Asturias has become one of the most important works of the classical Guitar repertoire, however it was originally written – and is published here – for the solo Piano.
Despite its misleading title, which refers to the northern Spanish region of Asturias and was given to it posthumously by the German publisher Hofmeister, this virtuoso piece is pure Andalusian flamenco. The main theme mimics the Guitar technique of alternating the thumb and fingers of the right hand, while the ‘marcato’/'staccato’ markings suggest the footwork of a flamenco dancer. Another flamenco style, the malagueña, is detectable in the middle section. After a short return to the theme, the piece concludes in a slow “hymn-like” passage.
Noted for the delicate, intricate melody of its middle section and abrupt dynamic changes, this challenging piece is a favourite of pianists and audiences alike.