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Al-Andalus: What makes music sound Spanish?

Tom Service looks for the essence of Spain in the music of later centuries. Why was so much "Spanish" music written by Russian, French or German composers, and how do we recognise a "Spanish" sound in music now?

Available now

30 minutes

Music Played

  • Francisco Tárrega

    Capricho arabe - serenata for guitar

    Performer: Carlos Bonell.
    • upbeat classics.
    • URCD145.
  • Sylvia

    Y Viva Espana

    • VIRGIN.
    • VTDCD-57.
  • Omar Bashir

    Maqam Flamenco

    Performer: Omar Bashir.
    • Bahir.
    • ISRC: AEA041000537.
  • Maurice Ravel

    Bolero for orchestra

    Conductor: Claudio Abbado. Performer: London Symphony Orchestra.
    • DG.
    • 4159722.
  • Xaver Scharwenka

    Spanish serenade for piano

    Performer: Stephen Hough.
    • CDA-67565.
  • Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

    Capriccio espagnol Op.34

    Music Arranger: Igor Markevitch. Performer: London Symphony Orchestra.
    • PHILIPS.
    • 4426432.
  • James Horner

    Mad Dash / Zorro Unmasked

    Performer: Studio Sound Orchestra.
    • Sony Classical.
    • USSM10505501.
  • Georges Bizet

    Carmen - opera in 4 acts

    Performer: Marina Domashenko. Performer: Myung-Whun Chung. Performer: French Radio Orchestra.
    • decca.
    • 475 9143.
  • Claude Debussy

    Estampes for piano

    Performer: Paul Crossley.
    • Sony.
    • SK53111.
  • Maurice Ravel

    Rapsodie espagnole vers. for orchestra

    Conductor: Pierre Monteux. Performer: London Symphony Orchestra.
    • Philips 464733.
    • 464733.
  • Isaac Albéniz

    Asturias (Leyenda) [fr 'Suite Espanola'], arr. Segovia for guitar [orig.piano]

    Performer: Sharon Isbin.
    • VIRGIN.
    • VC7911282.
  • Maurice Jarre

    Lawrence of Arabia

    Performer: BBC Concert Orchestra.
  • Joaquín Rodrigo

    Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra

    Conductor: Yannick Nézet‐Séguin. Performer: Miloš Karadaglić. Performer: London Philharmonic Orchestra.
    • DG.
    • 4810811.
  • Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

    The Mexican Bandit

    • Fat Boy Records.
    • 01.
  • Ennio Morricone

    A Fistful of Dollars

    Performer: Ennio Morricone.
    • DISKY.
    • DCD-5253.
  • Édouard Lalo

    Symphonie espagnole Op.21 for violin and orchestra

    Conductor: Vernon Handley. Performer: Tasmin Little. Performer: Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
    • EMI Eminence.
    • 566119 2.
  • Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka

    Souvenir d'une nuit d'ete a Madrid for orchestra (Spanish overture no.2)

    Conductor: Vassily Sinaisky. Performer: BBC Philharmonic.
    • chandos.
    • chan9861.
  • Isaac Albéniz

    Iberia - book 1 for piano

    Performer: Alicia de Larrocha.
    • Decca.
    • 4178872.
  • Manuel de Falla

    Nights in the gardens of Spain for piano and orchestra

    Performer: Steven Osborne. Performer: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
    • CDA68148.
  • Joaquín Rodrigo

    Fantasia para un gentilhombre for guitar and orchestra

    Conductor: Luis Antonio García Navarro. Performer: Narciso Yepes. Performer: English Chamber Orchestra.
    • DG.
    • 4779197.
  • Francisco Coll


    Performer: Christian Karlsen. Performer: Jacob Kellermann. Performer: Norrbotten Neo.


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