A Spanish Summer Soiree*

Saturday 27 July 2002



6 pm doors open with Sangria and organic olive oil from Baena, Spain

7 pm outdoor concert

Robert Bekkers, guitar

Granada by Isaac Albeniz

Requerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega

Sevilla by Isaac Albeniz

Asturias by Isaac Albeniz

Concierto de Aranjuez, 2nd movement by Joaquin Rodrigo, arranged for bassoon, flute, 2 guitars by R. Bekkers, with Constant Van Dorp, bassoon; Ronit Miles Ben-David, flute; Gary Power, 2nd guitar

8 pm tapas break

9 pm indoor concert

Dance of the Blessed Spirit by Christoph Willibald Gluck (flute/piano)

Two Play by Robert Bekkers (flute/piano)

Winter in July by Anne Ku (piano solo)

Epilogo from Escenas Romanticas by Enrique Granados (piano solo)

Bassoon Concerto in F major, Op.75, Rondo by Carl Maria von Weber (bassoon/piano)

Romanza Andalusa by Pablo de Sarasate, arranged for 1 piano 4 hands by Henry Geehl

Cuatro Piezas para Dos by Gerald Schwertberger (for guitar and piano)

Granada and the Alhambra

was first settled by native tribes in the prehistoric period, and was known as Ilbyr. When the Romans colonised southern Spain, they built their own city here and called it Illibris. The Arabs, invading the peninsula in the 8th century, gave it its current name of Granada. It was the last Muslim city to fall to the Christians in 1492, at the hands of Queen Isabel of Castile and her husband Ferdinand of Aragon.

One of the most brilliant jewels of universal architecture is the Alhambra, a series of palaces and gardens built under the Nazari Dynasty in the 14th C.

The name Granada is ancient and mysterious. It may mean "great castle", for the Roman fortress which once stood on the Albaicin Hill. When the Moors came here, the town was largely inhabited by Jews, for which they called it Garnat-al-Yahud - Granada of the Jews. The Jews are said to have been one of the first peoples to settle in Spain, even before the Romans.


In 1492 Seville played an important role in the discovery and conquest of America. The 17th century was a period of artistic splendour in Seville. Painters such as Velázquez, Murillo and Valdés Leal, and sculptors like Martínez Montañés were born in Seville and left behind important works. The city also assumed an important role in world literature and was the birthplace of the myth of Don Juan.

Don't miss out on the tapas. The city is credited with the invention and has more than a thousand bars where the choice of food, is virtually unlimited, from seafood to ham and sausage and from vegetable to cheese. The Sevillians actually make a meal of. them, moving from bar to bar and trying one dish at a time.


Isaac Manuel Francisco Albéniz was born on May 29, 1860 in Camprodón, the Catalan province of Gerona in northeastern Spain. As a child he was exceptionally gifted at the piano and gave his first public performance in Barcelona at the age of four. Two years later his mother took him to Paris where, for nine months, he studied privately with Antoine Francois Marmontel, a renowned professor of piano at the Paris Conservatory. An attempt was made to enrol Albéniz at the Conservatory, but the boy was denied admission because he was too young.

Pieces such as Suite Española, Op. 47 (Granada, Cataluña, Sevilla, and Cuba only), Seis Danzas Españolas, and Rapsodia Española, Op. 70 for piano and orchestra were all composed circa1886-87.

Francisco Tarrega(1852-1909)

Francisco Tarrega-Eixea was born in Vila-real, on 21st of November 1852, When he was young, an accident almost stole his eyesight. He was sent to have musical lessons so that, in case he became blind, he could earn some money by playing music.

In those days, the piano was the most fashionable instrument, whereas the guitar had lost her prior prestige, dropping to a very low level in the instruments' scale. Being considered not good enough to play in concerts, the guitar was reduced to accompanying singers. Although Tarrega started studying the piano, he dedicated his life to the guitar when he got the chance and brought it back to the concert stage.

Joaquin Rodrigo Vidre (1901-1999)

At the age of three he lost his sight almost completely as a result of an epidemic of diphtheria. This led to a vocation towards music. At the age of eight he began his first musical studies. From the outset of his career Rodrigo wrote all his works in braille, dictating them subsequently to a copyist.

The music of Joaquín Rodrigo is a homage to the rich and varied cultures of Spain. His first works reveal the influence of composers of his time such as Ravel and Stravinsky, but quickly goes on to create a notable chapter in the cultural history of Spain in the 20th century, where the originality of Rodrigo’s musical inspiration goes hand in hand with a devotion to the fundamental values of his tradition.

Concierto de Aranjuez takes its title from the site of the royal palaces of Aranjuez, a place favoured by the Bourbons. The music is not only about the time Rodrigo spent there with his wife on their honeymoon, but also life in the courts in the 18th and 19th centuries

Halfway through writing the concerto, Rodrigo’s wife Victoria, who was pregnant with their first child, fell seriously ill. She was admitted to hospital in Madrid, and at one stage Rodrigo was told that both she and their baby would most likely die. After he heard this news, Rodrigo returned home, sat down at the piano, and composed the beginning of the second movement of the concerto. Victoria was to live. Their baby did not.

At the premier in 1940, the Concierto de Aranjuez was an immediate success, and won Joaquin Rodrigo immediate popularity, mainly on the strength of the second movement. After the concert, he was carried through the streets by a huge crowd of followers, and was hailed by the press as the greatest Spanish composer of modern times.

Gerald Schwertberger (1941 -    )

Born on April 2, 1941 in Gresten, Lower Austria, Schwertberger had various encounters since childhood with the piano, improvisation, composition, the double bass, jazz and dance music.

Schwertberger is well known as a pedagogue, author of pedagogical books, composer, and arranger of modern school music. His small pieces for all sorts of melodic instruments, are played with enthusiasm not only by young people!

Enrique Granados (1867 - 1916)

Born in Lérida in 1867, Enrique Granados studied the piano and composition in Barcelona and then in Paris, returning to Barcelona in 1889. He won distinction as a pianist and popularity in Spain with his contributions to the form of zarzuela. He drowned in the English Channel when the boat on which he was returning home from an American tour by way of Liverpool was torpedoed.

Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)

Gluck’s father was a forester in the Upper Palatinate (now the western extreme of Czechoslovakia); Czech was his native tongue. At about 14 he left home to study in Prague, where he worked as an organist. He soon moved to Vienna and then to Milan.  He died in Vienna on 15 Nov. 1787, widely recognized as the doyen of Viennese composers and the man who had carried through important reforms to the art of opera.

Dance of the blessed spirits. Based on the Greek legend of Orpheus and his journey to the Underworld of hell to bring back his beloved Eurydice,the opera Orpheus and Eurydice surpasses in grandeur,dramatic quality, and naturalness, over anything Gluck has written before.

Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)  was born in Lübeck, North Germany, and died in London in 1826 at the age of 40. He came from a theatrical family – his father was an actor-manager – and had an innate sense of the dramatic, which found realisation through his extraordinary gifts as an orchestrator.

The Bassoon Concerto in F dates from the spring of 1811. The 25-year old Weber was touring the German states, building his reputation as a composer and kapellmeister. Weber’s operatic gift for virtuoso writing comes to the fore in the finale, a witty and high-spirited Rondo which closes the concerto with music that displays the bassoon at its most agile and entertaining.

Pablo Martin Meliton de Sarasate y Navascuez was born in 1844 in Pamplona, Spain. Sarasate was a violin prodigy and made his public violin debut at 8 years old. His violin style was famous for its sweet tone and he became famous both as a composer and violinist.

Sarasate's music was known for its fantastic and virtuosic technique, Spanish folk melodies, and fast tempos. After a lifetime of performing and composing violin virtuoso showpieces, Sarasate died in 1908 in Biarritz, Spain.


Born near Eindhoven, Robert Bekkers earned his teaching and performance degrees in guitar from the Conservatory of Maastricht. Robert now focuses on performing his own compositions and arrangements in a variety of settings, in particular, his Violin-Guitar duo with Mira Roos and piano-guitar duo with Anne Ku.

Born in Brunei of Chinese parents, Anne Ku grew up on Okinawa and later studied piano under Randall Love at Duke University where she also earned her engineering degree.  At the Easter concerts in the Netherlands this past Spring, Anne released her first album - an 80 minute CD of her original piano solo compositions, which supports her web site for self-expression – analyticalQ presents.

Constant Van Dorp studied bassoon at the Royal College of Music.  Winner of the Kathleen Long Chamber Music prize and a founding member of the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, he has toured extensively throughout Europe as an orchestral player. He is now a professional ballet repetiteur and plays for, amongst others, the Royal Academy of Dance.

London-based composer Gary Power obtained his BA in Music from York University and more recently a Master's in Composition from Goldsmith's College.  His duet for a specially designed trumpet and percussion will receive its debut next March at the London Guildhall University.

Ronit Miles Ben-David received her performance degree in flute from the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem in 1986.  Since moving to London three years ago, she has been teaching the flute.

* soi·ree also soi·rée   An evening party or reception.