Joaquín Rodrigo, Spain's leading composer of the second half of the twentieth century, was also a writer of considerable distinction. In addition to his 170 compositions in almost every musical form, including the world-famous Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra, he published articles and critical reviews throughout his working life. This volume makes available Rodrigo's writings to English-speaking readers throughout the world. The generous selection reveals an outstanding critical mind, equally illuminating on the main developments in the history of classical music and its most important composers, from Bach and Mozart to Verdi and Puccini, as well as Rodrigo's contemporaries. Rodrigo’s writings also cover many aspects of the culture and music of Spain and the country's major composers, as well as being an invaluable guide to an understanding and appreciation of Rodrigo's own works. The composer's style of writing is extremely varied, by turns incisive, eloquent, poetic, or delightfully humorous. Given the worldwide fame and popularity of his music, the availability in English of a large number of the composer's many articles and critical reviews will be of the greatest interest to musicians, scholars, music critics, and music-lovers alike.
Sir Neville Marriner
Joaquín Rodrigo: 1901 – 1999
1 On the history of music
2 On major composers
3 On his contemporaries
4 On his own music
Joaquín Rodrigo: literature and music
‘The translation of every one of the articles, from the simplest to the most complex, could not be bettered, and the concluding essay, a synthesis of music, poetry and history, is simply masterly.’
‘This is a great work… brilliantly accomplished'.
‘This is a beautifully presented book, and these excellent translations of the writings of Joaquin Rodrigo cover an immense span of musical awareness. The entire publication provides a scholarly revelation of the insights and responses of a great composer, whose creative life spanned the whole of the 20th century.’
Professor Graham Wade, formerly City of Leeds College of Music
‘Joaquín Rodrigo is universally regarded as one of Spain's greatest composers, but what admirers sometimes overlook is that he was also a prolific author of writings about music and musicians. These provide us with an indispensable window into the mind of a multifaceted artist, one whose works exhibit both emotional immediacy and intellectual sophistication. But to those not fluent in Spanish, the literary dimension of his creative life has remained largely inaccessible—until now. With the advent of Writings on Music, Calcraft and Matthews make available to readers of English an impressive array of commentaries on a wide variety of musical subjects, rendered in a prose style that matches the elegance of the original Spanish and accurately conveys the composer's insights.'
Professor Walter Clark, University of California, Riverside
‘It is wonderful to think that the Spanish will long be reminded of their character, their qualities of thought, of feeling, and of being, through the music of Joaquín Rodrigo’
'Raymond Calcraft and Elizabeth Matthews are to be congratulated on the devoted service they have given to Rodrigo. From playing his music, I believe I understand Rodrigo the composer; now I feel I know Rodrigo the man.'
Sir Neville Marriner