Joaquin Rodrigo: Berceuse de Printemps

Every once in a while,  you hear a piece that stops you dead in your tracks.  This just happened while I was eating dinner and Pandora was streaming works on my “Gymnopedies for Piano” channel.

Pandora is an interesting thing. I think it works on two principles–that people might prefer to listen to music that has similar characteristics to the pieces they, and that different works of music might have similar chords, rhythms, structures, etc. that can be scanned by computers and then used as a way to search for, find, and serve up other works to said people. When I first started using it, that was cool, but then it started changing: sometimes in the midst listening to a stream that was clearly in one genre, I’d be jolted by a song that was from a completely different one.  It took me a while to figure out that it was because my daughter and I shared the same Pandora account and she’d add channels of hip-hop, rap, and other artists.  So I created a new account and got back to my uninterrupted, sedate works.  Then I noticed that sometimes, in a stream, Pandora would eventually end up playing the same works over and over.  So that’s why it surprised me today when it suddenly kicked out “Bercesues de Printemps.”  It also surprised me for two other reasons.  First, I didn’t know Rodrigo composed for piano.  We’ve all heard his “Concierto de Aranjuez” about a gazillion times, so that was new for me.  Second, I was stunned by its sheer, unadorned beauty.

Rodrigo’s life spanned nearly the entire 20th century and he studied with Paul Dukas in Paris before returning to his native Spain.  So this piece sounds like it was influence by Debussy or Ravel.  It’s an utter joy, so please take a moment to give it a listen.

%d bloggers like this: