After all, it seems like all my posts in this blog are “accidentally” posted. Few days ago, I tried to write an entry about classical guitar in general and talk about my own ranking list of greatest pieces. However, when I wrote about the song Asturias, it became so long that I decided to make it into a new entry.
About 3 months ago, my love for classical guitar suddenly came back. Curious about how people in the world rate classical guitar pieces, I decided to take a look at 3 top lists shown by Google. Surprisingly, Asturias
showed up in all 3 of them at very high rank. Needless to say, I was so happy that my favorite song was ranked that highly. And also, I was quite proud of myself that I could play this song, but compared to John Williams’ skills who played in the video above, mine were so humble.
has a strong “Spanish feeling”. The precipitate tempo and the high contrast tone made that feeling. The song is divided into 3 parts: the fast part, the slow part and a final part. The fast part requires player to master a tremolo technique with 3 fingers whereas the slow part is a showy performance of all sophisticated skills.. As I remember correctly, when I practiced this part, I played one-third of a line per class. This piece is 6 pages long and one-third of a line was really small portion. The final part is simply beautiful, and it is the best way to end this great master piece.
I always view Asturias
as a river. It flows crazily fast and strongly at the first part ( like the upstream of a waterfall). After that, it becomes slow and peaceful as it reaches the downstream where it touches the sea. Listening to the song makes my soul drift along with the river. It took me 3 years to completely learn to play the whole song. Beyond that, Asturias is a very special song to me because it attached to many unforgettable memories.Story 1
: It was my first year of high school. Secretary of my class- Nhung asked the whole class if anyone could do some performances for the Teacher day 20-11( or the Vietnamese Women day 20-10, I can’t remember exactly). And somehow, I raised my hand and agreed to play a guitar song for the class. Up until now, I can’t really understand why I agreed to play and chose Asturias
. At that time, my skills were suck, and I was so nervous that my hands were shaking. Consequently, my performance was quite terrible. Even so, people applauded. I could well understand that gesture was merely for politeness. However, my close friend Tri still said: “Not really bad. You didn’t play smoothly but you showed off a lot of techniques”. Actually, he didn’t use the word “technique”, but a very funny word that I can’t remember 😦 Nevertheless, his comment still saved my day. What I learned from that story: never show off a thing before you’ve mastered it.
Story 2: This time, I 100% could play Asturias smoothly. I played the song to my ex, I asked her whether she had felt anything from listening to my play. She honestly said no. That time, I was really upset because I thought I had never played that good before. And I naively believed that all people could see the song as a river like me. However, she also said that she was so moved by my action: I played for her even I was so sick. Lesson learned: Nobody feels the same, do not assume.
Story 3: Compared to my skill at story 2, mine at story 3 was 50% better. Now I could confidently played Asturias in front of a girl who I have known for only 3 months. She ended up really like it. She said that the song was great, and she could feel my emotion transmitted through the song. I was so happy and I thought I found somebody who could understand my “cursed” Asturias. Not long after that, she became my girl friend. I played the song many times for her :D. Haha, now are all of you thinking about a happy ending for story 3? Not even close! After quite a long time, I discovered that she couldn’t remember the name of the song and even the melody. Well, it is still a “cursed” song… for me at least.
Lesson learned: ?????
Asturias is a great classical guitar piece. It is so hard to play, and it gives me a lot of trouble. Nevertheless, I still love it, still practice it, and still believe that one day, the curse will be lifted. Maybe after I mastered it with my new guitar, I will try to record and upload it here.