Homenaje a Tárrega

Joaquin Turina

Homenaje a Tárrega

Op. 69

About this work

While playing the guitar had been an Iberian pastime for centuries before, Francisco Tárrega, who died in 1909, is generally considered the founder of modern guitar technique. This means that many people are deeply in his debt. One was Joaquin Turina, who wrote a number of short works for guitar and allowed the native music of Spain to influence many of his other works. Thus, it is fitting that Turina composed the Homenaje a Tárrega, published as Op. 69 and consisting of two short, tricky, thoroughly idiomatic flamenco pieces for solo guitar. The two pieces that make up the Homenaje a Tárrega, Turina's last music for solo guitar, were written for Andrés Segovia, who had approached Turina, as well as many other composers, in the 1920s for new guitar works. The first piece is a garrotín in 2/4 time, with an opening full of large gestures that soon yields to music which is less public but no less demanding. It trails off ambiguously at the end, finally settling dreamily into the major mode, which until then has gone unused. The second flamenco is a soleares in 3/4 time, quicker and more demanding than its predecessor, as Turina basically presents a series of variations on the contrasting quick runs and forceful strums characteristic of the flamenco style. This is slight but charming music, written with care to serve a noble purpose.