20 August 2011

Malagueña facil (and the last few seconds of it)

Malagueña facil is a piece of music for classical guitar, composed by Francisco Tárrega. The composer, Tárrega, bearing the name of  the small town in Cataluña, was a classical guitarist  

of the romantic period who laid the foundations of classical guitar, as we know it now. He was the teacher of  Emilio Pujol and Miguel Llobet. The malagueñas is one of the traditional styles of flamenco music from Andaluzía. In composing it, Tárrega was probably inspired by the gypsies: as a teenager, he ran away from home to join the gypsies in Valencia.This particular piece was titled "malagueña facil", i.e. "easy malagueña", but it is nothing but (too) easy. Indeed, playing it in its proper tempo requires the kind of dexterity that a folk guitarist (a gypsy, say) has when playing flamenco. There are many poor performances (including mine) on the internet and elsewhere, but the following one I find superb:

The last 15 seconds of the piece (from 1:05 until the end in the video above) are the most challenging ones, most difficult to get right. (To wit, click on other performances on youtube.) This performer gets them just right. And these 15 seconds make all the difference in the world.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing. Virtuoso playing is not always fun to listen to (e.g. Charlie Parker), but this is.



What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
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Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
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