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Work of the Week – Joaquín Rodrigo: Dos danzas españolas

Fiery beats for a hot summer – that’s what Dos danzas españolas by Joaquín Rodrigo has in store. The driving rhythm of castanets shapes and colours these two Spanish dances, making this entertaining Suite para castañuelas y orquesta perfect for summer concerts. With the theme “Y Viva España”, Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin presents music of southern Europe in their Festival “Meckproms”, including Dos danzas españolas with music director Daniel Huppert on 2 July at the open-air stage Schwerin and on 7 July in the garden of Bothmer castle in Klütz.

Rodrigo composed Dos danzas españolas in 1966 for the famous Mexican Flamenco dancer and castanets virtuoso Lucero Tena, whose performances alongside world-class orchestras and conductors played a large role in making the castanets commonplace in the classical orchestra.

Joaquín Rodrigo: Dos danzas españolas – A summery orchestral work

Taking inspiration from Andalusian tonality, Rodrigo creates melodies which, in combination with the castanets’ distinctive rhythms and motifs, form a charming, memorable work.

These two short danzas were written in a bright and straight style, carrying the hallmark of the author. They recreate the Spanish rhythms and themes as well as the stylized atmosphere of majas and bullfighters, very popular in Madrid of the end of the 18th century. – Cecilia Rodrigo on Dos danzas españolas

This summer, more works by Rodrigo can be heard in performances all over the world. This week alone, Amsterdam Sinfonietta perform Fantasía para un gentilhombre on 4 July in Eltville am Rhein, Germany, Concierto de Aranjuez is performed in Hastings, UK on 6 July and in Tokyo a day later, and in Alicante the ADDA Simfònica presents the Concierto andaluz and the Concierto Madrigal on 6 July.



Photo: Raimund Germela, Spanish Dancer with castanets