Joaquín Rodrigo (1901-1999)
En los trigales
One of the most popular composers for the classical guitar, Joaquín Rodrigo carried the Spanish nationalist and impressionist tradition into the second half of 20th century, infusing traditional dance forms with new harmonic colors. He studied for some years in Paris with composers including Paul Dukas, and traces of French music often appear in his works. Despite being blind from age three, he had a prolific output in multiple genres, with his most famous work being the Concierto de Aranjuez.
En los Trigales, Spanish for “in the wheat fields,” dates to 1938, when Rodrigo finally returned to Spain after his studies in France, an absence prolonged by the Spanish Civil War. It was the first of a series of impressionistic pieces referring to Spanish landscapes which Rodrigo eventually collected into the suite Por los Campos de España. The outer sections of the piece are a vigorous dance colored by surprising, even witty, chromatic shifts. In the middle is a stately, march-like tune, interrupted by bell-like quartal sonorities and a distant echo of the original dance.