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.