Asturias - Premium Membership

In this series of video lessons I will give you performance tips and ideas to play Asturias with feeling and technical proficiency. These guitar lessons will also show you every note including chords, left and right hand fingering, harmonics, ponticello, tonal shaping, and much more.

Background:

Asturias (Leyenda) by the Spanish composer Isaac Albeniz in 1892 has become an iconic guitar piece synonymous with Spain and it contains many of the idiomatic flavours of flamenco. Ironically it was written for piano yet it is the guitar transcriptions that has bought the piece to international attention. The piece has firmly entrenched itself in the classical guitar repertoire and is considered to be one of the standard concert pieces that all guitarists will learn and play at some point in their career.

Key Points:

  • The original piece was written for piano in the key of G minor
  • The guitar transcription is in the key of E minor (a minor 3rd lower than the original)
  • Whilst not a flamenco piece per se it shares some characteristics such as rasguedos, intense rhythmic and harmonic content consistent with the sound of flamenco and is likened to the Bulería of Andalusia
  • Marcato and Stacatto indications throughout reflect the rapid footwork of a flamenco dancer

Performance Notes For The Entire Piece:

  • Stay relaxed especially in the opening stanzas with the picking hand
  • Use P I M and P I A right-hand picking for various sections in the    opening stanza
  • Try to utilise 'full planting' in the right for the rapid triplet lines in the A section
  • Make maximum use of dynamics and remember that sforzando is common in this piece and essential to bringing the vibrancy to life
  • Don't take too many liberties with the timing in the A section. Bulería is a dance and as such rubato is frowned upon
  • The B and Capo sections can be played more freely and loosely with respect to rhythm. 

Let your fingers fly!