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Posted on: April 20, 2017

The Guitar in Spain


Sunday, May 14 at 3:00 -- In this program, Dr. Jose Lezcano presents music written either for the guitar or one of its precursors, the vihuela. It explores the influence that Spain has had on the guitar and music in general through the centuries.  Professor Lezcano performs Renaissance, Classical, Romantic and 20th century music on a modern classical guitar, and provides the history that contextualizes the guitar as an instrument that reflects the main currents of Spain's turbulent history.The program begins with the music of the 16th century Vihuelists, who composed and published under censorship and the threat of the Inquisition.  It includes Pisador’s arrangement of a popular Frontier Ballad that narrates the Reconquest of Granada from a Moorish perspective, and popular 17th century dances by Gaspar Sanz.  Dr. Lezcano will discuss classical works of the Age of Enlightenment by Fernando Sor, an “Afrancesado” (French admirer) who had to leave Spain after the Fall of Joseph Bonaparte; and works by Enrique Granados reflecting the Generation of 1898’s turning inward, and nostalgia for the Spanish past (including Goya’s Majas and the Renaissance polyphony of Victoria and Guerrero).  The program concludes with the nationalist, flamenco-inspired works of Falla, Romero, Rodrigo, and others, and how the Civil War affected artists who survived, forced into exile or silence.

Described by Fanfare Magazine as “an excellent guitarist as well as an imaginative composer,” José Manuel Lezcano is Professor of Music at Keene State College where he teaches guitar, and directs the Guitar Orchestra and Latin Ensemble. He was twice nominated for Grammys for his work on the CD “Remembrances/Recuerdos" in 2007 in the categories “Best Contemporary Composition” and “Best Soloist with Orchestra."

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