Phrase, Subphrase in
Granados’s Piano suite Goyescas (Los Majos Enamorados),
No.1 Los Requiebros
The late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century was a flourishing era in the music community to both musicians and music fans. A great number of composers through their unique musical aesthetics and unrestrained creativity composed a great volume of different style music. A major contemporary trend or the feature of the music at that time was tonality collapse. However, there were quite a few composers still insisting on composing tonal music. In this essay, I will use Burkhart’s “the very musicianly topic of the phrase” theory to analyze Granados’s “Goyescas, No.1 Los Requiebros”. I will singly identify phrase structure of primary sections for identify phrases in different hierarchy, and how does the composer form a larger phrases.
“Goyescas”, composed by Spanish composer Enrique Granados in 1911, is a set of piano suite containing seven pieces: “Los requiebros”, “Coloquio en la reja”, “El fandango de candil”, “Quejas, o la maja y el ruisenor”, “El Amor Y la Muerte”, “Epilogo: Serenata del espectro”, and the “El pelele”. Among them, El pelele was not included when the suite was first published. It is broadly acknowledged that the inspiration of this suite comes from Francisco Goya’s paintings. Unlike some other composers who composed same title pieces for paintings like Mussorgsky’ “Picture at an Exhibition”, every single piano piece of this suite is not a map onto the specific painting . The first piece of this suite titled Los Requiebros, is one of my favorite piano pieces, and is the one of the hardest pieces I have played. Its beautiful, lyrical, and multilayered melodic line and flowing rhythmic design attract my interest as well as bring difficulties on interpretation of dividing phrase.
Even though the form of this piano piece is freely arranged by the composer, we can easily divide every portion according to the distinguishing music themes between each section. Two ambiguous sections composed by the themes both from the A section and the B section are closing section shown as following table.
Table 1: Form Chart
Section Measures Phrase
Introduction 1-8 Including a link (mm. 5-8)
A A1 9-32 a + a + b + b + c + a’
A2 35-56 a + a + b + c + a
B1 57-72 d + d
B2 73-105 d’ + d’ extension
Interlude 106-111 Derived from the a theme
C1 112-126 e + e’
Closing1 127-138 a’’ + d’’
B B3 139-178 d + d + d’’ extension + c + a’
A3 179-205 a + a + b + b + c + a’
Transition 206-216 Same as the link between the intro. and the A section
C2 217-266 f + f + f expansion 1 + f expansion 2+ … + c + a
C3 267-296 f’ + f expansion 3 + … + a’
Closing2 297-343 a’’ + d’’
The A Section
It is obviously that slurs written by the composer in this section cannot be regarded as the evidence of dividing the phrase. When we hear the recording, the A1 section seemingly contains six phrases according to our...