15 July 2012

Narciso Yepes: Jeux Interdit

And now for a little bit of pure pleasure – the delightful little romance that Narciso Yepes wrote as a gift for his mother in 1938 and which was subsequently used as the theme for René Clément’s 1952 film Jeux Interdit (“Forbidden Games”). I don’t know whether Yepes was coy about being the composer or whether his authorship of the piece was forgotten, but many recordings list the composer as “Anonymous” – including even recordings of Yepes himself. For example, his CD Romance d’Amour lists the composer as “Anónimo” and describes it as “Musique du film; Arr.: N. Yepes”.

When you watch the video, take note of the ten-string guitar, which was developed in 1963 by Yepes, in collaboration with renowned guitar maker José Ramírez. The four additional strings were tuned to C, A#, G#, F#, which resulted in the first guitar with truly chromatic string resonance - similar to that of the piano with its sustain/pedal mechanism. He gave this guitar its first outing in 1964, in a performance of the Concierto de Aranjuez with the Berlin Philharmonic, and from that time on he used that instrument exclusively. I had the pleasure of hearing him in a solo recital in Canberra, an ABC Concert on 5 June 1976.

Access the video clip here.

For an earlier post on this wonderful guitarist see Narciso Yepes and the Concierto de Aranjuez.


Anonymous said...

Narciso Yepes is good in some repertoire.

But ultimately Narciso Yepes is a modernist. His interpretations of Bach and early 19th century works (Carulli, Sor, etc.) are straigh-jacketed horrible unflexible literal modernist interpretations.

Anonymous said...

The story of Narciso Yepes having written the work "Romance" for his mother, is just that: as story.

The true facts is: There are published editions of that work, from even before Yepes was born; and there's even an old historic recording of the work, from before Yepes was born.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romance_%28guitar_piece%29#Disproved_origins