I was a bit surprised to find three different recordings of
Rodrigo's Concierto De Aranjuez in my collection. There's one by
John Williams (guitar), another by Miles Davis (pump organ), and
a third just out of reach so I can't tell you who performed it.
The Williams performance is playing as I write this.
Describing the Concierto is a bit of a poser for a proser such
as myself. If you don't know who Rodrigo is, and you were around
in the late 70's or early 80's, try this: Do your best
impersonation of Ricardo Montalban saying "Rich Corinthian
leather" with some fabulous Spanish music in the background.
Now let Ricardo go -- the music you imagined was probably
Rodrigo. And it was probably Concierto De Aranjuez, a piece which
inspires in me thoughts of grandeur, power, and the flourish that
is the Spain of my imagination.
For the pedantically minded, it's classical music written for
guitar and orchestra. There are three movements lasting about 20
minutes. While accurate, that's a bit like describing your
favourite painting as a piece of canvas so wide by so high.
Better to say it is like the sound of fall leaves crunching
underfoot, or the heat of steam from a bowl of soup. While you're
at it, you might try dancing about architecture.
Rodrigo died July 7, 1999 in Spain. He was 97.
BBC Obituary (Has a sound clip)