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Goyescas, Op. 11, subtitled Los majos enamorados (The Gallants in Love), is a piano suite written in 1911 by Spanish composer Enrique Granados. This piano suite is usually considered Granados's crowning creation and was inspired by the paintings of Francisco Goya, although the piano pieces have not been authoritatively associated with any particular paintings. The suite forms part of the standard Romantic piano repertoire.
Writing of the Goyescas
The piano writing of Goyescas is highly ornamented and extremely difficult to master, requiring both subtle dexterity and great power. Some of them have a strong improvisational feel, the clearest example of this being the fifth piece, called El amor y la muerte (Love and Death). The fourth piece in the series (Quejas, ó la maja y el ruiseñor—The Maiden and the Nightingale) is the best known piece from the suite. It resembles a nocturne, but is filled with intricate figuration, inner voices and, near the end, glittering bird-like trills and quicksilver arpeggios. Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez based her 1940 song Bésame Mucho on this melody.
This piano suite was written in two books. Work on Goyescas began in 1909, and by 31 August 1910, the composer was able to write that he had composed "great flights of imagination and difficulty." Granados himself gave the première of Book I at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona on 11 March 1911. He completed Book II in December 1911 and gave its first performance at the Salle Pleyel in Paris on 2 April 1914.
El pelele (The Straw Man), subtitled Escena goyesca, is usually programmed as part of the Goyescas suite; Granados gave the première in Terrassa Teatre Principal, on 29 March 1914.
- Los requiebros (The Compliments)
- Coloquio en la reja (Conversation at the Window)
- El fandango de candil (Fandango by Candlelight)
- Quejas, o La Maja y el ruiseñor (Complaint, or the Girl and the Nightingale)
- El Amor y la muerte (Balada) (Ballad of Love and Death)
- Epilogo: Serenata del espectro (Epilogue: Serenade to a Spectre)
- El pelele: Escena Goyesca (The Puppet: Goya Scene)