0

7

 

2

1

 

0

9

 

 

P

A

I

N

T

I

N

G

   

 

&

 

M

U

S

I

C

 

 

 

 

 

 

   


The Duchess of Alba, 1797, Goya
Hispanic Society of America, New York

       
 

 MAJOS IN LOVE

 
 

    Rainy Day Music...!

   

 

  

 

Rainy days are for Romantic piano music. Painting & Music are inexorably intertwined with Spanish identity in Enrique Granados's ornamental Goyescas, Los Majos Enamorados (The Majos in Love), a piano suite of 6 pieces that were inspired by the paintings of Goya.  Granados said most poetically: "I am enamored with the psychology of Goya, with his palette, with him, with his muse the Duchess of Alba.That whitish pink of the cheeks, contrasting with the blend of black velvet; those subterranean creatures, hands of mother-of-pearl and jasmine resting on jet trinkets, have possessed me."

 

The turn of the 20th century was a time of ardent nationalism in Spain, with much discussion about Spanish identity.  Granados, like many artists of the time, looked to Goya in an attempt to capture the essence of the Spanish soul.  Maja derives from the word maya, the month of May, and majismo was the wearing of national dress, after Andalusian May Day costumes -- the nobility sought to emulate the dress and mannerisms of the romantic, bohemian majos and majas.  The most famous of these was the Duchess of Alba and she is dressed in maja costume in the famous portrait, The Duchess of Alba, above.  She is also rumored to be the subject (the identity of the model remains uncertain) of the scandalous paintings, La Maja Desnuda (The Naked Maja) and La Maja Vestida (The Clothed Maja).

 

Granados also admired Goya's ability to paint emblematic Spanish scenes, in particular those depicting Madrilen life -- unlike his compatriots Falla and Albeniz, Granados was centered on Castilian, not Andalusian, culture.  Goyescas is embellished romantic music, with particularly difficult passages that forcefully alternate rhythms and tempos.  In Coloquio en la Reja - Do de Amor (Dialogue at the window, Love Duet) the music has the complexity and intricacy of the ornamental grill (reja) through which the lovers court.  The sense of sensual yearning in the former gives way to the deeper El Amor y la Muerte (Love and Death) which changes in mood from reverie to passionate tragedy.  Granados said of the Goyescas, "All of the themesare united in el amor y la muerte...intense pain, nostalgic love and the final tragedy - death." 

 

In 1916, Granados was a passenger on the ill-fated Sussex which was torpedoed by a German U-Boat in the English Channel.  Granados jumped into the ocean to save his wife Amparo, only to drown along with her.  There are differing accounts of this incident but we prefer this one which has all the elements of his music love, passionel amor y la muerte.

 

Listen: Goyescas, Los Majos Enamorados (The Majos in Love)

 

See: The Duchess of Alba, Hispanic Society of America, New York


Permalink   Save to del.icio.us    Digg This!



 

 


 

 



BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK!

     

Subscribe About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Editorial Policy Unsubscribe  Press Archives Search

 

 

 

2009 eCognoscente