Romanza (also known as “Spanish Romance”, “Romance Anónimo”, and “Romance d’Amour” among other names.), is a great piece for classical guitar and even though there is some debate of its origin, I wouldn’t be surprised if it came from the hand of Francisco Tarregá. Tarregá’s “Estudio en mi menor” has a similar feel to it though it lacks an E Major section.
I remember recording Spanish Romance for the first time. It was in Delft, Netherlands, in an old studio and it was hot. That week Gareth Evans from Goliath Guitar Tutorials was at my place to do these recordings and while he was playing his rendition of “Get Lucky”, I was practicing this piece elsewhere in the building. I really got into it and I suddenly found myself crying, the feeling of the composition was so intense and it caught me by surprise. This made me confident however to record it and I hoped I would be able to feel at as intense as I did at that moment.
But, recording is a different thing all together. I know many say this or that piece is “easy”, but compositions like Romanza are very hard to record. All the open spaces, crystal clear notes… One crack, one little unwanted noise and the vibe is gone. Also dynamics, timbre, and tempo changes are quickly not fluent enough and makes the recording unusable.
To play classical music well, no matter how “easy” the composition is, takes practice and focus!
In the end the recording was ok, but just like this recording, it was not my definitive rendition of “Spanish Romance”. For some reason I wonder if there ever will be a final version that satisfies my ears in the way John Williams, Ana Vidovic, or any of the other masters of the classical guitar would do. Maybe, maybe not… But I will enjoy all those years trying!
Wishing you all a happy and blessed life,
André van Berlo