There are few guitar compositions that surpass Maestro Joaquin Rodrigo’s masterpiece in sheer beauty and artistry.
The piece evokes a feeling of something lost, as if the world is suffused by some kind of wistful sadness. The notes echo inside one’s soul, and we, the listeners, are transfixed. It is impossible not to stop and listen; we are forced to submit ourselves—our whole being—to the notes that swirl around us, and we are held captive by the harmony created by guitar and English horns and violins and other musical instrument that come together almost miraculously.
Written by Joaquin Rodrigo in 1939 for classical guitar and orchestra, Concierto de Aranjuez is the composer’s best-known work. It is said the inspiration for this composition is the Palacio Real De Aranjuez, the spring resort palace and gardens built by Philip II in the last half of the 16th century and rebuilt in the middle of the 18th century by Ferdinand VI. The composition transports the listener to another place and time through the evocation of the sounds of nature.
Many great guitarist have interpreted the Concerto de Aranjuez, like the legendary Andres Segovia, Julian Bream, Narciso Yepez, Paco de Lucia, and of course John Williams. Even the jazz great Miles Davis has an interpretation of this piece.
This concerto is in three movements, and the most popular is the 2nd movement, the Adagio, which is featured above.