Bars 61 to 200

This is the fourth lesson in my series on Concerto Aranjuez, so far I have covered the opening of the Allegro and I also did a post on the first cadenza of the Adagio. I am now continuing the Allegro bars 61 to 200. This is the part where the guitar enters after the first orchestral tutti.

Just to recap we are in 6/8 but Rodrigo often moves between 6/8 and 3/4 which is very common in Spanish Music and flamenco. For the opening chords we use a rasgueado in position II. We find that for the initial bars up to bar 74 we stay in a roughly tonic-dominant harmony, from D to A with lots of chord tones, thirds and arpeggios.

Make sure to pay the A at bar 63 with the a finger, the bass run underneath will be with p-i.  There is a lot of staccato in required to keep the notes short and punchy, I think to stand out over the accompanying instruments. Flutes come in at bar 66 and winds come in at 69.

When we get to bar 74 we move to an F# phrygian tonality, This means we are still essentially playing the notes in D but with an emphasis on F# which sounds very flamenco. I should add that Rodrigo borrows a lot from flamenco harmony and musical ideas. We continue with scale work vs chords til bar 82. Here we have a change of texture and harmony. The harmony moves to a ii-V-I so Em – A – D with a more melodic feel but also lots of dissonance like the C# over the D at 84. At 87 we shift to Eb-Bb chords then land on A Phrygian at 91. Rodrigo skillfully modulates to the Dominant A. It’s not a true A though, it’s A Phrygian which are the notes in D minor again quintessentially Spanish. A similar ii- V- I occurs at 97 Gm- C – F. This makes sense because it’s the relative major of D minor. Then we go to Gb – Db at bar 100 and land on E Phrygian at bar103. We then have a scales/rasgueado alternating, the final descending triplets take us to A minor for the next section.

So there is a lot happening harmonically which I think is useful to know if you are intending on learning this piece. technically there are some challenges. These include:

  • shifting between fast scales to chords.
  • stretches and higher position playing above the 12th fret.
  • Awkward chord shapes – Rodrigo is typical of this.
  • A fast tempo so no time to rest.


Practice Backing Track