Exploring Los Caprichos de Goya

Diana Castelnuovo-Tedesco / News /
Los Caprichos de Goya cycle for guitar by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco

“Where can I find more information about Los Caprichos de Goya ?” is a question that often arises.

For those wishing to learn more about this cycle, which the composer himself described as his most ambitious guitar work, there are several primary sources (currently available only in Italian): the pages Mario dedicated to the work in his autobiography, Una Vita di Musica: Un Libro di Ricordi, published by Cadmo in 2005, as well as the letters of Andres Segovia to the composer, published in the volume Caro Mario: Lettere a Castelnuovo-Tedesco, edited by Angelo Gilardino and published by Edizioni Curci in 2018. Gilardino also discusses the work in the biography Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Un Fiorentino a Beverly Hills also published in 2018 by Curci In English, one can consult Lily Afshar’s 1989 dissertation, “Los Caprichos de Goya and their relation to Goya’s etchings” and several other doctoral theses, as well as the liner notes to Zoran Dukic’s 2009 recording of Los Caprichos  for Naxos.

Given the scarcity of English language resources, it was especially good news that Marco Ramelli and Eoin Flood recently planned, as part of  a series of online repertoire classes for the Dublin Conservatoire, a session dedicated to Los Caprichos de Goya. The class was led by Lorenzo Micheli, one of the most insightful and articulate experts about Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s guitar music. In the virtual seminar, Micheli walked participants through some of the primary sources and historical information about the work, explored how Castelnuovo-Tedesco uses dance forms, and provided his perspective on why the composer may have chosen Goya’s work as his point of departure for this complex cycle.

A recording of the class, held on 19 May 2020, is available online for the benefit of all!   It includes Micheli’s presentation as well as an excellent question and answer session with the participants. It is available here.

Many thanks to all involved for this new resource!