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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Narrative Imperative of Granados’s "Goyescas"

  • Author(s): Koslowsky Schmidt, Kathryn
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Enrique Granados’s monumental piano suite Goyescas is widely acknowledged as an important work in the piano-repertoire canon but is infrequently programmed in recitals.  One obstacle to its inclusion is that relatively little is known by the pianistic community about its narrative elements.  Like similar works that contain strong narratives, such as Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition or Schumann’s Carnaval, Goyescas holds great potential because of its musical variety, its inspired writing, and because it is exciting for musicians to convey extra-musical ideas to an audience in a way that “tells a story.” The 6 movements of Goyescas are not only narrative vignettes but also part of a larger arc that holds the listener’s attention in the same way as an opera; Goyescas is, quite simply, a story.  A narrative approach is applied here in order to enhance the meaning of Goyescas for performers as well as appreciators, and perhaps will result in an increased receptiveness to the inclusion of this work in the modern recital program.

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