‘Taken from the grand symphony for ten pianos The Siege of Saragossa
first performed in Madrid on 28 June 1852 before the entire court of Spain.’ So runs the title page of the score. The complete ‘grand symphony’ has not survived but this section takes the form of brilliantly decorated treatments of the jota, a traditional dance of northern Spain, especially of Aragon. Glinka used the same tune in his orchestral Jota Aragonesa
, as did Liszt in his Rhapsodie Espagnole
, Saint-Saëns in his La Jota Aragonesa
(Op 64) and Massenet in his opera Le Cid
, besides numerous other composers.
from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 1994