Classical music and flamenco. An embrace born from sorrow

Al-Andalus’, concert for guitar and orchestra, is Juan Manuel Cañizares’s latest composition, written as a tribute to Paco de Lucía. This is a special piece for many reasons, particularly the almost instinctive blend of classical music and flamenco, so natural that it seems as if the two genres embraced, as if they had come from the same roots. It is a work that springs from the extreme pain for the loss of a friend, but also features the happiness for that intimate and deep artistic experience which pervades the third movement.

The anguish over the death of Paco de Lucía, with whom Cañizares shared ten years of work and deep friendship, is the seed from which ‘Al-Andalus’ grows. It transformed the act of composing ‘Al-Andalus’ into a painful and complex process. A brutal transition which is particularly well reflected in the second movement, a funeral march which stands in sharp contrast with the bulería (such a signature genre for Paco de Lucía) that precedes it.

And from sorrow to comfort. The taranta that links the second and third movements turns into a tanguillo de Cádiz (Paco de Lucía’s hometown). In the last movement Cañizares wished to remember his master and friend with several references to two of his most famous compositions: ‘Río ancho’ and ‘Entre dos aguas’. Paco de Lucía and his essence are thus present in every note of ‘Al-Andalus’, embedded in the fine perfume that characterizes Cañizares.

Al-Andalus Concert


Juan Manuel Cañizares


Concierto Flamenco para guitarra y orquesta

a la memoria de Paco de Lucía

Orchestration: Joan Alberto Amargós


1º movement: Tiempo de Bulerías

2º movement: Liberamente rubato expresivo


3ºmovement: Allegro festivo por Tanguillos


* Approximate duration: 20 minutes


Piccolo (1)

Flutes (2)

Oboe (1)

English Horn (1)

Clarinets in Bb (2)

Bass Clarinet (1)

Bassoons (2)

Horns (4)

Trumpets in C (3)

Trombones (3)

Tuba (1)

Timbales (1)

Percussion (3)

Harp (1)


Guitar Soloist

String Orchestra (max. 16-14-12-10-8, min. 14-12-10-8-6)

2 optional flamenco “palmas” (handclaps)


* The amplification of the guitar soloist is necessary for a correct reproduction of the work

World Premiere: May 27th 2016 at National Auditorium of Music
(Madrid, Spain)


Spanish National Orchestra
Dir. Maestro Josep Pons
Guitar: Cañizares