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Aragón (Fantasia) No. 6 from Suite Española

Composer: Isaac Albéniz

Instrument: Percussion Ensemble

Level: Advanced

Published: 2015

Price: €20.00

Item details

  • Description +
    • Arranged by Scott Weatherson
      Duration: 6 min.

      Like many of his most well known works, Aragón (1886) by Issac Albéniz is nowadays more often associated with the guitar – even though the composer never wrote for that instrument - rather than the original piano composition. Further, although Aragón is published as part of the Suite Española, it was not included there by the composer himself, but rather by an editor after the composers death.   

      As with much of Albeniz's music, this piece (subtitled Fantasia) is representative of the folk music of the region for which the work is named; in this instance the Aragón region of Spain. The piece opens with a lively dance in 3/8 contrasted with a slower middle section. Later arpeggiated chords are heard which evoke the sound of a strummed guitar; the melody in this section is marked 'come una ghitarra il canto' ('like a guitar singing'). Many repeated phrases can be heard in the music in a call and response manner, and this arrangement for 2 marimbas (requiring two 5 ocatve instruments) passes the melodic material back and forth between the two instruments, with both players sharing the roles of melody and accompaniment.

  • Instrumentation +
    • Percussion Duo

      Instruments Required:
      2 Marimbas (5 octave marimbas)

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  • About the composer +
    • Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz y Pascual (29 May 1860–18 May 1909) was a Spanish pianist and composer best known for his piano works based on folk music idioms. Transcriptions of many of his pieces, such as Asturias (Leyenda), Granada, Sevilla, Cadiz, Cordoba, Cataluña, and the Tango in D, are important pieces for classical guitar, though he never composed for the guitar. The personal papers of Albéniz are preserved, among other institutions, in the Biblioteca de Catalunya.

  • Reviews +
    • Percussive Notes, November 2016

      “Aragón,” a Spanish-style dance, was originally written for piano, though, like most of Albéniz’s compositions, the piece is best known for being played on guitar. This arrangement for two 5-octave marimbas is written in the keys of the original piano composition, but is texturally much more similar to the guitar version without the octave doubling or the third and perfect fourth interval harmonizing of the melody lines that are possible with solo piano.  

      If Scott Weatherson had integrated more of the piano version in this arrangement, he would have significantly raised the level of difficulty. Frankly, I appreciate that he did not. It is great to have compositions of this caliber available to intermediate-level players. In this duo version, both parts require four mallets, are of comparable difficulty, and share the roles of melody and accompaniment equally. Some of the more challenging aspects include the numerous key changes and a few large jumps to the low end of the instrument. I highly recommend it as an energetic, small chamber ensemble piece for a junior or senior recital.  

      —Julie Licata

  • Credits +
    • Front Cover Graphics and Layout: Ronni Kot Wenzell
      Engraving: Scott Weatherson & CPH Engraving
      Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
      Copyright © Edition Svitzer