Concierto de Aranjuez - Rodrigo "Adagio" NEW PIANO SOLO arrangement

Joaquín Rodrigo wrote "Concierto de Aranjuez" for classical guitar and orchestra. It's not only his best known work but among the best loved of all classical works.

Until now (to the best of my knowledge) there's only a shortened, somewhat simplified arrangement of the Adagio, made by the composer himself for piano.

LISTEN: Rodrigo plays on piano a section from a different arrangement than his published version, recorded for TV:

Rodrigo plays the Adagio from Concierto de Aranjuez on piano:

Late last year I suggested to my friend Mercuzio -- an excellent arranger and transcriber of all styles of music for piano -- a project to make a full solo piano transcription of the Adagio, and this recording is of the transcription he came up with.

Thoughts on this arrangement:

In truth this arrangement is quite difficult to play, at least for me, even though it's mainly slow. It's an advanced level arrangement and took me a lot of practice, especially voicing and studying the way a guitarist plays this work, especially in terms of touch and rhythm.

Mercuzio ingeniously distributes the parts often over three staves which is entirely practical if you are used to reading three staves together. There isn't a place in the whole piece that can't be played, however, for me, I had to spread some of the 10th chords not intended to be spread, as my hand will now only reach a 9th. but spreading chords seems to me to be in keeping with the style of the piece.

Many times the left hand needs to spread the complete chord divided between the bottom 2 staves, so lots of practice to turn the wrist over to play the treble clef notes following the bass clef smoothly. Occasionally it's possible to play the top part of the spread chords with the right hand as well as the melody, and you can work out which is the most practical way to play the three staves with a little experimentation and trail and error.

In this recording I use the 4th harmonic pedal. I found the sostenuto part of the pedal very useful, but especially the resonance half position which I used throughout the cadenza for example. That's to say, I was able to hold some melody notes with HP sostenuto and release to resonance half position to allow sympathetic resonance to colour the overall sound rather than full sustain which can cause blurring. You can hear another example of harmonic resonance in the staccato section bars 52-54.

To find out more about how the harmonic pedal works:

Mercuzio's arrangement can of course be played with the traditional sustain pedal, but my personal preference was for the harmonic pedal (which also has the traditional sustain built in) in this recording.

Please note: In this recording I changed the chords in bars 81-82 to tremolo as I wasn't physically able to repeat them with my wrist as fast as they need to be and usually get played on guitar with a strumming technique.

Mercuzio's provides an alternative cadenza arrangement which is a little easier to perform than the cadenza featured in this recording which is more pianistic.

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Rodrigo's music is still copyright so anticipating some viewers would like to play this arrangement too, please contact Mercuzio directly for his arrangement.

Excellent FREE piano arrangements by MERCUZIO.

Purchase link to alternative piano solo arrangement:

Joaquin Rodrigo: Adagio From Concerto De Aranjuez Piano Solo

FREE MP3 of my recording from Goggle Drive:

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About "Concierto de Aranjuez" (from Wiki)

The work attempts to transport the listener to another place and time through the evocation of the sounds of nature. Rodrigo himself described the concerto as capturing "the fragrance of magnolias, the singing of birds, and the gushing of fountains" in the gardens of Aranjuez.

Rodrigo and his wife Victoria stayed silent for many years about the inspiration for the second movement, and thus the popular belief grew that it was inspired by the bombing of Guernica in 1937. In her autobiography, Victoria eventually declared that it was both an evocation of the happy days of their honeymoon and a response to Rodrigo's devastation at the miscarriage of their first pregnancy. It was composed in 1939 in Paris.

Rodrigo was almost blind since age three, was a pianist. He did not play the guitar, yet still managed to capture and project the role of the guitar in Spanish music.

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