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English Language Broadcast - Spain as inspiration for European composers - 14/07/20

14 jul 2020

In today's program we listen to music by two European composers who found artistic inspiration ​in Spain and things Spanish. The first, John Eccles, was an English composer who lived from about 1668 to 1735 and whose greatest talent is revealed in his many songs, described by musicologists as being "remarkable for their beautifully contoured melodies and impeccable prosody" and also for quickly capturing the mood and subtleties of the poetry. And Eccles' songs are eminently singable, as soprano Anne Bracegirdle demonstrates with one of them, "I Burn, My Brain Consumes to Ashes," a composition by John Eccles and Henry Purcell for Thomas D'Urfey's semi-opera play "The Comical History of Don Quijote."​ A century and a half later Russian composer Mijail Glinka (1804 - 1857) visited Spain and spent some two years living in different Spanish cities, absorbing the Spanish popular music which he incorporated into such compositions as his two Spanish Overtures. The first of these overtures is based on the typical "jota" dance of the Spanish region of Aragón, while the second takes its inspiration from a mid-summer's night in Madrid. We listen to both overtures, as performed by the Spanish National Orchestra and our own RTVE Symphony Orchestra.

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