Canarios, written in 1674 by Spanish composer Gaspar Sanz (1640–1710), inspired by a folk dance popular in the Canary Islands, has long been a popular piece with solo guitarists, even though it’s best-known application is as the theme of the fourth movement of JoaquÍn Rodrigo’s 1954 guitar concerto FantasÍa para un gentilhombre, written for Andrés Segovia, who premiered it in 1958. While that concerto will never eclipse the popularity of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez, in recent years it has been performed more and more, as guitarists and orchestras look for pieces that will appeal to the general classical audience. Certainly it has strong commercial appeal!
This vintage performance of Canarios performed by Angel Romero does not have the measured, courtly air that most versions do; rather its pace is brisk and nearly breathless, trading nuance for excitement and personality—both trademarks of Romero’s playing. —Blair Jackson