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Pepe Romero Pays Tribute

Brian Gleeson on November 24, 2009
Few classical guitarists are more famous for introducing audiences to the richness and beauty of the instrument than Pepe Romero. For nearly 50 years, Romero has transported audiences the world over with his musical artistry, both as a soloist and as part of The Romeros, the classical world’s first guitar quartet, with his father, Celedonia, and brothers, Celine and Ángel.
Pepe Romero

Celebrated for his dazzling virtuosity, Romero is known for his compelling interpretations of what have come to represent the pillars of the classical guitar repertoire. In his Dec. 12 recital at Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, Romero will pay tribute to two composers from his native Spain who contributed greatly to the guitar repertoire, performing a concert devoted entirely to the works of Isaac Albéniz and Francisco Tárrega.

Billed as a “Celebration of Romantic Spain,” the concert marks the centenary of the deaths of both composers. Not just contemporaries, the pair were also friends and at times even musical partners, with Tárrega transcribing a number of Albéniz’ compositions.

Albéniz was a pianist and a composer best known for his piano works that incorporated themes from Spanish folk music. The eight movements of his Suite Española, Op. 47, though originally composed for piano, were later transcribed and have become mainstays of the classical guitar repertoire. During the first half of his recital, Romero intends to play “Asturias (Leyandas),” “Granada,” and “Sevilla” from the suite. In addition, he will perform the beautiful Rumores de la Caleta, Torre Bermeja, and Córdoba.

As with Albéniz, Tárrega’s music and guitar playing also combined classical music with Spanish folk elements. Capricho Árabe and Danza Mora, which Romero will perform, are some of Tárrega’s best-known pieces for guitar. Also during the recital’s second half, Romero will play other Tárrega favorites such as Lágrima, Adelita, Marieta, Tango Maria, and the jubilant Gran Jota.

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