Arabesca, Spanish Dance Op 5 No 11 for flute quintet
The publication of Granados’s 12 Spanish Dances coincided with the 1892 Barcelona Olympics. One of the main attractions during those Olympics was an exhibit of paintings of Spanish villages that illustrated the diverse architectural styles and cultures of the country. Granados had a similar concept in mind for his 12 Dances by creating a cycle of keyboard vignettes depicting Spanish life. Arabesca, with its haunting charm, evokes a celebratory dance, “revelry by night.” Characterized by mysterious and exotic melodies, the image depicted is that of an exotic Moorish castle. Alternating musical sections describe an equestrian-like theme taking turns with sections of sorrow and despair. This quintet arrangement may be performed with 5 C flutes, but is much more exciting with the addition of a piccolo, an alto flute, a bass flute, and even a contrabass flute.