Girona, Spian – Dan Ward

Girona, Spian
Dan Ward
Girona, Spian

History of Girona

The first historical inhabitants in the region were Iberians; Girona is the ancient Gerunda, a city of the Ausetani. Later, the Romans built a citadel there, which was given the name of Gerunda. The Visigoths ruled in Girona until it was conquered by the Moors in 715. Finally, Charlemagne reconquered it in 785 and made it one of the fourteen original counties of Catalonia. It was wrested temporarily from the Moors, who recaptured it in 793. From this time until the Moors were finally driven out, 1015, the city repeatedly changed hands and was sacked several times by the Moors (in 827, 842, 845, 935, 982). Wilfred the Hairy incorporated Girona into the County of Barcelona in 878. Alfonso I of Aragon declared Girona a city in the 11th century. The ancient county later became a duchy (1351) when King Peter III of Aragon gave the title of Duke to his first-born son, John. In 1414, King Ferdinand I in turn gave the title of prince of Girona to his first-born son, Alfonso. The title is currently carried by Princess Leonor of Asturias, the second since the 16th century to do so.

The 12th century saw the Jewish community of Girona flourish, having one of the most important Kabbalistic schools in Europe. The Rabbi of Girona, Moshe ben Nahman Gerondi (better known as Nahmanides or Ramban) was appointed Great Rabbi of Catalonia. The presence of the Jewish community of Girona came to an end in 1492, when the Catholic Monarchsoutlawed Judaism throughout Spain and Jews were given the choice of conversion or exile. Today, the Jewish quarter or Call is one of the best preserved in Europe and is a major tourist attraction. On the north side of the old city is the Montjuïc(or hill of the Jews in medieval Catalan), where an important religious cemetery was located.

Onyar river in Girona, c. 1852

Girona has undergone twenty-five sieges and been captured seven times. It was besieged by the French royal armies under Charles de Monchy d’Hocquincourt in 1653, under Bernardin Gigault de Bellefonds in 1684, and twice in 1694 under Anne Jules de Noailles. In May 1809, it was besiegedby 35,000 French Napoleonic troops under Vergier, Augereau and St. Cyr, and held out obstinately under the leadership of Alvarezuntil disease and famine compelled it to capitulate on 12 December. Finally, the French conquered the city in 1809, after 7 months of siege. Girona was center of the Ter department during the French rule, which lasted from 1809 to 1813. The defensive city walls of the western side were demolished at the end of the 19th century to allow for the expansion of the city, while the walls of the eastern side remained untouched but abandoned.

In recent years, the missing parts of the city walls on the eastern side of the city have been reconstructed. Called the Passeig de la Muralla it now forms a tourist route around the old city.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girona

Francisco Tárrega – Gran Vals

Tárrega entered the Madrid conservatory in 1874, under the sponsorship of a wealthy merchant named Antonio Canesa. He had brought along with him a recently purchased guitar, made in Seville by Antonio de Torres. Its superior sonic qualities inspired him both in his playing and in his view of the instrument’s compositional potential. At the conservatory, Tárrega studied composition under Emilio Arrieta who convinced him to focus on guitar and abandon the idea of a career with the piano.

By the end of the 1870s, Tárrega was teaching the guitar (Emilio PujolMiguel Llobet, and Daniel Fortea were pupils of his) and giving regular concerts. Tárrega received much acclaim for his playing and began traveling to other areas of Spain to perform. By this time he was composing his first works for guitar, which he played in addition to works of other composers.

During the winter of 1880, Tárrega replaced his friend Luis de Soria, in a concert in NoveldaAlicante, where, after the concert, an important man in town asked the artist to listen to his daughter, María José Rizo, who was learning to play guitar. Soon they were engaged.

In 1881, Tárrega played in the Opera Theatre in Lyon and then the Paris Odeon, in the bicentenary of the death of Pedro Calderón de la Barca. He also played in London, but he liked neither the language nor the weather. There is a story about his visit to England. After a concert, some people saw that the musician was in low spirits. “What is the matter, maestro?” they asked him. “Do you miss home? Your family, perhaps?” They advised him to capture that moment of sadness in his music. Thus he conceived the theme of one of his most memorable works, Lágrima(literally meaning teardrop). After playing in London he came back to Novelda for his wedding. At Christmas 1882, Tárrega married María José Rizo.

To enlarge his guitar repertory and, no doubt, to make use of his considerable knowledge of keyboard music, he soon began transcribing piano works of BeethovenChopinMendelssohn and others. Tárrega and his wife moved to Madrid, gaining their living by teaching privately and playing concerts, but after the death of an infant daughter during the winter, Maria Josefa de los Angeles Tárrega Rizo, they settled permanently in Barcelona in 1885. Among his friends in Barcelona were Isaac AlbénizEnrique GranadosJoaquín Turina and Pablo Casals.

Portrait by Vicente Castell(1904)

Francisco Tárrega and María José (María Josefa) Rizo had three more children: Paquito (Francisco), Maria Rosatia (María Rosalia) (best known as Marieta) and Concepción. On a concert tour in Valencia shortly afterward, Tárrega met a wealthy widow, Conxa Martinez, who became a valuable patron to him. She allowed him and his family use of a house in Barcelona, where he would write the bulk of his most popular works. Later she took him to Granada, where the guitarist conceived the theme for Recuerdos de la Alhambra, which he composed on his return and dedicated to his friend Alfred Cottin, a Frenchman who had arranged his Paris concerts.

From the later 1880s up to 1903, Tárrega continued composing, but limited his concerts to Spain. In 1900, Tárrega visited Algiers, where he heard a repetitive rhythm played on an Arabian drum. The following morning he composed Danza Mora based on that rhythm. In about 1902, he cut his fingernails and created a sound that would become typical of those guitarists associated with his school. The following year he went on tour to Italy, giving highly successful concerts in Rome, Naples, and Milan.

In January 1906, he was afflicted with paralysis on his right side, and though he would eventually return to the concert stage, he never completely recovered. He finished his last work, Oremus, on 2 December 1909. He died in Barcelona thirteen days later, on 15 December, at the age of 57. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_T%C3%A1rrega

Santana – Smooth ft. Rob Thomas (Official Video)

Santana is an American rock band[6][7] formed in San Francisco, California in 1966 by Mexican-American guitarist Carlos Santana. The band came to public attention with their performance of “Soul Sacrifice” at Woodstock in 1969. This exposure helped propel their first album, also named Santana, into a hit, followed in the next two years by Abraxas and Santana III. Lineup changes were common. Carlos Santana’s increasing involvement with guru Sri Chinmoytook the band into more esoteric music, though it never lost its Latin influence.

In 1998, the band Santana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Carlos Santana, José “Chepito” AreasDavid BrownGregg RolieMike Carabello, and Michael Shrieve.[8] The band has earned nine Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards, the latter all in 2000. Carlos Santana won a Grammy Award as a solo artist in 1988. The band has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling groups of all time.[9] In 2013, Santana announced a reunion of the classic line-up for a new album, Santana IV, which was released in April 2016. The band is tied with Michael Jackson for the record number of Grammy Awards won in one night.[10]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santana_(band)

CRi – Initial (Live)

CRi, an abbreviation of the name Christophe, is also the French word for ‘shout’ or ‘scream’. Quite the incongruous moniker when you consider the subtlety of Montreal beatmaker Christophe Dubé’s dreamy compositions or his reluctance to appear front and centre in his music videos.

Following in the syncopated footsteps of local heroes Kaytranada, Jacques Greene, and Lunice, CRi is a self-taught house producer who has built a dedicated following through his poignant and visually arresting music videos. His music defies predictable electronic pigeonholing, yet he has developed a signature of gently undulating synths, soaring vocal hooks and throbbing jolts of rhythm.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/r7pygq/cri-montreal-dont-video-interview-2016