With all the political turmoil that’s enveloping us here in the U.S., this week I’m looking for a little serenity (and escape). So, who better to provide that than Julian Bream? In this video, excerpted from a famous TV series Bream made a number of years ago, the master guitarist performs Enrique Granados’ beautiful and much-loved La Maja de Goya (interspersed with footage of Goya works and various contemporary women). What passion and exemplary technique and attention to detail he displays!
The piece was written in 1910 as one of Granados’ Tonadillas al estilo antiguo, for voice and piano; the words being drawn from poems by Fernando Periquet. Most guitar versions do not include singing, though Christopher Parkening and soprano Kathleen Battle recorded a gorgeous voice-guitar rendition of the piece on their 1986 album Pleasures of Their Company, which you can listen to here. —Blair Jackson