Album for the Young (Book Three)

Program Notes

Photograph, text, sheet music and audio sample 
© 2002 by Elisenda Fabregas 

Album3testAlbum for the Young is a collection of thirty-four short pieces ranging from early to advanced intermediate level and organized in three books in order of difficulty. Each piece is one or two pages in length and cover a wide range of styles: from Renaissance to contemporary in the first two books, and Spanish & Latin American idioms in the third book. Fingering, pedaling articulation marks and other performance indications are provided for each piece. The writing is melodic and non-polyphonic making it more accessible to the early intermediate student.

I. Spanish fiesta is an energetic piece with colorful grace notes and exotic sounds of flamenco singing, guitar playing and ‘zapateado’ (feet stamping).

II. Nana (Spanish lullaby) is characterized by a haunting and sustained vocal line over long pedal points and three quarter notes ostinati in the left hand accompaniment. The stillness of the accompaniment provides a hypnotic and soothing quality to the music.

III. Sardana (Catalonian dance) is based on the Sardana, the vital and energetic dance from the Northeast Spanish region of Catalonia. The quarter and eighth note rhythmic figure in both right and left hands illustrate the leaps of the dance.

IV. Jota (Dance of Northeast Spain) is based on the jota, a robust dance in rapid triple time from Aragon (Northeast Spain). The left hand illustrates the energetic leaps characteristic of this dance.

V. Habanera (Cuban/Spanish dance) is a sensual and lyrical song over the typical habanera rhythm. The melody should be played legato and with a projecting singing tone. The rhythm should be steady but with certain degree of freedom, especially in the right hand.

VI.Tango is based on the tango, a passionate Argentinian dance. The fiercely rhythmic outer sections are built around a lyrical and expressive middle section. The accompanying chords of the outer sections should be performed with an incisive staccato. The rhythm must be steady but should allow for some freedom (or slight rubato) in order to exude the sensuality that the tango is best known for.

VII. Homage to Ginastera is a study in fourths that uses some of the characteristic meters, syncopations, and harmonies of the Argentinian composer Alberto Ginastera. This piece should be performed with a ‘martellato’ or percussive style.

Spanish Fiesta (audio)

Homage to Ginastera (audio)