A Musical Journey - Spain
A Musical Visit to Andalusia, Sitges, Seville and Granada
Chapters 1- 3 and 7, Andalusian landscape
Chapter 4, Andalusia, Medin-Sidonia
Chapters 5, Catalonia, Sitges
Chapter 6, Andalusia, Seville Cathedral
Chapter 8, Andalusia, El Albaicin
Chapter 9, Andalusia, Arcos de la Frontera
Chapter 10, Andalusia, Sunset in Granada
Music by Maurice Ravel Rapsodie Espagnole. Slovak Symphony
Orchestra/Kenneth Jean. Isaac Albéniz, piano suite Iberia,
Zambra granadina and Asturias, CSSR State Philharmonic
Orchestra/Peter Breiner. Gerald Garcia (guitar). No recording dates,
venues or relationship with a Naxos CD indicated
DVD Director: Gachot
Cameraman: H T Aschwanden
Audio Format: DTS 5.1. Dolby Digital 5.1. PCM Stereo 2.0
Video Format: NTSC. Region 0. Colour. Aspect ratio 4:3
Andalusia is an historic autonomous region of southern Spain
with a population approaching nine million. With its capital
in Seville it occupies a vast area from the Mediterranean and
is traversed by the mountains of Sierra Morena and Sierra Nevada.
After Moorish occupation it came back into Spanish Christian
rule in 1492. The town of Granada has a spectacular setting
among the mountains with the Alhambra Palace and Alcazaba fortress
drawing many tourists.
The selection of pictures complementing the music of Ravel (CHs.
1-4) and Albéniz (CH.5 et seq) have a predilection,
often found when Gachot is editor, for views of the countryside
and waving fields of cereal crops. There are no views of the
magnificent setting of Granada or the wonderful Alhambra Palace.
There are, however, prolonged views of the setting sun nearby
(CH.10). Interesting, but nothing like what could have been
shown and of much greater interest and representative of this
With Andalusia having its own coastline on the Costa del Sol,
why it was necessary to divert to Catalonian Sitges to show
pictures of the seaside, boats on the sea and a child paddling
defeats me (CH.5). There are a few items of interest included
that illustrate the nature of the area and its architectural
and geological features. Of greater, outstanding interest, is
the Cathedral at Seville, reputedly the largest Gothic church
in the world. Built in the 15th century on the site of a 12th
century mosque the doorways are ornamented with a variety of
sculpted figures. The elaborate interior holds many treasures,
with its royal chapel, the ornamented retablo of the Capilla
Mayor and statues of the Blessed Virgin (CH.6).
Other items of interest include the Albaicin, the oldest part
of Granada. It reflects Moorish influence in its narrow alleys
and houses (CH.8) along with Arcos de la Frontera. Set on a
rocky hillside from which it dominates the plains below, the
geological strata are a plus (CH.9).
The sleeve notes do not include details of the music played
or the provenance of the recording used.
Robert J Farr