Interpreting Granados’ “Tonadillas”

Photo credit: Detail of (The White) Duchess of Alba, Goya, 1795

“The words, it’s all in the words!” Soprano Licia Albanese kept repeating during a coaching of the death scene from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly about 10 years ago.

With Granados, yours truly studies the words continually, the piano accompaniment, and has done considerable reading and listening to Granados himself. In addition to simply learning the music. For 30+ years.

Is she a slow learner? No. As one’s character grows, so does one’s experience, and understanding. So more can be brought to bear on one’s studies. The mark of a good composer is one who always has more to say.

However, how the singer interprets musically the emotions evoked by the music is totally personal.

This author’s taken you on an exploratory trip through one composer’s song cycle, but you must make your own journeys, Dear Ones.

Have fun! All the best!


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