Day 7 – Albeniz Tango

6pm, Friday evening. Hoorah! It’s the start of the half-term holiday.

Hard to believe that it has been 6 weeks of term and 6 weeks of online teaching. As amazing as technology has been to allow music lessons to continue (or any lessons for that matter) I think a week’s respite from computers, Teams meetings and Zoom invitations well be much welcomed for parents, pupils and teachers alike. I for one can’t wait!

It has also been really heartening to witness the continued enthusiasm and diligence from my pupils. There may be no exams or concerts on the horizon at the moment but, from young to old, they have all continued to be motivated, continued to learn and continued to feel inspired. I hope that in the isolation of home-schooling, music lessons have been a welcome companion and playing an instrument a source of enjoyment and relaxation – and, a diversion to the many hours spent on screen.

Today in a lesson, one of my pupils was working on Albeniz’s Tango. With teaching you sometimes end up coming across pieces that you have long forgotten. Such is the case with the Tango. I hadn’t played it for years but suddenly felt inspired to play it again and thought, why not, it might bring some Mediterranean warmth to this freezing cold February day (-3 degrees according to thermometer). The minute after I finished teaching for the day, I had a good rummage around the music cupboard to see if I had the sheet music and lo and behold, found an old tattered copy in the Kreisler Collection.

Isaac Albeniz, alongside composers Manuel de Falla and Enrique Granados was one of the foremost composers of 19th Century Spain. His music is filled the poetry, spirit and ardour of his native country.

It is a Tango, but also, not a Tango. It is not dramatic. There are no passionate or fiery dancers here. Instead, it is calm and beautifully understated and, in this arrangement filled with Kreislerian charm.

Above all though, it’s languorous . Evocative of hazy afternoon siestas and a glass of the finest Rioja. Enjoy!

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