Suggested by: @ArtemisFoul1812
Joaquin Rodrigo – raised to the position of 1st Marquis of the Gardens of Aranjuez by King Juan Carlos I in 1991 – was a Spanish composer and piano player. Near blind for much of his life, he composed in braille – his works translated for publications.
Despite raising the profile of the Spanish guitar and composing so successfully for it, Rodrigo never actually mastered the instruments himself. This work was the first that the compose had written for the Spanish guitar.
The Concierto de Aranjuez was written in 1939. This melancholic piece was speculated to be a response to the bombing of Guernica, or the tensions throughout Europe that eventually led to the second World War. Many years after its popularity, his wife Victoria revealed that the secondary movement had its origins in a far more personal tragedy for the couple – the miscarriage of their first child.
Inspired by the gardens at Aranjuez, the spring resort palace of the monarchy. Built in the 16th century by Philip the second, the gardens were rejuvenation two centuries later by Ferdinand the sixth. This composition seeks to transport the listener to a different time and place by mimicking the sounds that present themselves in nature.
There are three movements within this piece – Allegro con spirito, Adagio and Allegro gentile. The second movement is the best known – indeed it has so permeated the social consciousness that Rodrigo struggled to receive royalties – the timeless quality of the music convinced musicians that it was written in a bygone era!