Asturiana, Spanish Dance, Op. 5, No. 8 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 Dances by creating a cycle of keyboard vignettes depicting Spanish life. The people of the northern province of Asturias, where fertile landscapes and snow-capped mountains descend to the Cantabrian Sea, hold great pride in their region.

Granados establishes a sense of monumental grandeur by selecting sonorities from the lowest to the highest registers, a musical depiction of the region’s topography. The exuberance of the ending is a clear description of the celebratory spirit of the people. This quintet arrangement may be performed with five C flutes, but is much more exciting with the addition of a piccolo, an alto flute, a bass flute and even a contrabass flute.