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A zortzico is a Basque round dance in quintuple meter, in which the five beats are always grouped 3 + 2. The dance is hypnotic and sensual in character. The repetitive pattern of a zortzico has dotted rhythms on beats 2 & 4.
Albeniz was Catalan, not Basque – but evidently he was fascinated by the seductive rhythm of the zortzico, since he composed two of them. The present one, in E minor, is an evocative and mesmerizing piece of about 5-6 minutes in duration.
In my opinion, the orchestra is an ideal medium for this luscious, exotic music. Only sustained instruments, such as strings and winds, can execute the numerous extended crescendos and diminuendos on long tones that fill the central section. The timbres of contrasting orchestra sections adds color and variety to the work. The strings impart a mysterious tone to this beguiling dance.
Sets of orchestral parts are available on rental exclusively from Noteworthy Musical Editions. For more information about renting orchestral parts for this work for public concerts and/or commercial recordings, please visit Noteworthy’s website at http://zasu.us/noteworthymusic
Here is a link to this score on the website of Noteworthy Musical Editions:
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Reviews of ISAAC ALBENIZ - STARR; Zortzico in E minor (arranged for symphony orchestra)
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