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Jota aragonesa, Op 64


The theme of this vivacious, short work will instantly be recognised by anyone familiar with the Spanish Overture No 1 by Glinka. In 1844, the Russian composer was on a tour of Europe and at the urging of Franz Liszt, his champion and admirer, Glinka made a point of visiting Spain in order to study and absorb the folk-music of the country. His Spanish Overture is a 'Capriccio brillante' based on the 'jota aragonesa' (a traditional Spanish folk-dance depicting rustic courtship) which he heard from a guitarist in Valladolid. Not to be outdone, Liszt himself used the same melody in his Rhapsodie espagnole—one of his many piano works based on the various 'National Airs' of Spain, Italy, Hungary, France, England and so on—and this was later arranged for piano and orchestra by Busoni.

Saint-Saëns’s version of this music is actually described as a 'transcription' and was published in 1881. It is a scintillating number, delightfully scored, with castanets and tambourines adding appropriate local colour, and has been surprisingly overlooked both in the concert-hall and on record, where it now makes its debut.

from notes by Edward Johnson © 2019


Saint-Saëns: Africa & other orchestral works
Studio Master: SIGCD2162Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD2162 track 6

Recording date
19 January 1993
Recording venue
All Hallows, Gospel Oak, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Tim Handley
Recording engineer
Nicholas Parker
Hyperion usage
  1. Saint-Saëns: Africa & other orchestral works (SIGCD2162)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: April 2007
    Download only
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