(‘The straw man’), subtitled ‘Escena goyesca’, is usually programmed along with the suite. The influence of Scarlatti is especially marked here, in the sheer delight Granados takes in sensual virtuosity and irrepressible bonhomie. The pelele was a life-size straw man that young women enjoyed tossing up in the air, using a blanket that they held at the corners as a kind of trampoline. Goya portrayed the scene unforgettably in one of his tapestry cartoons, and the giddy exuberance of this music makes El pelele
one of Granados’s most memorable compositions. Granados premiered it at a concert in Terrassa on 29 March 1914. In fact, the term ‘Goyescas’ encompasses all of Granados’s piano works inspired by the artist, not only the suite. In addition to El pelele
, other ‘Goyescas’ include Jácara (Danza para cantar y bailar)
, Serenata goyesca
(a recording he made for Duo-Art in New York shortly before his death).
from notes by Walter Aaron Clark © 2012
author of Enrique Granados: Poet of the Piano (Oxford, 2006/2011)