8. Capricho árabe, for guitar
  9. Pepita, polka for guitar
  10. Rosita, polka for guitar
  11. Recuerdos de la Alhambra, for guitar
  12. Maria, gavotte for guitar
  13. Mazurka for guitar in G major
  14. Marieta, mazurka for guitar
  15. Adelita, mazurka for guitar
  16. Las dos hermanitas, vals for guitar
  17. Prelude for guitar No. 10 in D minor "Oremus"
  18. Prelude for guitar No. 9 in D minor "Endecha"
  19. Prelude, for guitar in D major ("Andantino")
  20. Prelude for guitar No. 7 in G major
  21. Prelude for guitar No. 14 in A minor
  22. Prelude for guitar No. 8 in A minor "Lágrima"
  23. Etude for guitar No. 4 in B minor
  24. Etude for guitar No. 17, Sobre un tema de Mendelssohn
  25. Prelude for guitar in F sharp minor
  26. Prelude, for guitar in A major ("Andante")
  27. Prelude for guitar No. 4 in B minor
  28. Prelude for guitar No. 1 in E major
  29. Prelude for guitar No. 16 in E major
  30. Prelude, for guitar in G major ("Allegretto")
  31. Prelude, for guitar in A minor ("Allegro Moderato")
  32. Prelude, for guitar in D minor ("Moderato")

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