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Guitares et mandolines

composer
1890
author of text

 
Guitares et mandolines is one of Saint-Saëns’ evocations of different musical instruments and is a song to his own text. It was written in 1890 and is one of the most effective of the many French songs which evoke Spain. It is true that the poem is not a masterpiece in itself, but it gives the composer ample opportunity to paint pictures. The repeated notes in the right hand of the accompaniment, an effect which suggests the plectrum at work, are the mark of a piano virtuoso who knows the tricks of the trade (the fingers have to alternate quickly on these repetitions). There is also a teasing use of hemiola, and when sharps and naturals are mentioned in the text (‘dièses, bécarres’) the composer pointedly writes an extra sharp sign above the word ‘dièses’, and takes care that all the melismatic notes of ‘bécarres’ are naturals.

from notes by Graham Johnson © 1997

Recordings

¡España!
CDA66176Archive Service
Saint-Saëns: Songs
CDA66856

Details

Track 11 on CDA66176 [1'41] Archive Service
Track 21 on CDA66856 [1'38]

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